Belfast Telegraph

£13bn staked at Ladbrokes in 2011

Ladbrokes said punters staked almost £13bn in its UK shops last year as the high street bookie continued to defy the economic squeeze.

Over-the-counter betting was "resilient", the chain said, after it attracted wagers worth almost £2.5bn, while gaming machines drew almost £10.5bn from punters, an increase of 13.7% on a year earlier.

Ladbrokes said profit per shop increased 6.9% year-on-year and it posted overall operating profits of £193.5m, broadly flat on a year earlier as its digital division was hampered by poor poker trading.

As well as extending total trading hours by 7%, the chain opened 50 new shops and closed 21.

Despite the uncertain conditions, Ladbrokes is targeting 60 openings in 2012 under new shop formats which will suit changing trends by catering more for football, bet-in-play and machines.