Belfast Telegraph

'Bookie-friendly' Euro 2016 helps Ladbrokes score £25m profit

Ladbrokes hailed the "sporting gods" as the bookmaker moved back into the black in the first half of the year, helped by England's embarrassing exit from Euro 2016.

The betting firm notched up statutory pre-tax profits of £25.2 million in the six months to the end of June, compared with a £51.4 million loss in the same period last year.

Revenue also rose 12% to £661.8 million as the firm recovered from what it described as the worst Cheltenham "in living memory" earlier in the year.

Ladbrokes said it avoided "significant liabilities" as a result of the home nations crashing out of the Uefa European Championship early, with the exception of Wales. Minnows Iceland knocked England out of the tournament, despite the odds being well against them.

Boss Jim Mullen said: "These strong numbers show customers are responding positively to the new strategy at a time when the sporting gods have generally been on our side and we've enjoyed some helpful bookmaker-friendly results. This combination has helped boost profits in the first half of the year."

The company added: " The bookie-friendly results of football helped to offset the worst Cheltenham Festival on record and a very customer-friendly Royal Ascot. "

Ladbrokes is also in the midst of a £2.3 billion merger with Gala Coral, and the firm said its financial performance positions it well for the tie-up.

Last month the Competition and Markets Authority ordered the pair to offload 350 to 400 high street stores as a condition of the deal.

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