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Ladbrokes Hit by Unfavourable Results – May 23rd, 2005

Casino NewsA string of favourable sporting results for punters hit profit at Ladbrokes, Hilton’s betting business, in the first four months of the year, although the group said trading at its hotel division had improved.

Gross win – the amount left behind by the punter – was in line with last time although Hilton said increased turnover had been offset by lower margins.

David Michels, Hilton’s chief executive, said profit was “worse than last year . . . but then last year was a record year. To try and beat last year is a hell of a target and we failed to beat it in the first four months but we think we can do it over the next eight months.”

Costs at Ladbrokes increased more than 8 per cent while gross win at the bookmaker’s betting shops fell 1 per cent due to weak margins in horseracing.

The group has deployed fixed-odds betting terminals across its estate of 2,000 betting shops and said the contribution from the machines, which allow punters to bet on virtual horseracing and arcade-style casino games, “grew strongly”.

Ladbrokes also operate Ladbrokes Casino, Ladbrokes Poker and Ladbrokes Sportsbook in the guise of ladbrokes.com on the internet. Ladbrokes were just recently overtaken as the worlds largest bookmaker when William Hill acquired Stanley Racing.

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