Gambling on the up despite the economic slowdown
The effects of the economic recession have meant that many companies are preparing for a stark future. However, some companies have managed to slip the net and actually increase profits in this period of economic slow down. Ladbrokes is one of the lucky few who have reported an increase in profit.
Operating profits for the betting company were £243.8 million in the last 12 months leading up to December 2008, which is a 0.9% increase from the previous year. Of which high rollers accounted for £80.1 million.
Ladbrokes chief executive Chris Bell said of the news, “There is a lot of talk about how the economy and rising unemployment would affect our business. What we are seeing is that it isn't. Our betting shop customers are low-stake punters who are continuing to enjoy their hobby.”
However, recent adverse weather conditions have also created problems for the firm. 59 races have been cancelled so far in 2009- a record for the first seven weeks of the year- and many thoroughbred horses that are being trained up for the spring festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree being unable to make the journey. With between two and three hundred shops closed as staff were unable to get into work, the start of the year has been far from ideal, as Bell admits.
“The start to this year has been dreadful,” continued Bell. “The record number of cancellations being three times higher than for the average winter, but the current trading shows how resilient our business is.”