Ladbrokes pledges renewed focus on digital

Ladbrokes has said it will focus on delivering several key technology developments in the second half of the year, following a significant decline in digital profits.

The betting company had anticipated some decline in digital profits, due to increased marketing costs and withdrawal from certain international markets, but revealed in a profit warning last month that the decline had been “exacerbated” by delays in the delivery of certain technology projects.

One of the delayed IT projects was the transfer of all customers to a new website by the Euro 2012 football tournament, which took place in June. The migration was postponed due to negative feedback.

In the company’s financial results for the half year ended 30 June 2012, Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn said today: “During Q4 we will deliver our new sportsbook, and begin the subsequent migration of all active customers [continuing into Q1 2013]. Our new mobile platform, which is reliant on the same technology, will then follow.”

Ladbrokes plans to begin beta testing its new mobile platform during the first quarter of 2013, and expects to migrate customers once the testing is complete. Furthermore, it hopes to deploy a new active data warehouse, currently being used by its traders, to its marketing team by the end of the year, saying that the improved analytics will give its marketing staff a single, cross-channel and cross-product view of all transactional data.

“The active data warehouse, now in use to underpin our new trading fieldbook, will be deployed further in Q4, providing enhanced analytics to our marketing teams. This then facilitates the subsequent development of our customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities,” Glynn said.

He added: “We will also extend the use of recent enhancements in our trading systems to cover further core sporting products. We remain confident that a combination of these developments, together with continued improvements to CRM throughout 2013, will allow us to grow our digital business significantly.”

Ladbrokes also re-confirmed that its digital profits had nearly halved since last year, standing at £15 million for the first half of 2012, down 49.5 percent from £29.7 million.

Despite the poor performance in its digital business, the company’s overall group revenue and operating profit grew by 8.4 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the company has appointed its IT director Mark Grimes to its board after the resignation of digital executive Richard Ames.

Ames, who was head of product responsible for IT and trading at Ladbrokes, resigned as a director of the company yesterday (1 August).

“Director of IT Mark Grimes will join the executive committee to ensure technology delivery is given increased profile and scrutiny,” Ladbrokes said.


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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