Ladbrokes digital strategy under scrutiny from investors

Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn is under increased pressure to show progress on digital plans, as the bookmaker prepares to reveal poor half-year financial results on Tuesday.

Ladbrokes is expected to announce a 35 percent drop in operating profit, reports the Telegraph, after investing in back office IT systems to support its online and mobile betting strategy.

However it is understood that investor unrest around Glynn’s leadership will be tempered by evidence of growth within its digital business, and the CEO will provide reassurance that progress made will be reflected on the firm’s balance sheet in the second half of the year, ahead of the introduction of a new 15 percent online betting tax.

The company spent £56 million last year as it transitioned its Playtech’s IMS back office system, in a four-year deal with the gaming software provider. In April it completed the creation of a single betting wallet, as part of its goal to have the “best in class CRM”. The company also launched its mobile sportsbook in December, after partnering with the Chelsea Apps Factory.

These investments in digital impacted the firm’s bottom line during 2013, and Glynn was forced to issue a profitability warning for the first half of this year as the business transformation took place.

“As we have made clear, H1 is about delivery and H2 is about growth,” he said.

“Our immediate focus is on the completion of our remaining platform, product and capability upgrades, notably single wallet and CRM, which will begin to deliver tangible benefits from the World Cup onwards.”

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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