20 Feb 2010

Ladbrokes hit by recession

9:56 am on 20 February 2010

Ladbrokes blames the economy for a 28% fall in betting profits for 2009.

The company said it made 191.3 million pounds ($US301.5 million) last year, compared to 265.6 million pounds in 2008.

Sales fell by 28%, as UK punters cut their spending in the recession.

The BBC reports the company sees the FIFA World Cup in June - July as an opportunity to increase profits and attract new customers.

Ladbrokes also hopes to boost business through the launch of a new service, allowing punters to bet on the future direction of stock markets, shares and currencies.

The BBC reports the company has already imposed a pay freeze until 2011 in an effort to reduce costs.

In November, it announced plans to close a call centre at Aintree with the loss of up to 263 jobs.