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Ladbrokes bemoans 'disappointing' online performance as it lowers digital forecast

Ladbrokes has been forced to lower the expectations of its online business following a "disappointing" performance during "a challenging period" for the business.

The bookmakers has has downgraded its profit forecast to between £10m and £14m, having endured a "difficult" July, although it has since a stabilisation in revenue through machines, while footfall has also recovered.

Despite this, the company's digital offering has yet to see any "discernible improvements" as it works towards integrating its online platforms.

As a result, the company has forecast UK pre-tax earnings to be £143.8m for this year and £152.5m for next year, with digital revenue expected at £27.5m in 2013" rising to £40.6m in 2014.

Richard Glynn, CEO of Ladbrokes, commented: "Our Digital earnings have been disappointing reflecting a lack of competitiveness in sportsbook, lower margins than planned and a greater disruptive impact than expected from the transition necessary to grow Digital for the long term.

"We remain focused on the operational changes required to deliver momentum in the retail business and to achieve a fully integrated digital platform. These are on track to be completed between now and the early part of 2014. We remain confident that the strong foundations we are putting in place will drive performance during 2014 and beyond," he added.

The Drum reported earlier this week that Ladbrokes was set to review its advertising account.