British bookmaker Ladbrokes has shut 46 "under-performing" outlets in the last six months refocusing more on online gambling after it reported a 1,100 per cent rise in mobile stakes during the World Cup.
After a dismal year, Ladbrokes pre-tax profit dropped by almost half to £27.7m, with the firm blaming costly business upgrades on it “inevitably lagging behind” despite performing well during a "good World Cup".
As part of the nationwide restructure scheme, the bookmakers said further shop closures were "inevitable," however with a growing online user base of 600,000 active mobile customers, with 326,000 new registrants signing up in the last year, the firm cannot be accused of closing up shop.
Football gaming remained the strongest performer despite a decline in traditional products. During the period the bookmaker also upgraded 9,000 gaming machines.
Richard Glynn, Ladbrokes CEO, said the period of preparation left the bookmaker "well positioned for growth".
"We have made substantial progress. We now have the products, the platforms, the people and the brand in place to deliver. The results are unquestionably poor but they are in line with forecasts. It's also a positive narrative from Ladbrokes in that it has focused on all the things it is implementing to put it right."
Glynn added: "The board remains confident of the outlook for the business and in delivering a result in line with its expectations for the current year.”
Additionally, the bookmaker blames bad luck for the profit decline, citing a period of "industry-wide customer friendly results" in football and horse racing.
Ladbrokes last month told The Drum it had moved away from 'screaming odds' marketing instead focusing on how to accommodate different types of bettors with the BBH-made ‘Ladbrokes Life’ campaign.