Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen has said that he wants to ‘restore our passion and pride of being at the heart of sportsbetting in our culture and all that we do’ as he announced his delayed business review of the bookmaker.
Amid the details of merger deal with Coral, Mullen revealed the plans he has been developing for Ladbrokes since taking the CEO role earlier this year.
Mullen has laid out a three-year, marketing-led campaign to:
- aggressively grow its UK Digital recreational sportsbetting customer base, through more intense brand and direct marketing, to build digital scale and accelerate growth
- increase footfall in UK Retail, through increased sponsorship, marketing, investment in SSBTs and selective improvements to fabric, to improve OTC revenue and address performance
- deliver multi-channel revenue growth from our UK Retail and Digital customer base through investing in retail staff training and incentivisation, relevant offers and systems
- accelerate Ladbrokes Australia’s revenue growth further through more intensive marketing and increasing headcount plans to grow market share
Detailing the plan, Mullen said that the investment programme planned to build Ladbrokes’ UK Retail, Digital and Australian recreational customer base. “I also intend to restore our passion and pride of being at the heart of sportsbetting in our culture and all that we do.
“In the UK our focus will be on offering market-leading product in Digital, whilst on the high street, a focused reinvigoration of our shops and our people will re-establish Ladbrokes as the go-to sportsbetting experts.
“We see significant untapped opportunity for Ladbrokes to become a truly multichannel sportsbetting business where only 11% of retail customers currently also bet with us online. Our Australian business is a jewel – growing rapidly in an enthusiastic sportsbetting market and we intend to continue to support, and learn from, their innovation and growth.”
Mullen said that the current trading has seen results continue to favour customers but the underlying customer metrics, on which he has built the strategy, provide strong support for the plan.
“We will implement this programme responsibly with care for the interests of our staff and customers but this programme is urgent, overdue and essential if we are to build a more sustainable and valuable Ladbrokes. This plan is not without its challenges or impacts, particularly upon dividends in the short term, however I am confident that this time, it is deliverable.”
The half year ended 30 June has seen Ladbrokes post a 38.2% drop in operating profit to £41.7m on flat turnover of £588.8m (albeit against a tough comparative – without the 2014 World Cup turnover edged up 2.7%).