Posted 2/17/11 : UK betting group delivers results at the upper end of expectations
 
The 20 percent rise in full year operating profit reported this week by UK gambling group Ladbrokes plc should keep the shareholders happy. The land and online gambling group made an operating profit of GBP202.3 million pounds in 2010, up from GBP168.5 million the year before, thanks mainly to the popularity of new gambling machines and in-play betting.
 
Market expectations had ranged between GBP186 and GBP204 million with the consensus at GBP195 million, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of 16 analysts.
 
The company announced preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2010, posting profit attributable to equity holders of GBP348.3 million or 38.4 pence per share, well up from GBP74.4 million or 9.9 pence per share last year.
 
Profit for the year – continuing operations was GBP375.4 million, compared to GBP146.4 million in the prior year. Profit before taxation was GBP147.1 million, lower than GBP174.1 million a year ago, whilst pre-tax profit increased to GBP193.3 million from GBP191.3 million in the previous year.
 
However, revenue declined to GBP980.1 million from GBP1.03 billion in the prior year.
 
The Board has announced a final dividend of 3.75 pence per share taking the full year dividend to 7.60 pence per share.