Sunday March 1,2015 : LADBROKES TO TAKE ACTION ON UNDERPERFORMING IRISH BRANCH
"Standing still is not an option," senior managers told.
The troubled land and online gambling group Ladbrokes is looking at ways to improve its underperforming Irish operations, reports The Independent newspaper, which has apparently obtained information about a recently launched strategic examination of Irish operations code-named "Project Arthru."
The newspaper claims that senior Irish managers were recently briefed on the challenges faced by the Irish operations, which employ 1,400 people, and were told that "standing still is not an option."
Options apparently include placing underperforming retail shops into examinership…or even a sell-off of the entire Irish operation.
Senior staff was told that the review would continue for several months before a report was presented to the group board of directors for decisions on the future of the Irish division.
The Independent was informed by an unnamed source that the Ladbrokes brand was still strong in Ireland, and the market had potential.
"Our Republic of Ireland estate has not been performing well in recent years and in 2014 it recorded a loss, which is not a sustainable situation going forward. Our international team is now carrying out a thorough review, entitled ‘Project Athru', of all our channels in return on investment," the source said.
Ladbrokes appeared to confirm that a review was in progress, saying in a statement to the Sunday Independent:
"As part of this process a wide range of options are being considered in order to rapidly turn around the fortunes of Ladbrokes in Ireland."
The Independent points out that the Irish market is competitive, with Ladbrokes running in third place behind companies like Paddy Power and Boyle Sports…and the group has been losing money for several years.
In moves to address the problem, Ladbrokes has directed its Irish management to report to the group's international division, headed by Damian Cope, which has a strong record in performance and efficiency.
The first fruit of this new structure is the review of operations now being carried out under the Project Arthru initiative.