CEO Mullen wants to “reset” Ladbrokes

CEO Mullen wants to “reset” Ladbrokes

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 Totally Gaming
Jim Mullen has attacked "short-term thinking" following poor H1 figures

Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mullen has indicated a complete break with the past after the gaming giant reported poor results for H1 2015.

The company, which recently agreed to merge with rival Gala Coral, saw operating profit down 31.5 per cent on a year-on-year basis to £38.9m (€54.89m/$60.56m), while pre-tax and net profits both fell by 43.9 per cent to £24.7m and £22.2m respectively in the period to June 30.

Mullen – who replaced Richard Glynn in March  - pulled no punches in commenting on the interim results, vowing to remove what he perceived as a focus on “short-term thinking” under previous regimes.

“While we have some encouraging customer trends, we need to reset the business and invest,” Mullen said. “The results clearly show why we need to change and why we need to do so quickly.

“In July, we set out an organic plan to create a better business in 2017 with clear targets. While doing this removes the short-term thinking that had come to dominate our actions, we recognise it does create short-term impacts on our profitability. However, our focus has to be about looking forward, investing and utilising our strengths to grow.”

Mullen has identified digital growth as key to his strategy for Ladbrokes and the company’s former digital director will have been pleased to see revenue from this division up 6.9 per cent to £112.2m and overall net revenue up by 1.3 per cent to £585.4m. Having recently launched its new omni-channel platform, Mullen has also reiterated his support for an aggressive marketing strategy.

“There are signs in H1 that the customer is there to be convinced by the Ladbrokes offer - good gaming performance, strong mobile sportsbook KPIs and growth in Australia; we have a solid base to build on,” he said.

“So, going forward, expect to see the Ladbrokes brand more prominent across the media, a retail driven multi-channel offer rolling out to more customers, an evolving and improved digital offer and further progress in Australia.

“The proposed merger with the Gala Coral Group represents an exciting opportunity for the business but, with completion some way away, the focus for me and my team must be on the here and now of delivering on our organic plan, building a better Ladbrokes and driving performance towards our 2017 targets.”

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