Ladbrokes stocks are up this morning (February 25th) despite a sharp drop in profits at the company revealed in its latest financial results.
The firm announced that its pre-tax profits for 2013 were recorded at £67.6 million, which was down 66 per cent on 2012. Ladbrokes said this was due to £51.6 million in exceptional costs, a total that was driven largely by a software upgrade.
Chief executive Richard Glyn admitted that the bookmaker's latest results were "disappointing", but insisted that the company had made "real operational progress" in the last 12 months.
As part of its plans to improve its financial position in 2014, Ladbrokes announced it is planning to close between 40 and 50 of its stores this year.
Ladbrokes is aiming to complete its software upgrade – the result of a deal with Playtech – in time for the Fifa World Cup, which is taking place in Brazil this summer.
The company is one of the largest UK bookmakers but has come under fire for its use of fixed odds betting machines, which allow users to gamble large sums in a short period.
Mr Glyn said Ladbrokes took the issue of responsible gambling "very seriously" and added: "Problem gamblers, contrary to popular myth, are not good for business."
Although shares in Ladbrokes initially rose by three per cent on the news, by 13:32 GMT they had lost ground and were up just 0.53 per cent for the day.
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