Ladbrokes sees year profit at bottom of forecast range

LONDON, April 15 Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:16am EDT

LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Ladbrokes, Britain's second largest bookmaker, said it expected annual operating profit to be at the bottom end of market forecasts after softer trading than expected in the first quarter of the year.

In an early release of its first quarter trading statement, Ladbrokes said operating profit fell to 37.4 million pounds ($57.5 million) in the three months to March, down 13 million pounds, blaming higher costs and disappointing returns from the Cheltenham horse racing festival.

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