Aug 10 (Reuters) - Ladbrokes Plc Chief Executive Richard Glynn needs to prove that the British bookmaker’s recent strategic moves are bearing fruit when it posts results this week, a top 10 shareholder said, the Sunday Times reported.
Ladbrokes needs to show some “pretty clear performance indicators” to prove that its new digital platform worked well through the World Cup and had helped the company win customers back, said the shareholder, whom the newspaper did not identify.
Britain’s second-largest bookmaker in February warned that operating profit would take a hit in the first half of 2014, because it was taking the company longer than expected to switch its gaming products to a new online system.
Ladbrokes last year tied up with software developer Playtech Plc to upgrade its online service as it aimed to make up ground lost to larger rival William Hill Plc and capture the growing number of gamblers who bet on sports events through their computers, tablets or smartphones.
The shareholder was quoted as saying, “We also want to see an uptick in the performance of machine revenues. Without that, the chief executive is toast. With that, he’s got more time, but he’s still under pressure.”
Bookmakers have been hit by government plans to increase taxes on high-stakes gambling machines, which account for a large slice of their traditional betting shop business.
Matters have not been made easy for Ladbrokes by the fact that, like some other bookmakers, the company had to make big payouts to gamblers on two weekends when many of the top soccer teams won.
Ladbrokes could not immediately be reached for comment outside of regular business hours in Britain. The company is slated to report its interim results on Aug. 12.
Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; editing by Jane Baird