Ladbrokes hit by adverse telephone betting results and tough retail trading

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A 52 per cent increase in eGaming gross win was offset by adverse high-roller activity which pushed telephone betting gross win down 58 per cent.

The London-based bookmaker suffered especially from horse-racing results in October with many races won by the favourite.

“Its been an extraordinary few weeks where first and second favourite horses have been winning. On 11 October, two-thirds of winners were favourite or second favourite. On 23 October, that figure was 70%,” said a spokesman for the bookmaker.

“At Plumpton, on 31 October, first home in the first four races were favourite and second favourites came home first in the rest.”

Despite Hilton, owner of Ladbrokes, said the group\’s pretax profits rose 10 per cent, shares were off 1% to 334.5p.

The day before, shares of Hilton lost 2.5% after that Lehman Brothers cut its rating to \’underweight\’ from \’overweight\’.

“We turning moderately more cautious on the pace of recovery for the betting business,” Lehman said in an e-mail.

“We feel the rapid growth of on-line poker could cannibalise core revenues in the online sports betting and gaming business.”