Ladbrokes remains confident of delivering full year results in line with its expectations after its fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year net revenue growth in the third quarter. In UK Retail, net revenue increased by 1.9%. Ladbrokes said higher OTC margins had a more normalised impact on Q3 OTC staking which was down 4.3% or 3.9% on a like-for-like basis although in football, and the group said it saw staking growth of 17.3% as customers respond to its value proposition. OTC gross win margin of 16.1% was up 0.6ppts year on year which meant OTC net revenue was broadly flat. It added: "Staking through BetStation increased by 76.7% and represented c.10% of OTC staking (Q3 2015: c.5%). Machines net revenue grew 4.0% (like-for-like 4.6%) benefiting from our sustained strategy of introducing and promoting lower staking slots and B3 content which is increasingly popular with customers. "We have maintained the intensity around our multi-channel offer and our UK Retail team have delivered over 120,000 actives since launch in 2015. Multi-channel customers contributed c.11% of sportsbook net revenue in Q3." In Digital, Ladbrokes.com and Exchanges net revenue increased by 32.7%. Sportsbook delivered its 11th consecutive quarter of year on year stakes growth with stakes up 26.2% and actives up 35.6%. Mobile staking increased by 31.6% and now accounts for 78.9% of sportsbook staking. Sportsbook net revenue rose 47.9% benefiting from an increased margin of 7.7% reflecting our focus on the recreational customer. Gaming net revenue was up 23.7%, our 8th consecutive quarter of year on year growth. In Australia, on a local currency basis, staking grew 50.6% and revenue increased by 89.6% on the back of actives growth of 42.5%. In European Retail net revenue grew 11.3% (+1.1% on a constant currency basis). In Belgium OTC amounts staked have increased 9.5% driven by the investment in SSBTs and virtual products. In Ireland, OTC staking was up 7.9%. Chief executive Jim Mullen said: "We've emerged from a busy summer of sport with more evidence that our strategy of appealing to the recreational customer is delivering growth and we remain confident of delivering full year results in line with our expectations. "Across all our key pillars we have been encouraged by the customer reaction. We have delivered growth for a fourth successive quarter in Group net revenue, and in Ladbrokes.com an eleventh in sportsbook staking and an eighth in gaming. "In Australia, we've continued to enjoy tremendous success across all measures in the form of improved margin, strong staking and actives growth. "Our margin has been resilient, benefitting from our strategy of focusing on the recreational customer, deploying BetStation across the estate and growing in football. This margin has been in spite of loss-making racing festivals at Goodwood and York; I said at our half year results in August that sporting results would turn against us and in Racing they promptly did. "However, we did enjoy a strong end to the Euros and a stuttering start to the season for Manchester United and Barcelona has been in our favour. With the Melbourne Cup, an action-packed Boxing Day, the return of the National Hunt season and an intense programme of top level football to come, there remain significant opportunities and risks ahead. "These results have been achieved by a group of colleagues whose commitment to delivering Ladbrokes' Plan A has been all the more impressive given the ongoing work towards completion of our merger with Coral. "Following our agreement to sell 359 shops subject to CMA approval, we are close to completion of the deal and look forward to the opportunities it will bring to customers, colleagues and shareholders."
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