Ladbrokes reports first loss in 10 years

Ladbrokes shopfront Image copyright PA

Bookmaker Ladbrokes says it has made a loss of £43.2m, its first in 10 years compared with a profit £37.7m in 2014.

Betting tax changes, as well as shop closures and a writedown on some remaining shops and software contributed.

Ladbrokes said tax had risen by £50m. It also took a £99m exceptional charge on the writedowns and merger costs.

The figures reflect for the first time a new a 15% "point of consumption" tax on gross profits.

The government also increased the levy for in-store fixed odd betting machines.

Ladbrokes' figures also include £19.8m in merger costs related to its tie-up with rival Coral, announced last year.

Introduced in December 2014, the new tax meant bookmakers had to pay UK tax if a bet was placed in Britain. Previously, betting companies paid tax from the country in which they were registered, which was often offshore with a low rate.

The tax on fixed-odds betting terminals also rose from 20% to 25%.

Full year revenue rose 3.2% to £1.1bn.

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