Now known as Ladbrokes Coral, thanks to the huge merger between the two bookmaking giants, Ladbrokes has been a major name in the gambling industry since it was originally founded back in 1886.
If you’ve taken a walk down your local high street in the last 100 years, you’ll no doubt have seen one of their shops, famous for their bright red colour scheme and bold white block text that makes their shops almost unmissable. But how did it all start for this company that is now a member of the FTSE 250 index.
Who are Ladbrokes?
As mentioned previously, Ladbrokes were originally founded way back in 1886, but were officially given the name Ladbrokes a little later, in 1902. Originally formed at Ladbroke Hall in Warwickshire, the company was soon moved to London, where they spent the next few years gathering clientele from the British Aristocracy, upper classes and members of some of London’s most elite gentlemen’s clubs.
During the early part of the 20th Century, their stalls could be found on racecourses all around the UK, however, when betting shops were first legalized by the UK government in 1961, the main focus became growing the retail betting business, which seen Ladbrokes go from having less than 50 betting shops in 1967, to well over 1000 by 1973. Visit our horse race bet page to see the latest offers for this sport.
As well as this, the company also furthered its reach and began buying up other ventures such as hotels, holiday centres and real estate. They also bought a chain of DIY stores, before returning their focus to gambling sometime later.
Despite their seemingly meteoric rise, the brand has not been without its controversy. In 1979, they were forced to close four casinos in London, due to the exposure of illegal marketing schemes and bribing a police officer, in order to gather information about high stakes punters at rival casinos.
Ladbrokes first tried to purchase Coral way back in 1998, however, they were forced to sell Coral after a commission found that the merger was anti-competitive and as a result, Coral was then sold for £390million in a management buyout that was financed by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity.
Fast forward to recent times however, and a successful merger between Ladbrokes and the Gala Coral Group was announced, together making them the biggest bookmaker in the UK with over 30,000 staff and more than 4,000 shops. The merger was made official in 2016, with their name changing to Ladbrokes Coral Group.
Simply put, a share price is the price of a single share of saleable stocks of a company. Share prices do not remain the same however, and will fluctuate for one of a number of reasons. For example, it goes without saying that if a company is doing well, its share price will be higher than if it was underperforming.
However, outside factors may also have an influence. If the economy is struggling altogether, this may see the share price of a company fall, even if that company is actually doing quite well. So, it’s always worth doing your homework when deciding whether or not to invest.
As for Ladbrokes, in recent years the share price has remained pretty consistent, sticking at between 160 and 173.50 for the last year. However, Ladbrokes, along with other major bookmakers, took a big hit back in December 2016, when their shares toppled to a lowly 112.02p on the back of some heavy criticism of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), from a report released by MP’s. However, in January of this year, share prices jumper over three percent, despite some poor sporting results in the UK affecting their overall profits.
Ladbrokes PLC Dividend History
A dividend is a sum of money that is regularly paid by a company, to its shareholders that comes out of its profits. So, if you have shares in this company, you’ll also need to know what the dividend is. Typically, dividends are paid twice per year. At the end of 2017, the dividend paid by Ladbrokes for one share stood at 4p, which represented a 100% increase from the previous year’s 2p final dividend.
The highest dividend in recent history was 7.71p, which was paid for two years running in 2007 and 2007. The lowest was 2p, again for two years running back in 2015 and 2016, which also coincided with the criticism of FOBT’s and the plan to limit the amount punters could spend in one spin. The current forecast for this year stands at around 2.2p, which would be a 1.8p fall on last year’s final dividend.