Ladbrokes
Operating profit fell by 9.3% to £125.4m in 2014Reuters

Betting firm Ladbrokes reported a drop in operating profit of 9.3% in 2014, and said it will be closing a further 60 stores in the coming year with up to 300 jobs at risk.

A spokesperson for the Labrokes told IBTimes UK that as many as 300 staff are at risk. He added that there will be a consultation process with the stores involved and if staff cannot be relocated, some could face the possibility of redundancy.

Operating profit fell to £125.4m (€171.4m, $194.8m) in the 12 months leading to 31 December as "regulatory headwinds" affect the company.

It shut 89 outlets in the last year, but it still has more than 2,000 outlets in Britain.

An impending rise in game machine tax and local council's empowerment to refuse planning applications for high street betting shops has meant that Ladbrokes and other betting firms have had to tighten their purse strings.

Richard Glynn, chief executive, said in a statement: "Strong operational delivery delivered a second half of growth as envisaged but the £8m hit on Boxing Day did take some of the shine off our performance. However, this is the business we are in and does not overshadow the positive customer reaction.

"Whilst recognising there are regulatory headwinds, Ladbrokes is confident in its plans for 2015."