Ladbrokes reported a 49.8% drop in profits Reuters

Gambling platform Ladbrokes has posted a steep decline in profits in its half year results, despite noting a strong World Cup performance.

Profit after tax plummeted by 49.8% in the six months leading up 30 June to reach a lowly £23.7m.

The poor results came even though it claimed to have a "good World Cup", but added that it took the half-year to focus on operational improvements.

"In the first half of 2014 we successfully delivered all of the planned operational improvements in time for the World Cup," said chief executive Richard Glynn.

"We have made substantial progress and while there is more to do there is also much to play for. Ladbrokes today is a far stronger company and well positioned for growth."

One of the main improvements that Ladbrokes made was to switch its gaming system to software developer Playtech.

Although this actually happened in 2013, Ladbrokes said that the effect of this took its toll in the first half of 2014, adding that it caused more disruption than expected as gaming net revenue was down 18.3% to £37.7m.

Shares in early morning trading for the betting platform were up by 2.6% to reach 133.91p. However, this only goes a fraction of the way to recovering the 25% drop in share value since the start of the year when they stood at 178.9p.