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Revenues at Ladbrokes Coral were boosted by the Cheltenham Festival and online betting, but the company’s growth has been dampened by a fall in wagers at its betting shops.

The FTSE 250 company said, in the period between the start of the year and 23 April, that “sporting results in the UK gave with one hand and took with the other.”

Like other bookmakers, Ladbrokes Coral enjoyed big gains at Cheltenham, the annual horseracing festival which took place in March and featured a string of upsets that left punters out of pocket.

But other results, such as an “unusually bad” sequence of scores in Italian football, meant that the group was only “marginally ahead overall”.

The company said that group net revenues had risen 2 per cent on a constant currency basis. Revenues from its online gambling arm grew 18 per cent on a constant currency basis.

But the bookmaker added that over-the-counter wagers at bits UK betting shops, which still account for the majority of its revenues, fell 2 per cent as the company suffers from the shift of gamblers choosing to bet online rather than in store.

Jim Mullen, chief executive, said: “Trading in the period was in-line with our expectations.”

He added:

UK retail over the counter stakes continue to exhibit the negative trends reported since the middle of 2016, driven by the challenging UK High Street environment…

The online market remains highly competitive, although recent high profile sporting events seem to indicate that as much emphasis is being placed on customer retention as is being placed on the acquisition of new customers.

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