British bookmaker, Ladbrokes, has seen a 34 percent increase in operating profits for the group in the first half of the year. Its Irish business performed particularly well, despite its smaller Irish presence following a restructuring in 2015.

Following an examinership process last year undertaken to stem losses in its Irish business, Ladbrokes reported that the Irish arm of its company has benefited from a “more competitive estate.”

Ladbrokes Irish retail business experienced a 76 percent rise in profits to £4.4 million in the first half of the year, despite the number of its stores operated in Ireland being slashed from 192 to 142 and stores in Northern Ireland reduced from 79 to 77. As a result, the number of stakes placed in its stores dropped 7.5 percent to £218.1 million in the first half of the year. However, stakes on a like-for-like basis rose 9.7 percent and net revenue climbed 2 percent for its Irish business. Net revenue on a reported basis dropped 3.6 percent to £32.4 million in Ireland during that period.

However, Ladbrokes reported that its total group revenue jumped 13.1 percent to £661.8 million and operating profits rose 34.4 percent to £52.3 million in the first half of the year.

Ladbrokes is currently in the middle of merger finalisations with Gala Coral. The £2.2 billion merger has already received provisional competition clearance although the companies are required to sell between 350 and 400 retail betting shops in order to receive final approval.

“With the merger on the horizon, we recognise there is a lot of hard work still to come, but this is an exciting time for Ladbrokes,” stated Jim Mullen, chief executive of Ladbrokes.