Underdog successes leaves Ladbrokes thanking the "sporting Gods"

The bookmakers are laughing all the way to the bank...

Underdog successes leaves Ladbrokes thanking the "sporting Gods"

Scott Heppell / AP

British betting company Ladbrokes saw its profits balloon by 61% in the first half of 2016.

Revenue rose to £661.8m (€782m) with pre-tax profits increasing to £39.8m (€47m).

The numbers left Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes' Chief Executive thanking "the sporting gods" for what he described as "some helpful bookmaker results."

While it paid-out £3m after Leicester won the Premier League title, it picked up all the money put down on traditional title contenders.

It has also indicated that there has been a surge in outright betting for the 2016/17 Premier League season - with punters looking beyond the usual suspects following Leicester City's 5,000/1 upset (today the club is 28/1 to repeat that achievement).

Euro 2016 also offered a favourable result for the bookies as it recorded strong trading through-out the tournament which was ultimately won by Portugal while money piled in behind hosts France and World Cup holders Germany.

Mr Mullen said that while such a string of results normally leads to a decrease in betting activity - this did not happen on this occasion:

"History would strongly dictate that such a run of results in our favour would see customer staking suffer, but encouragingly these numbers firmly buck that trend and combine strong staking and a good margin.

"However, 130 years of experience in sports betting has shown us that we will endure a run of customer friendly results and margins will normalise. Despite this assumption on results and our intention to continue investing in marketing, we have slightly increased our full year expectations," he added as a note of caution.