|Leading gaming company Ladbrokes has confirmed that it is still in discussion with online casino giant 888 over a possible takeover bid.|
It noted that the negotiations continue to be 'complex because of the current conditions in the US.'
In November 2006 Ladbrokes was deliberating over an offer for 888 that was intended to bolster its Internet gambling division. Ladbrokes is currently in a very favourable position to expand its business interests with the announcement that its annual pre-tax profit saw a significant rise after the sale of its hotel unit and bumper World Cup winnings.
Pre-tax profit rose to £669.8 million for the year ending 31 December 2006 compared to £394.0 million in the previous year. Gross win, or the amount won from gamblers, rose 9.9 percent to £1 billion.
'2006 has been a good year,' said chairman Ian Robinson in the company statement. 'Management has successfully established Ladbrokes as a market leading, standalone betting and gaming company.'