Bookmaker enjoys payoff in the home straight...

Bookies across the board were hammered at Cheltenham this year. Picture: Getty

Bookies across the board were hammered at Cheltenham this year. Picture: Getty

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Bookmaker Gala Coral has seen its first-half results boosted by the Grand National and football results in the UK and Italy as the industry attempts to bounce back from what the company called “the worst Cheltenham for the industry since 2003”.

The betting firm, which is in the midst of a £2.3 billion merger with rival Ladbrokes, saw core earnings rise 16 per cent to £124.6 million for the 28 weeks to 9 April

Chief executive Carl Leaver said the increase represented “a very satisfactory performance” for the group while revenues showed a year-on-year jump of 13 per cent to reach £604.9m.

Bookies across the board were hammered at Cheltenham this year as a large number of favourites winning races meant big payouts to punters.

In May, the Competition and Markets Authority said Ladbrokes and Coral may have to offload up to 400 high street stores as a condition of their proposed merger.

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