UPDATE 1-Ladbrokes says had good World Cup after online woes
* Shares up 2.5 pct
* First-half operating profit falls by a third
* Disruptions from switch to new online platform (Adds CEO comments, analyst reaction, shares)
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Ladbrokes said it had a strong World Cup, laying the foundations for a better second half after disruption caused by switching its online operations to a new platform caused first-half operating profit to fall by a third.
Britain's second-biggest bookmaker after William Hill has struggled to establish its online presence and an alliance with software developer Playtech has taken longer than expected to deliver improvements.
The group, which trades from more than 2,800 High Street locations as well as online, said operating profit fell to 56.8 million pounds ($95.2 million), just beating market expectations, on net revenue up 1.6 percent to 577.8 million pounds for the six months to end-June.
Chief Executive Richard Glynn, who had come under pressure from some shareholders eager to see evidence of improvement, said the operational problems had been fixed.
"We set ourselves a target at the beginning of the year to make ourselves match-fit for the World Cup, and I think on anyone's examination we had a strong World Cup," he said in an interview on Tuesday. Continuación...