British bookmaker Ladbrokes has warned on profits for the second time this year.

The company continued to see weakness in its online business that increases pressure on management to prove it can deliver promised improvements next year.

Ladbrokes has lagged behind William Hill and Paddy Power in producing attractive products for the growing number of gamblers who bet on sports events through their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Seeking to make up ground, Ladbrokes this year formed an alliance with software developer Playtech, itself a former joint venture partner with William Hill. 

However, it is taking longer than expected for the alliance to pay off.

Ladbrokes has struggled to run two sets of products and manage tensions between workers fearful of losing their jobs and a new development team based in Israel.

"We are disappointed that the digital results are not coming through yet," chief executive Richard Glynn said."We are behind where we wanted to be at this time,'' he admitted.

CEO Glynn has had a troubled tenure since taking charge of Ladbrokes in 2010, with this year's profit warnings following a downgrade blamed on digital problems last year.

Chairman Peter Erskine said the company would support Glynn and his strategy for the time being, having invested £50m to improve the company's online products.

Seeking to reassure investors, Ladbrokes said it would maintain its dividend at the current level for 2013 and at least match that again in 2014.

In a trading update brought forward from October, Ladbrokes said that its digital business would have operating profits of between £10-14m this year, compared with a market forecast of £27.5m.

Group operating profit fell almost 20% to £85.7m in the first six months, the company said in August. It had warned in April that profit for the year would fall after a poor performance from horse racing and online gaming in the first quarter.