Digital and European retail fuel growth at GVC Holdings

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Publishing its interim 2018 results for the six months to June 30, gaming operator group GVC Holdings reported group revenues of £1.1bn – a year-on-year increase of eight per cent.

Gross profits were £763m in the period, while group underlying EBITDA was £235m. These are the first results since GVC completed the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral in March.

Kenneth Alexander, group CEO of GVC Holdings, said: “The performance of the GVC group in the first half has been extremely pleasing in what has been a very busy period.

“Strong momentum in online and European retail has continued, and a positive World Cup helped improve trends in UK Retail in the second quarter.”

GVC recorded underlying group profits of £113m, as the company outlines further beneficial synergies arising from the Ladbrokes Coral purchase. “The acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral completed on March 28 and the integration of that business is progressing well,” said Alexander.

“We have now identified cap-ex synergies of at least £30m in addition to the £130m cost synergies and we are well placed to deliver those savings while driving top-line growth. We are gaining market share in all our key markets and we will look to reinvest to further strengthen our market position.”

GVC also provided an update on the progress of its 50-50 joint venture with Nasdaq-listed US casino operator MGM Resorts, which was announced in July.

Continued Alexander: “The repeal of PASPA by the US Supreme Court in May provides a significant new market opportunity and we are delighted to have announced a joint venture with MGM Resorts to provide sports-betting and online gaming services in the US.

“The combination of MGM’s leading brands together with GVC’s proprietary technology, and both businesses’ combined betting and gaming expertise, puts the group in the best possible position to benefit from what could become the world’s largest regulated sports-betting market,” he said.

“Our strategy to build scale and diversification through organic growth and acquisition is more relevant today than ever. Gaming regulation continues to evolve globally creating both opportunities and challenges, with barriers to entry rising all the time. Against this backdrop, GVC is well positioned to continue to create further shareholder value.”