Portfolio

GVC first-half profit falls 14% after shutdown

By Sean Farrell

Date: Thursday 13 Aug 2020

GVC first-half profit falls 14% after shutdown

(Sharecast News) - GVC Holdings reported a 14% drop in first-half profit as online revenue helped offset the shutdown of the company's retail bookmaking operations and sporting events during the Covid-19 crisis.
Underlying operating profit for the six months to the end of June dropped to £223.9m from £260.3m as net gaming revenue (NGR) fell 11 £1.62bn. The company said it expected to report underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £720-£740m for 2020.

Online NGR rose 19% as some retail customers switched to internet gambling and from sports to gaming. Online gaming NGR rose 31% and online sports NGR rose 5%. UK retail NGR from GVC's Coral and Ladbrokes operations fell 50% after betting shops were forced to close for much of the second quarter. European retail NGR fell 48%.

The FTSE 100 company's first-half EBITDA fell 5% to £348.6m, near the top of guidance for earnings between £340m and £350m. GVC paid no interim dividend because of market uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

Shay Segev, GVC's chief executive, said: "Given the unprecedented trading environment, GVC has delivered an encouraging performance in the first half, underlining the strength of our diversified business model and the expertise, adaptability and dedication of our people."

He said strong online business, the reopening of retail operations and the return of sporting events meant GVC was in a good position for the rest of 2020.

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