GVC Holdings posts accelerated revenue growth for H1 2018

GVC Holdings has published a H1 trading update as it outlines the group’s performance for shareholders having completed the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral earlier this year.

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Digital revenue continues to grow at the group while takings in betting shops continues to fall. © Pexels.

The update covers the six months up to June 30 2018. Figures are particularly positive for digital. Online business grew by 20% over the period, along with a 22% net gaming revenue (NGR) increase across digital verticals. Group total NGR increased by 8%.

However, retail growth, especially among the recently acquired Ladbrokes Coral betting outlets, has stagnated.

UK betting shops have experienced a drop of 3% in NGR, due in part, the group said, to adverse weather conditions in the UK throughout the period.

However, both retail and online revenues were helped by an improvement in weather and the 2018 World Cup, which began towards the end of the period.

The World Cup has seen record numbers being taken by bookmakers and GVC reported a higher than expected gross margin, along with increased new customer deposits. This has helped to increase revenues and offset the loss made by retail outlets by the group.

Chief executive of GVC Holdings, Kenny Alexander, said:

I am pleased to report this positive trading update whilst at the same time undertaking the integration of the Ladbrokes Coral business. The strong momentum across the online business has continued and means we are well placed to deliver against our full year expectations. Kenny Alexander, GVC Holdings chief executive

The £4bn acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral was completed in April this year and the group is still in the early stages of implementing the merger.

Things appear to be moving smoothly with the merger, but the group has not been without controversy. In June, after continued pressure from shareholders, non-executive director, Peter Isola, stepped down from his post due to disagreements over excessive pay for executives.

Group CEO Kenny Alexander was not exempt from criticism after being awarded £45m in share options since 2016.

However, pay policy at the group is linked to its share price, which has grown steadily under Alexander, which executives say is justification for the high remuneration.

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