GVC Holdings see steady 2019 however annual loss widens

GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) have reported ‘good’ 2019 performance – as the firm has assessed its’ recent merger with Ladbrokes Coral.

The bookmaker noted that revenue across 2019 was 22% higher than the comparative one year ago, as revenue totaled £3.66 billion.

GVC reported however that it had delivered a pretax loss of £174.2 million, which was massively widened from the £18.9 million figure one year ago.

The CEO commented: “Our first full year since the Ladbrokes Coral acquisition has been a good one, and the performance has continued to be underpinned by our unique and highly effective operating model. We have delivered very strong growth in our Online business, including market share gains in all major territories, and good momentum in our Europeasn Retail business.

This revenue growth has more than offset the impact on the UK Retail business of the £2 restriction on B2 machines stakes. We are delighted with the progress that is being made on the Ladbrokes Coral integration, and in the US the launch of BetMGM on the GVC platform in New Jersey was an important milestone for our business there and enables us to remain on track to deliver on our ambitions in this exciting market”.

The firm said that the widened loss was due to a £245 million impairment in the Online business due to new taxes in regions such as New Zealand and Tasmania as well as costs related to the Ladbrokes Coral and Bwin deals.

On a better note, GVC said that they saw underlying pretax profit rise 23% to £535.8 million.

UK Retail like-for-like net gaming revenue declined by 12%, whilst like-for-like sports net gaming revenue in retail jumped 7%.

GVC said that they intend to pay a second interim dividend of 17.6 p per share, which gives an annual total of 35.2p.

Kenneth Alexander, CEO, concluded: “During the year, we have also continued to clearly demonstrate our leadership in, and commitment to, Responsible Gambling with a number of decisive actions, not least being the first in our industry to commit to a ten-fold increase in contributions to Responsible Gambling causes and our call for a total ban on sports-betting television advertising in the UK. Having an effective regulatory environment is critically important in encouraging customers to play with responsible regulated operators. With that in mind, it is our firm view that over-regulation in the UK would result in customers moving to the black market where there is zero responsibility, zero protection and zero tax being paid to the Treasury. As a consequence, it would also lead to a reverse in the considerable decline in problem gambling that the industry has delivered over recent years.

Looking ahead, we are confident that GVC’s broad international footprint, proven track record of acquisition and strong organic growth will continue to present significant opportunities for further expansion.”

Shares in GVC Holdings trade at 793p (-1.71%). 5/3/20 11:54BST.

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