Dec 7, 2017

Opening Quote: GVC’s festive offer to Ladbrokes; Boxing day for DS Smith

Under the terms of the proposed deal, GVC would acquire the entire share capital of Ladbrokes Coral for 160.9p per share, plus an extra element of up to 42.8p per share conditional on the FOBT decision. Ladbrokes Coral shareholders would then hold c.46.5 per cent of the newly combined company, and GVC shareholders would hold c.53.5 per cent. No matter, DS Smith's half-year results bring tidings of great joy: revenues were up 19 per cent to £2.8bn - thanks to both organic growth and continued acquisitions. Analysts had only expected total revenues to be up 10 per cent to £2.6bn. Organic volumes were up 5.2 per cent - even faster than the 3.2 per cent rise reported in the last full year. Operating profit therefore rose 11 per cent to £251m, against analyst forecasts of a 7 per cent rise to £240m. Return on capital came in at 14.6 per cent, towards the top end of previous expectations.

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