Mar 16, 2020

European betting groups issue flurry of profit warnings

Gambling groups Flutter Entertainment, GVC and William Hill all issued profit warnings on Monday, as the widespread cancellation of sporting events ground betting to a halt. Although the FTSE 100 company did not say by how much betting had dropped since the health crisis began, it warned that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation would take a hit of between £90m and £110m. The news sent its shares down by as much as 16 per cent while rivals GVC and William Hill fell 20 per cent and 25 per cent respectively, prompting them to also issue statements to the market. The group's debt and exposure to high street betting shops makes it the most vulnerable of the listed betting companies, according to Warwick Bartlett, chief executive at research firm Global Betting and Gaming Consultants. GVC, the group behind Ladbrokes Coral, warned that postponed or cancelled sports events would hit its ebitda by up to £150m. Sports betting made up roughly half the company's £3.7bn in net gambling revenues last year but chief executive Kenneth Alexander said GVC was in a "Robust position to manage the impact on our operations". Charles Gillespie, chief executive of private group, said he expected only "Residual" betting relating to politics and reality TV programmes over the next six months.

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