Aug 13, 2020

GVC profit fall cushioned by surge in online gambling

GVC, owner of bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral, forecast 2020 earnings that are higher than analysts' estimates, as a rise in online gambling and the reopening of betting shops helps to remedy pandemic-related uncertainty. Underlying earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation are expected to come in between £720m and £740m for the year, assuming no further disruptions, only 3 to 5 per cent lower than the previous year and above analyst forecasts of £681m in a Bloomberg poll. "The strong performance of the online business coupled with the return of the sporting calendar and the reopening of our retail operations means that the group is well placed for the balance of the year," GVC said. Online gambling revenues rose by almost 20 per cent in the first half of the year, while revenues for betting shops in the UK were halved, with a similar fall seen in its European bricks-and-mortar outlets due to government-mandated closures. GVC has faced recent challenges after Kenny Alexander, its chief executive of 13 years, stepped down with little notice and UK tax authorities launched a probe into its former Turkish online gaming business.

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