Ladbrokes owner’s quarterly net gaming revenue rises

GVC Holdings reported flat like-for-like retail revenue in the UK for the first quarter

The company, Britain’s largest high street bookmaker, has expanded through partnerships and of late.

The company, Britain’s largest high street bookmaker, has expanded through partnerships and of late.

 

Ladbrokes owner GVC Holdings on Friday posted an 8 per cent growth in quarterly net gaming revenue, as strong online performance in sports and gaming bets offset retail weakness in Britain.

The company reported flat like-for-like retail revenue in the UK for the first quarter ended March 31st, but online net gaming revenue rose 17 per cent.

This comprised 16% growth in sports betting, while gaming was up 20%. Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said the results showed a continuing “strong trend” and represented an “excellent start to the year”.

The company, Britain’s largest high street bookmaker, has expanded through partnerships and of late has been focusing on the sports-betting and gaming opportunities in the United States.

GVC has weathered regulatory changes, including in the United States where the Justice Department had recently called for wider restrictions on gambling over the internet.

The company said it was confident of achieving its target of double-digit online growth in gaming revenue in 2019.

However, back home in Britain, restrictions on fixed odd betting terminals was expected to result in the closure of up to a 1,000 shops and impact GVC’s 2019 core profit by about £135 million ($176.6 million).

Fixed odds betting terminals are electronic machines in betting shops, which contain a variety of games, including roulette.

Maximum betting

The new regulations were implemented in April and maximum betting was limited to £2 ($2.62) from a £100 in an effort to keep a check on problem gambling.

“We expect it to be several weeks before we can start to assess the impact,” Mr Alexander said in a statement.

However, the company, which offers sports betting, casino, poker and bingo and has licences in more than 20 countries, was confident of meeting the expectations for its overall full-year core and operating profit.

Davy said the trading update “confirms a strong start to the year, albeit the pace of growth appears to have moderated in March”.

Shares of the former FTSE blue-chip component rose 1.9 per cent to 594 pence in early trading. It ended the session still ahead a more moderate 0.86 per cent. – Reuters