Sunday 19 January 2020

World Cup and warm weather boost growth at Ladbrokes owner GVC

France with the trophy at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (Owen Humphreys/PA)
France with the trophy at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Jack Torrance

Punters having a flutter on the World Cup and the recent run of hot weather helped revenues at gambling giant GVC surge in the three months to June.

GVC, which was recently promoted to the FTSE 100 after its £4bn acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral, saw an 11pc hike in net gaming revenues - a measure of the amounts wagered minus the cost of paying out winnings.

The company said it benefitted from both an overall increase in the bets and an increase in gross win margin, a key industry measure, as results fell in its favour.

Bookmakers breathed a sigh of relief when England was knocked out by Croatia in last week’s semi-final after gamblers bet millions of pounds that Gareth Southgate’s squad would win the tournament.  

Like-for-like revenues at GVC’s UK betting shops rose 2pc over the period following the surge in bets, compared to a 5pc decline in the previous quarter, partly because of better weather following wintery storms in the previous quarter. Its online business grew much faster, up 22pc.

Analysts at Barclays said GVC had delivered a “strong update” but warned against investors “getting carried away” given the one-off benefit of the World Cup.

Kenneth Alexander, chief executive, said: “The strong momentum across the online business has continued and means we are well placed to deliver against our full year expectations."

GVC, whose existing operations were mostly online, is still in the early stages of integrating Ladbrokes Coral, which owns the UK’s biggest estate of high street bookmakers.

Shares in GVC were down 2.4pc at £10.80 in midday trade.

Online Editors

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