Gala Coral in strong shape after H1

By David Cook
Increases in EBITDA, net revenue and gross profit were highlights of Gala Coral’s half-year financial report.

The report covered the 28 weeks ended 9 April and group EBITDA was £124.6m, up 16% year-on-year.

Group net revenue was £604.9m, up by £70.5m, and group gross profit was £413.1m, an increase of £38.7m.

Net revenue for retail went up £15.9m to £382.2m and online net revenue improved by 35% to £166.2m.

Carl Leaver, Gala Coral CEO, said that sportsbook margins improved due to “improved football results in both the UK and Italy, and a good Grand National result helped offset losses from the worst Cheltenham for the industry since 2003”.

The Cheltenham impact that Leaver was referring to relates to a loss of £3.21 per customer for the industry, according to bettingexpert.com, though the operator has still been able to produce a series of increases.

This comes at a time when the market is adjusting to the introduction of a 15% UK tax on remote gaming, implemented in December 2014, and an increase in machine gaming duty from 20% to 25% that was introduced in March 2015.

Gala Coral said that group EBITDA would have been up 43% after adjusting for regulatory impacts and online EBITDA would have soared by 118%.

On its proposed merger with Ladbrokes, Gala Coral said: “On May 20th the Competition & Markets Authority announced in its provisional findings that it is minded to clear the proposed merger between Coral Group and Ladbrokes PLC subject to agreeing appropriate remedies. We will continue to work with the CMA in order to agree the remedies, but the CMA has indicated that the sale of 350-400 shops would enable a final determination in favour of the proposed merger.”

Leaver gave an exclusive interview to Gambling Insider on the results. The interview will appear in this week’s GI Friday. Click here to sign up for the free newsletter to be emailed to you directly.
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