GVC reports mixed UK retail results for Q2 after FOBT restriction

By Matthew Enderby

GVC Holdings' UK retail EBITDA increased c.£70m ($86.8m) year-on-year for Q2, in its first trading update since the reduction in maximum stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2.

The operator, owner of Ladbrokes Coral, has previously said up to 1,000 of its betting shops are at risk of being closed as a result of the maximum stake cut.

Despite the increase in UK retail EBITDA , net gaming revenue for UK retail was down 19% for Q2 and down 10% for H1.

The update released by GVC did not include specific new numbers, but for H1 2018, UK retail over-the-counter net gaming revenue was £277.1m and UK retail underlying EBITDA was £125.8m - both those numbers were on a pro-forma basis.

Total group NGR was up 5% for H1 2019. Pro forma total group NGR for H1 2018 was £1.72bn.

GVC CEO, Kenny Alexander said: “The transition to a post £2 stakes-cut environment in UK retail is progressing very well and we believe the Ladbrokes Coral estate is best-placed to take market share.”

Alexander also said the operator’s joint venture with MGM Resorts, Roar Digital, is on-track for a full online launch ahead of the start of the NFL season in September.

GVC's share price has fluctuated throughout the first half of the year, starting at 689 GBX on 2 January, but it is currently recovering from its lowest point of 507.5 GBX on 25 March.

The operator’s share price sat at 628 GBX when markets opened on 17 July.



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