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GVC UK retail down 18% for Q3 as betting shops close

By Owain Flanders

GVC Holdings has announced a 2% fall year-on-year in constant currency net gaming revenue (NGR) for Q3 2019.

The decrease can mostly be attributed to the operator’s UK retail revenue, which fell 18%. Total NGR fell 1% when not measured at constant currency.

The operator, which owns Ladbrokes Coral, insists its progress in UK retail remains ahead of expectations, blaming the drop on the reduction in maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 ($122.40) to £2.

Like-for-like machine NGR saw a 36% decrease.

Despite the fall, GVC announced the part-substitution of displaced machine revenue saw a 7% like-for-like increase in over-the-counter NGR.

GVC closed 41 of its betting shops during the period, taking the total closed as a result of the Triennial Review to 198.

The operator said 900 of its betting shops are to be closed over the next two years as a result of the maximum stake cut.

However, GVC did announce it would be increasing its full-year EBITDA guidance range to £670m-680m, after seeing online growth of 16% (15% at constant currency) for Q3.

Kenny Alexander, GVC CEO, said: "I am delighted the group’s financial performance has allowed us to upgrade our full-year EBITDA expectations again.

"Online momentum remains strong across all major territories, with NGR up 12% in the quarter."

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