The owner of Ladbroke Coral and many other gambling websites, GVC Holdings, upgraded its forecast for full-year earnings today, after the strong performance of its online business helped it to compensate for losses resulting from stricter regulatory regime imposed on the UK gambling sector.
GVC Holdings also revealed that the crackdown which the UK Government rolled out on the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) earlier this year did not hit the company’s performance as hard as expected. The company, which acquired its rival Ladbrokes Coral in a deal worth more than £4 billion in March last year, had expected that the tighter regulatory rules on the gambling machines would have an impact of around £120 million on earnings within a couple of years and would force the operator to close around 1,000 of its betting shops in the UK. GVC Holdings, however, revealed that only 900 shops would have to stop operation. Moreover, its 2019 earnings would probably be around £10 million ahead of expectations.
The adjusted overall revenues of the company for the six-month period which ended on June 30th rose by 5% to £1.78 billion in comparison to the same period a year earlier. Online gambling revenues, on the other hand, rose by 17% and reached £1.01 billion. The company also revealed that its profit before tax, adjusted for Ladbrokes acquisition-related amortisation increased by 31% to £212 million.
The company’s boss found the performance of his company extremely pleasing over the first half of the year, saying that GVC Holdings’ online gambling division proved to be highly effective, taking advantage on the sustainable competitive advantages which the company has to its rivals.
GVC Holdings Remains Committed to Responsible Gambling Initiatives
Apart from providing its interim results for the six months to June 30th, the gambling operator also downsized betting adverts in English and Scottish football grounds and explained its move with the decision to remain committed to contributions to Responsible Gambling causes in the country.
GVC Holdings reminded that it was the first operator to make a commitment to a ten-fold increase in its voluntary contributions to charitable causes related to responsible gambling. The company has also backed the campaign calling for a total ban on sportsbook advertising in the UK. Its Chief Executive Officer Kenny Alexander further explained that it donated all its marketing assets held at 42 English and Scottish football clubs to the so-called “Bet Regret” safer gambling campaign of GambleAware.
As revealed by Mr Alexander, the company would also stick to its decision to not sponsor any English or Scottish football clubs, saying that the operator donated its existing shirt sponsorship of Charlton Athletic and Sunderland AFC to its charity partner Children with Cancer. The operator also intends to continue to work in collaboration with other leading operators to boost responsible gambling and player protection in the sector.