Profits grow at Gala Coral as merger looms

Gala Coral has bet on the right horse
Gala Coral yesterday revealed it grew strongly in the third quarter despite taking a £13m hit from taxes and regulation.

The betting company, which owns a range of businesses from bookmakers to bingo halls, grew revenues from £288.7m to £305m in the 12 weeks to 4 July this year, while gross profits grew £8.1m from £208.3m to £216.4m.

Strong growth in the Coral Group’s online division of £17.1m more than compensated for losses in the Eurobet and Gala retail arms, with total growth for the Coral group standing at £16.6m. Gala Retail made a small loss of £0.3m.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) for the quarter were up 52 per cent when adjustments were made for the affects of unusual events such as the World Cup and regulatory changes in the same period last year.

Revenue for the year to date was £988.7m, a rise of 49.9 per cent on the previous year. Ebitda was up 16.4 per cent at £200.2m.

Group chief executive Carl Leaver said: “This continued positive momentum is a direct result of our focus on product innovation and a disciplined approach to marketing, together with the significant capital investment made across the business over the last few years. “

It was announced in July that Gala Coral had signed a £2.3bn merger deal, which is currently subject to regulatory approval.

Shares in Lad­brokes closed down slightly at 105p, a fall of 0.19 per cent.