Gala Coral reported increases in revenue and earnings this morning ahead of its proposed merger with Ladbrokes.
The bookmaker reported net revenue of £333.3m in the 16 weeks ending 16 January. This was up £47.1m, or 16 per cent, year on year.
And, with growth in its retail divisions and online, it recorded earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of £62.4m - up £7.9m, or 14 per cent.
It said adjusting for the impact of regulation, Ebitda was up £23.1m, up 59 per cent.
Why it's interesting
Gala Coral and other bookmakers have been hit by a punishing tax regime in recent years. This includes the point-of-consumption tax, charging 15 per cent on online gambling profits. There has also been a crackdown on in-store betting terminals.
The Gala Coral financial results were declared by Ladbrokes today ahead of a proposed merger.
Read more: Ladbrokes confirms merger with Gala Coral
The Competition and Markets Authority is due to make a final decision on the merger by 24 June.
Ladbrokes shares dipped slightly this morning. After closing at 131p yesterday, the bookmaker's share price dropped to as low as 129p - around 1.5 per cent - in early trading.
What Gala Coral said
Carl Leaver, group chief executive, said:
Online growth was strong driven by CRM-led reductions in churn and high levels of customer acquisition at market leading costs-per-acquisition. Multichannel continues to play a key role in driving both customer acquisition and retention as customers embrace the unique features of our Connect offering. Coral Retail saw positive OTC stakes growth and a good machines performance. Strong growth in Eurobet Retail was helped by the relocation of 250 shops to more profitable locations.