Gala Coral stays in the red in last results before Ladbrokes deal

Caitlin Morrison
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Coral is soon to merge with Ladbrokes

A 10 per cent uptick in revenue wasn't enough to push Gala Coral Group into the black in the 12 weeks to 2 July, with the bookmaker's losses widening ahead of its merger with Ladbrokes.

The figures

Net revenue was up 10 per cent to £264m in the third quarter, up from £241m in the same period of last year.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation grew to £52.1m from £46.5m.

However, £26.2m of exceptional costs meant the company widened its losses to £25.6m, compared with a loss of £20.5m last year.

Why it's interesting

This is probably the last set of results Coral will publish on its own - it is set to merge with Ladbrokes in a £2.3bn deal, announced over a year ago, that is expected to complete this autumn.

The tie-up received approval from the Competition and Markets Authority last month, on the condition that the two firms sell between 350 and 400 shops - Coral said today that "a number of parties have expressed interest in purchasing these shops, and the disposal process is well under way".

In addition, the group blamed new regulatory requirements for holding back online revenues. Citing "teething problems around the introduction of new player protection measures", Coral said if these factors were absent, online revenue would have gone up by 28 per cent instead of 19 per cent.

What Coral said

Carl Leaver, the group's chief exec, said the increase in earnings for the quarter was driven by continued strong growth across its divisions, particularly in and, as well as a positive Euro 2016 football championship.

He added that current trading in the eight weeks since the end of the third quarter "has been positive, with continued machines growth in Coral Retail, and strong volume growth in online".

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