GVC Holdings to cut Sportingbet costs in bid to make it profitable

ONLINE gaming group GVC Holdings said yesterday it plans to cut costs at the Sportingbet businesses it acquired earlier this month in order for them to break even by next year.

Some of the 200 people employed by Sportingbet in its London office will lose their jobs and the new owners are also unlikely to renew a shirt sponsorship deal with Championship football club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“We will be ripping out substantial amounts of central cost from Sportingbet,” GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander said.

“All sponsorships are under review,” he added.

GVC, listed on Aim, was the junior partner in a £485m deal completed this month with the UK’s biggest bookmaker William Hill to buy online gambling group Sportingbet.

William Hill is taking on the Australian and Spanish assets, while GVC will acquire Sportingbet's operations in 24 countries in an agreement that cost it around £31m

“It is our aim by 2014 to get Sportingbet to break even or better,” finance officer Richard Cooper said.

GVC, whose brands include Casino Club and Betboo, said profits before tax rose to €10.8m (£9.2m) on a 34 per cent rise in revenues to €59.6m. The firm said it has no plans to move to London’s main market.