Thursday 13 September 2018 9:35 am

FTSE 100 bookie GVC gambles on 'aggressive' expansion as profits rise in first half


The boss of FTSE 100 betting company GVC, which owns brands like Ladbrokes, Coral and Bwin, today said the firm was ready to "aggressively" expand and take the fight to its competitors after posting decent interim results. 

GVC proforma revenues rose eight per cent to £1.7bn, while gross profit jumped six per cent to £1.2bn. 

The firm was helped on by the World Cup in the summer, as well as its acqusition of Ladbrokes Coral Group, which completed in March. 

Speaking to City A.M., Kenny Alexander, the firm's chief executive, said the success of its recent acquisition and its strong financial performance meant its eyes were turned to further expansion. 

"We are growing faster than competitors in core markets, and we are going to invest more and get more aggressive, as we’re on the front foot compared to our competitors," he said. 

"We are going to continue to look for small acquisitions in the market, but the main thing is organic growth and improvement of the Ladbrokes Coral business." 

Read more: 888 launches first sports betting site in US

Like its competitors, GVC has been making moves into the US market, and in July struck a joint venture deal with MGM Resorts International to pool their resources as the American market opens up to legal betting. 

When quizzed on whether tighter regulations on fixed odds betting machines would affect business, Alexander seemed undeterred. 

"There are tighter controls, but we we have a very good relationship with the Gambling Commission and it’s not something that concerns us. 

"We’ve got a big retail estate and when it’s implemented we will close some shops as a result. It will be a small impact as we are growing the digital business."