Thursday 18 October 2018 8:46 am

FTSE 100 bookie GVC places all bets on Europe in quarterly sales boost


Sales at sports betting firm GVC were boosted in the third quarter as customers turned to online outfits in the midst of the football World Cup, but Brits themselves were not so convinced.

GVC, which owns brands such as Gala, Ladbrokes and Coral, revealed today in a trading update for the three months to 30 September that its online net gaming revenue for the quarter jumped 28 per cent compared with the same period last year. This put GVC on track for online revenues of 21 per cent for the year to date.

European markets showed significant growth over the quarter with a leap of 24 per cent. However domestic performance was less impressive, with UK retail like-for-like revenues ending down two per cent despite the second half of the World Cup overlapping the quarter.

Overall GVC reported growth of 14 per cent across its businesses for the last three months, and said it remains on track to reach its expectations for the year.

Read more: Sales drop at Rank Group's Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo chains

"The group's performance in the quarter was very pleasing with momentum continuing across the online and European retail divisions," said GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander. 

"As highlighted in our half-year results, we will look to consolidate our position in markets where we are taking market share through the reinvestment of excess returns, and the board is confident in its full year expectations."

"The industry continues to evolve and whilst there are challenges there are also many exciting opportunities. Through our proprietary technology, portfolio of brands, leading product and talent, GVC is well placed to continue to deliver shareholder value."

GVC also announced today the departure of its finance chief Paul Bowtell as he moves to private equity firm Alchemy Partners. He will be replaced by new deputy chief financial officer Rob Wood in March 2019.

Meanwhile it signalled that the integration of Ladbrokes and Coral businesses is "progressing well", and international expansion into the US via a joint venture with MGM is "placed to be a market leader".

GVC's share price rose 2.15 per cent on the news this morning.