bwin, PartyGaming and Sportingbet operator GVC Holdings recorded 13% growth in daily revenues in the first quarter of 2017, driven by strong growth in net gaming revenues from its sports and gaming brands, the company announced in a trading update this morning.
Sports NGR was up 12% on the prior year off a gross win margin of 9.6%, the latter compared to 8.5% for the equivalent period in 2016, achieved despite a run of punter-friendly results at the end of March, said the group.
A disastrous 2017 Cheltenham Festival for the bookies in March saw them hit to the tune of £60m after nine favourites and one joint favourite romped home over the four days, forcing GVC rival William Hill to issue a profit warning.
Daily gaming NGR from GVC’s sportsbook brands (bwin, Sportingbet and Gamebookers) was up 19%, which the group put down to “the continued benefits of improved marketing and product, implemented post the acquisition of bwin.party”.
Growth from the group’s pure gaming brands, including FoxyBingo, PartyCasino, PartyPoker, Gioco Digitale and CasinoClub, was more sluggish, with daily NGR up 4%.
However, GVC said it was encouraged by the performance of PartyPoker, “which saw a further acceleration in daily NGR”.
The positive momentum had also continued into the second quarter, the group revealed, with group daily NGR up 16% compared to the prior year for the period to 21 May, with gross win margin from the sportsbook running at 10%.
The trading update and KPIs were issued ahead of today’s Capital Markets Day, where GVC will showcase its tech and operations and main consumer brands to investors and analysts.
Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said he was “delighted” with the performance, but also cautioned: “Comparatives will get more challenging as we move through the rest of the year, particularly in the absence of a major football tournament this summer.”
However he added he was confident that continued enhancements to the customer offer and a return to a more normalised marketing outlay would “deliver another year of strong progress at GVC”.
The group will issue its next trading update in July, followed by its half year report in September.
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