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GVC online soars despite retail woes

| By iGB Editorial Team
Online takings up by a quarter in Q3 thanks to World Cup boost

Ladbrokes owner GVC was boosted by online sales and England's Fifa World Cup success in the three months to September 30.

Total group net gaming revenue rose 14% in the quarter, according to Thursday's Q3 results announcement, and has risen 10% so far this calendar year to date compared to 2017.

The performance was aided by online net gaming revenue rising by 28% year-on-year, driven by a 31% increase in online sports betting. Ladbrokes.com was up 23% and Coral.co.uk  up 29%, in what GVC described as “very pleasing” NGR growth with sports wagering 9% ahead.

While digital performance was positive, GVC's UK retail was down 2% year-on-year. European retail was, however, up 24% year-on-year with growth in all regions. The company said it recorded considerable trading increases even discounting the impact of the World Cup, which finished in mid-July.

GVC also said the integration of Ladbrokes Coral, which it acquired earlier this year, was “progressing well”.

Discussing the performance, CEO Kenneth Alexander said: “The group’s performance in the quarter was very pleasing with momentum continuing across the Online and European Retail divisions.

“As highlighted in our H1 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.”

GVC added that the “imminent” launch of its New Jersey app on iOS will trigger a “full playMGM marketing campaign” in the state.

Alexander added: “We believe our sports-betting joint venture with MGM is best placed to be the market leader in the US and we have taken the first steps on that journey with the soft-launch of our sports-betting app in New Jersey.”

Meanwhile, CFO Paul Bowtell is to leave the company in March to take up a role with Alchemy Partners. He will be replaced by Rob Wood, currently CFO of the Ladbrokes Coral UK Retail business, which is GVC's largest division.

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