GVC’s share price was up more than 4% this morning after it reported a strong end to 2016 and announced the total repayment of a €386 million ($415 million) loan.
The owner of Bwin, PartyPoker, Sportingbet and Foxy Bingo said in a trading update that the Cerberus Business Finance loan was repaid through a combination of existing cash resources and the drawdown of the €250 million loan from Nomura International.
As it had previously stated, under the new facility the group's interest payments will be materially lower in 2017, than they would have been had the Cerberus loan remained in place.
GVC said that in the three months to December its net gaming revenue (NGR) per day was up 7% year-on-year to €2.51 million. The rise was 9% in constant currency.
The company’s board described that as a “particularly pleasing performance”, given the adverse sports results in the last few weeks of the year and what was a strong comparative period in 2015.
“The international diversity of our business combined with a proven portfolio of both sports and gaming brands helped cushion us against particularly punter friendly sports results in the UK and adverse currency movements in some of our markets,” the board explained in a statement.
The board added that it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be towards the upper end of market expectations.
“2016 was a landmark year for GVC in which the group undertook its largest and most ambitious acquisition to date, that of bwin.party,” said chief executive Kenneth Alexander.
“Through the tremendous hard work of our people, we achieved and exceeded many of our goals and once again we were able to create significant shareholder value.
“In addition to returning bwin.party to growth, we remain on target to secure €125m of synergies by the end of the current year.”
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