Belfast Telegraph

GVC revenues up as Ladbrokes deal nears

Earnings rose 40% to 239.5 million euros and bottom line pre-tax losses narrowed from 173.5 million euros to 25.6 million euros.

Foxy Bingo owner GVC has reported rising full-year revenue as it gears up to complete its £4 billion takeover of rival Ladbrokes Coral.

The group posted a 24% rise in sales to 896.1 million euros (£799.4 million) in 2017 as it reaped the benefits of an earlier acquisition of bwin, increased mobile betting and a strong performance by its Party Poker brand.

Earnings rose 51% to 239.5 million euros (£213.6 million) and bottom-line pre-tax losses narrowed from 173.5 million euros (£154.8 million) to 25.6 million euros (£22.8 million).

Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said GVC’s deal to buy Ladbrokes represents an “exciting opportunity”.

He added: “GVC achieved a significant amount in 2017 and as these numbers demonstrate, we have delivered material value from the acquisition.

“The acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral Group represents an exciting opportunity, bringing together industry-leading online and retail brands.

“There will be plenty of hard work ahead, but we are confident that GVC will deliver once again.”

The deal to buy Ladbrokes follows two previous attempts at a combination between the pair, with discussions breaking down in the summer over price and amid uncertainty ahead of the Government’s gambling review.

But shareholders in both firms have rubber-stamped the deal and only regulatory clearance stands in the way of completion.

The tie-up will see the creation of an online-led global gambling giant, combining Ladbrokes’ high street and online operations with GVC’s stable of brands, including Sportingbet and PartyCasino.

GVC said it has seen a strong start to 2018, with net gaming revenue up 16% so far.

The Fifa World Cup in Russia, which is taking place this summer, is likely to result in a boost in sales for gambling firms across the board.

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