Belfast Telegraph

GVC sales hit by Beast from East as horse races cancelled

The group saw like-for-like retail gaming revenue drop 5% in the 20 weeks to May 20.

Sales at Ladbrokes owner GVC were dented by extreme weather in the first quarter, with horse racing cancellations hitting the firm’s performance.

The group saw like-for-like retail gaming revenue drop 5% in the 20 weeks to May 20, with sports betting falling 9%.

GVC said the performance in the UK was hit by “severe weather”, which saw 12% of all horse racing fixtures cancelled due to the Beast from the East.

Gaming machine revenues were 2% behind last year and “could remain under pressure”, GVC added.

It comes after a Government move to cut the maximum stake for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2, with bookmakers across the board expected to take a hit.

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Total group net gaming revenue increased 7%, driven by a 32% increase in Europe, while online net gaming revenue rose 17%.

The tie-up with Ladbrokes, which completed this year, 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.

Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said: “It is very early days since the completion of the acquisition of the Ladbrokes Coral Group, but from what I have seen so far I am excited about the opportunities and even more confident of delivering shareholder value.

“The online operations continue to grow strongly and this is before we have started to implement best in practice across the enlarged group.”

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