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GVC Holdings well positioned for further growth

GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC), the global sports-betting and gaming Group, has announced its Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2020.

Financial highlights:

·      Continued strong trading performance despite impact of COVID-19, demonstrating the resilience of the highly diversified business model by product, brand, territory and channel

·      Online NGR +19% (+21% cc) with double-digit growth in all major markets

o  Sports +5% (+8% cc)

o  Gaming +31% (+32% cc)

·      UK Retail like-for-like8 (LFL) NGR -50%, reflecting Government imposed closure of retail estate in Q2

·      European Retail NGR -48% (-47% cc), reflecting closure of European outlets in Q2

·      Total Group NGR -11% (-10% cc) at £1,616.7m

·   Online EBITDA5 +53% at £368.6m reflecting favourable sports margins, a strong performance in gaming and lower marketing spend due to sport cancellations

·      Group EBITDA5 -5% at £348.6m

·      Profit after tax flat year on year at £2.1m

·      Full year EBITDA5,9 now expected to be in range of £720m-£740m

·      Strong cost and cash management resulted in net debt at 30 June 2020 broadly unchanged from the start of the year at £2,164.9m

·      Reflecting positive cashflow of £80.5m in H1 offset by movement in FX impacting Euro denominated debt

·      New £535m Revolving Credit Facility secured to provide further flexibility

·      Despite the encouraging performance in the business, the Board remains conscious of the continuing market uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 and has therefore taken the prudent decision not to pay an interim dividend. The Board will consider dividend payments with future results

Operational highlights:

·      Industry-leading, responsibility-first response to lockdown, introducing significant safeguarding enhancements to protect potentially vulnerable customers, building on GVC’s Changing for the Bettor safer gambling strategy

·      Decisive response to impact of COVID-19 ensured that the Group achieved its target of operating at cash neutral through the lockdown period

·      Second round of investment committed to BetMGM (the Group’s US JV with MGM Resorts), bringing total investment from GVC and MGM Resorts to $450m in order to accelerate its ambitions to be the market leader in the rapidly expanding US sports betting and online gaming market

·      Completion of key technical integration of Ladbrokes Coral Group, with Ladbrokes and Coral brands now migrated on to the GVC technology platform

·      Relocation of GVC’s place of management and control – and consequently its tax residence – to the UK

Shay Segev (CEO) commented: 

“Given the unprecedented trading environment, GVC has delivered an encouraging performance in the first half, underlining the strength of our diversified business model and the expertise, adaptability and dedication of our people.

These results show that we have a strong foundation. As a technologist, I have huge admiration for what Kenny and the rest of my colleagues have achieved but I am also determined to pursue a programme of continuous improvement as we focus on our four technology-enabled priorities. These are leading the US market, organic growth, expanding into new markets, and being the most responsible operator in our industry. Our industry-leading technology will enable us to grow responsibly and sustainably, using our data-driven customer insights to ensure all of our customers have an enjoyable and safe experience while gaming with us. That is how we will deliver greater and more sustainable value for all our stakeholders.”

Outlook

The strong performance of the Online business coupled with the return of the sporting calendar and the re-opening of our Retail operations means that the Group is well placed for the balance of the year. The Board now expects the Group to deliver underlying EBITDA5,9 of £720m-£740m for the full year, subject to there being no further material disruptions. This is supported by the acceleration of £20m of synergies from the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral, offset by one off impacts in non-core businesses. Net debt is expected to reduce by year end, leaving leverage levels unchanged from the prior year, despite lower levels of underlying EBITDA due to COVID-19 impacts.

Dividend

With continuing uncertainty around further lockdowns and restrictions as a result of COVID-19, the Board does not consider it prudent to pay a dividend at this time. However, the Board recognises the importance of dividends for shareholders and will consider dividend payments with future results.

Notes

(1)   2020 reported and proforma results are unaudited

(2)   Reported results are provided on a post IFRS16 implementation basis

(3)   Pre IFRS 16 results are unaudited and show the Group’s results before any adjustment is made for IFRS 16

(4)   Growth on a constant currency basis is calculated by translating both current and prior year performance at the 2020 exchange rates

(5)   EBITDAR is defined as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, rent and associated costs, share based payments and share of JV income. EBITDA is defined as EBITDAR after charging rent and associated costs. Both EBITDAR and EBITDA are stated pre separately disclosed items

(6)   Stated pre separately disclosed items

(7)   Adjusted for the impact of separately disclosed items, foreign exchange movements on financial indebtedness and losses/gains on derivative financial instruments (see note 8 in the interim financial statements)

(8)   UK Retail numbers are quoted on a LFL basis. During H1 there was an average of 3,079 shops in the estate, compared to an average of 3,432 in the same period last year

(9)   References to profit expectations are made on a reported basis post IFRS16 implementation

Conference call

An analyst call will be held at 9:30am (BST) today. The corresponding presentation will be posted on the GVC Holdings’ website shortly before the call: https://gvc-plc.com/investor-relations/results-centre/

Participants may join the call by dialing one of the following numbers approximately 15 minutes before the start of the call:

To participate in the Q&A, please also connect via the conference call dial in details.

UK +44 (0)330 336 9125 

US +1 929-477-0324

Participant access code: 2185926

There will be a live audio webcast available via the following link:

https://webcasting.brrmedia.co.uk/broadcast/5f30f39bac615d638c140b20

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