GVC reports lower revenues as CEO Alexander retires
GVC Holdings reported a fall in net gaming revenue as coronavirus lockdowns forced store closures.
The company on Thursday also announced the departure of chief executive Kenneth Alexander, who planned to retire after 13 years in the job, to be succeeded by chief operating officer Shay Segev on Friday.
The owner of Bwin, Coral, Eurobet and Ladbrokes said gaming revenue for the second quarter fell 22%, and added that it expected first-half core earnings to be £340m - £350m.
Online net gaming revenue for the second quarter rose 22%, but this was offset by an lower retail revenue. UK retail net gaming revenue plunged 86% on a like-for-like basis, the company said. European store closures almost wiped out revenues on the Continent.
GVC said all stores in England reopened on June 15 with Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland following later in the month with an “encouraging” early response from customers.
First-half net gaming revenue fell 11%, but online revenue grew 19%.
Interactive investor head of markets Richard Hunter said GVC's diversified model had shown benefits, even if the firm had remained in the red over the period.
"In the absence of sporting events in particular, the online channel came into its own throughout the period, as customers flocked to non-sports offerings such as poker and bingo."
Hunter said GVC shares had suffered from the "indiscriminate markdowns during the March meltdown", since when there has been a recovery of more than 180%.
"There will be an element of adjustment until the company can regain its previous momentum and negate the revenue declines which have inevitably dented its recent financial performance."
"However, appetite for the stock remains undiminished, and with the prospect of US expansion running in tandem with an established European presence, the market consensus of the shares as a strong buy will likely remain in force,” he said.