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Trading statements

GVC earnings at upper end of forecasts

02 February 2017 08:04

GVC Holdings has repaid in full the outstanding loan of €386m provided by Cerberus Business Finance and expects full year earnings to be at the upper end of forecasts.

The multinational sports betting and gaming group issued a trading and refinancing update ahead of the publication of its full year results on 23 March.

The group said it had now repaid in full the outstanding loan of €386m provided by Cerberus Business Finance LLC, through a combination of existing cash resources and the drawdown of the €250m loan from Nomura International plc.

As previously stated, under the new facility the group's interest payments will be materially lower (c€40m) in 2017, than they would have been had the Cerberus loan remained in place.

The group also issued a pro forma trading update for the fourth quarter.

It said that NGR per day increased by 7% (+9% in constant currency) in Q4 2016 over the same period in 2015.

It added: "This is a particularly pleasing performance given the adverse sports results in the last few weeks of the year and the strong comparative period in 2015.

"Indeed, Q4 produced the highest daily NGR run rate of 2016.

"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.

"In light of the strong final quarter, the board now anticipates reporting pro-forma group NGR for the year-ended 31 December 2016 of c€894m, an increase of 9% on the previous year (€822m) and slightly ahead of previous guidance.

"On a constant currency basis pro forma NGR growth was 12%. The Board expects pro forma clean EBITDA to be towards the upper end of market expectations and net debt of approximately €140m (including gross cash of €373m as at 31 December 2016).

"Meanwhile, the special dividend of 12.5p per share will be paid to shareholders on 14 February."

Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said: "2016 was a landmark year for GVC in which the Group undertook its largest and most ambitious acquisition to date, that of

"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 to growth, we remain on target to secure €125m of synergies by the end of the current year.

"The positive trading momentum experienced in 2016 has continued with a particularly strong start to 2017. Pro forma daily NGR for the month of January was up 21% (23% in constant currency) against the same period in 2016.

"Our strategy of pursuing international diversification and scale, through the leverage of our proprietary technology and talented people, is more relevant today than ever.

"We are excited about the organic opportunities for the Group in 2017 and beyond, but also remain alive to further industry consolidation."

At 8:04am: (LON:GVC) GVC Holdings Plc share price was +21.75p at 637.75p

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