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FTSE 250 gambling operator GVC Holdings (LON:GVC) has seen its share price climb by 2.93% to 562.80p (as of 14:10 BST) despite the firm reporting a sharp drop in pre-tax profits for the six months ended 30th June. Revenues were up by 5% on a pro-forma basis, driven by an improvement in online revenues.
CEO Kenneth Alexander commented: “The Group’s performance in the first half was extremely pleasing with Group proforma NGR 5% ahead. Online momentum remains very strong with proforma NGR 17% ahead, delivering continued market share gains across all major territories. Our online operating model is proving highly effective, building on the sustainable competitive advantages of our wholly owned technology platform, leading product, cutting-edge marketing, leading brands and local execution, which are all delivered with an unrivalled understanding of the markets in which we operate.
“In UK Retail, efficient execution of mitigation plans resulted in a Triennial Review impact that was better than initial expectations, with like-for-like NGR 10% behind last year, prompting a further upgrade to our Triennial Review EBITDA guidance. European Retail proforma NGR was 7% ahead with good growth in all territories. The US JV, Roar Digital, is on track for its full launch in New Jersey in September and, building on the combination of proprietary technology, powerful brands and our marketing expertise, is well-placed to succeed.
“The Group made a number of significant Responsible Gambling commitments in the period. We were the first operator to commit to a ten-fold increase in contributions to Responsible Gambling causes, alongside calling for a total ban on sports-betting television advertising in the UK. We donated all our marketing assets held at 42 English and Scottish football clubs, including perimeter hoardings, to GambleAware’s ‘Bet Regret’ safer gambling campaign. We also committed to not sponsoring any English or Scottish football teams, and donated our existing shirt sponsorships of Sunderland AFC and Charlton Athletic to our charity partner, Children with Cancer. These are decisive actions, and we will continue to work on a collaborative basis with other leading operators to enhance player protection across the industry“.