Ladbrokes owner profit slips but online betting surges

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Ladbrokes owner GVC said on Thursday it would not pay an interim dividend after it reported lower core profit for the first half of 2020, while forecasting growth in its online business would push profits higher in the second half.

Store closures and sports events cancellations saw revenue overall fall but the company’s online gaming revenue jumped nearly 20%, with growth in both sports and gaming revenues and double-digit growth across its major markets.

Online profits surged 53% to 368.6 million pounds ($481.80 million). However, overall underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the six months ended June 30 slipped to 348.6 million pounds from 366.8 million pounds a year earlier, on a reported basis.

The company said it now expects full-year underlying core profit to be in a range of 720 million pounds to 740 million pounds, down from 761 million last year but above a company supplied consensus estimate of 715 million pounds.

“Given the unprecedented trading environment, GVC has delivered an encouraging performance in the first half, underlining the strength of our diversified business model,” Chief Executive Officer Shay Segev said.

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