Ladbrokes owner GVC reports higher levels of online betting

GVC's chief executive Kenneth Alexander
GVC's chief executive Kenneth Alexander
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Ladbrokes owner GVC Holdings is on track to deliver double-digit growth in its online business this year, after it posted strong growth in the first quarter.

Net gaming revenue (NGR) for online rose 17 per cent in the three months to March 31. This comprised 16 per cent growth in sports betting, while gaming was up 20 per cent.

Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said the results showed a continuing strong trend and represented an excellent start to the year.

“We continue to see good volume growth across all major online brands and territories and we remain very confident of achieving our target of double-digit online NGR growth,” he said.

Meanwhile, like-for-like revenue in UK retail was flat, but European shops saw 2 per cent growth.

The new stake limit on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK came into effect on April 1, introducing a £2 cap.

Mr Alexander said it would be several weeks before GVC would be able to assess the impact of the new regulation.

Other high street betting shops have already faced warnings from the Gambling Commission over the introduction of new games, following concerns that they could undermine the stake limit.

Analyst George Salmon at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “This announcement was important for GVC after market confidence was rocked by senior management dumping millions of shares last month.

“With the group still cantering towards its targets of double-digit online revenue growth, we think these numbers are generally reassuring.”