GVC ups 2020 forecasts following rapid recovery across all core markets

GVC Holdings has predicted that its earnings for the year will be £50 million ahead of previous expectations, as online wagering continues to drive the operator’s performance.

Publishing its Q3 trading update for the period 1 July to 30 September 2020, GVC reported that it had achieved its ‘nineteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit online growth’, with total online net gaming revenue expected to be up by 26%.

With the return of live sport across the world, GVC also noted that online sports wagers remain ‘well ahead of prior year’, which the operator explained was largely driven by the increased ‘volumes in all major markets’ which have returned to being ‘’ahead of pre-COVID levels’.

Shay Segev, GVC’s CEO, commented: “This has been another strong period for GVC. We have delivered our nineteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit online growth, along with market share gains in all our major territories.

“The momentum that we are seeing across the Group is a clear testament to the resilience of our highly diversified business model, the attractiveness of our brands and products, the power of our proprietary technology platform, and the hard work and dedication of our teams around the world.”

Group net gaming revenue grew by 12%, while volumes across the operator’s UK and European retail estate ‘within 10%’ of those seen pre-COVID – which GVC stated was ‘supported by strong volumes on self-service betting terminals’.

European retail is expected to be 2% ahead, driven by ‘a good performance in Italy’ which GVC stated was ‘offset by a slower recovery in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland’.

As a result, EBITDA guidance has been raised, with the operator expected to generate figures in the range of £770 million to £790 million.

Expanding its presence across the Iberian peninsula, GVC confirmed that it will be acquiring Portuguese operator Bet.pt, capitalising on the expected growth of the market which is anticipated ‘to more than double to around €450m by 2023’.

This acquisition, according to GVC, is consistent with its strategy of expanding into new markets that are either regulated or regulating, thus supporting its international growth ambitions.

Long-term prospects see GVC outline ‘market leadership in the US’ as a top priority, in which the operator continues to expand resources and investment in its BetMGM joint venture.

Working with MGM Resorts, GVC stated that it is on track to lead sports betting and igaming markets within the eight states that BetMGM is active – with a further three sportsbook launches expected by the end of year trading.

Segev concluded: “GVC is primed for further growth. In the US, BetMGM continues to go from strength to strength as we roll out into new states, integrate further with our partners’ customer propositions and deliver innovative products and features. With a market share of approximately 17% across our live markets, we are making great progress towards being the leading operator in the US.

“The acquisition of Bet.pt that we are announcing today is consistent with our strategy of expanding into new markets that are either regulated or regulating, in order to support our international growth ambitions.

“While the risk of further restrictions as a result of COVID-19 mean that we remain cautious on the short-term outlook, in the longer term we are confident of being able to continue delivering sustainable growth for all our stakeholders.”

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