Gala Coral hails online growth as revenue rises in H1

8 June 2016

Gala Coral has cited the impact of ongoing growth within its online division as one of the main reasons behind a year-on-year jump in revenue during the six months through to April 9.

Net revenue in the first half amounted to £604.9 million (€773.0 million/$880.1 million), up 13% on the amount collected in the corresponding period last year.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was also up 16% to £124.6 million, with the operator’s online division contributing a total of £37.1 million to this amount, 64% more than last year.

Overall online net revenue increased by 35%, with revenue from the company’s Coral.co.uk and Eurobet.it platforms up 58% and 38%, respectively.

Revenue generated by the firm’s Galabingo.com site was up by 15%, while Coral Connect sign-ups accelerated in the second quarter to over 160,000, which is more than the whole of the previous financial year.

The company also highlighted growth within its retail division, with Coral Retail seeing EBITDA rise by 1% to £79.3 million and Eurobet Retail up 71% to £11.8 million.

Carl Leaver, group chief executive at Gala Coral, said: “EBITDA growth of 16% in the first half of the year represents a very satisfactory performance for the group.

“Sportsbook margins benefitted from improved football results in both the UK and Italy, and a good Grand National result helped offset losses from the worst Cheltenham for the industry since 2003.

“Growth in the Online division continued to be particularly strong with net revenue 35% ahead of last year, and Coral.co.uk net revenue 58% ahead.

“Coral Connect, our multichannel offer, continues to be a key driver of growth. Sign-ups in Q2 have accelerated to around 4,000 per week as a result of more targeted marketing.”

The results come just weeks after the UK Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally ruled that Gala Coral’s proposed merger with Ladbrokes may cause competitions concerns in a number of local areas, due to the number of shops that both companies operate.

In its report, the CMA said the operators may have to close as many as 400 shops in order for the deal to go through.

Leaver added: “On May 20, the CMA announced in its provisional findings that it is minded to clear the proposed merger between Coral Group and Ladbrokes subject to agreeing appropriate remedies.

“We will continue to work with the CMA in order to agree the remedies, but the CMA has indicated that the sale of 350-400 shops would enable a final determination in favour of the proposed merger.”

Related article: CMA says Ladbrokes-Gala Coral deal may hinge on shop sales