The past year for Gala Coral has been such a boob that it resembles more a gunfight at the Gala Corral than a business. Agonizing restructuring cost private equity firms around £670m and former chairman Neil Goulden £10m from his own pocket. He must REALLY love Gala Coral that guy. Although figures released today continue to make grim reading for everyone at Europe’s biggest gambling group.
In their first results after extensive restructuring, according to thisismoney.co.uk the group is £188million in the red. This follows massive write-downs in the group’s bingo division, intra-company loans, and huge interest costs.
A £123m hit due to revaluing of assets and £54m in restructuring costs saw that operating profit was a mere £105m. This was completely engulfed by the £306m they paid in interest costs. Although the loss of £188m this year has nothing on 2009, where a loss of £495m was recorded.
In other news they have now received a refund on overpayment of VAT to the tune of £70m and if you offset that against the loss then it does seem slightly less ominous news. Take that Mr. Cameron!
It is looking up for Gala Coral, and if they’re among those on the final shortlist for the Tote it could get even better for them. Although after this loss, which doesn’t look good, it wouldn’t be surprising were the shareholders to somehow veto them from spending a sizeable amount on the Tote, time will tell though. The veil of secrecy thrown over the Tote process means that we might never know who even wins it.