Gala Coral Group has released its annual results for 2011. The key financial highlights for the Group for the year ended 24 September 2011 and weren’t the most promising. With a turnover of £1,117.0 million, this was 2% below last year. In a press release the company said this was excluding the 2010 World Cup and was down to “the accounting effect of the removal of prize bingo”.
Group EBITDA (pre-exceptionals) was £261.0 million, that’s 8% lower year-on-year, on an underlying basis. Coral said the main drivers of the underlying EBITDA reduction were a poor OTC performance, an increased costs in Coral, and a decline in Remote. However, the group affirmed the second half of the year saw a return in growth in OTC stakes, although margins have still remained below the long term average.
Cost increases in the Coral business were said to be driven by estate growth and property and content costs. Gala Coral added that the project to re-platform all websites onto Playtech software is “progressing well”, with a re-launch of the new sites planned for spring and summer of 2012.
In Q4 of the financial year, the company turnover was £249million, 3% below last year – again, excluding the accounting effect of the removal of prize bingo.
However, the company avow it is forward thinking and has said trading to date in FY12 has been encouraging. The company said its Coral OTC amounts “staked after two periods are 9% ahead of prior year levels”, although poor results do continue to impact margin, with gross profit below the prior year. Nevertheless, the company as determined to end its announcement on a high, stating that Gala Bingo has delivered strong growth in spend per head and gross profit, with EBITDA continuing to outperform the prior year and overall gross profit in line with prior year levels.