Multi-channel gaming group Gala Coral saw an increase in both turnover and profits in 2012 with the company’s newly launched websites helping to push it on. The firm’s turnover hit £1.189billion – an increase of 6 percent compared to the 2011 figure of £1.117bn. That contributed to an increase in statutory gross profit from £854.7m to £923.6m and it meant EBITDA was up 11 percent to £291.4m
“2012 has been an important transitional year for the Group. We have restructured into key operating divisions, bedded in a new operational management team and invested in our retail estate and online systems. This has resulted in the first growth in profitability for over five years against the backdrop of a difficult environment for retail and leisure businesses,” Carl Leaver, group chief executive admitted.
Gross profit for the firm’s entire interactive business increased from £68.1m to £76.1m with turnover up 6 percent to £3.8m. This was mainly down to a strong growth in both actives and revenues from the group’s Coral.co.uk site, which was recently relaunched on the Playtech platform. The site saw sports betting amounts staked increase 26 percent year-on-year and that’s without taking the Euro 2012 numbers into account. Gaming gross win also grew 31 percent ahead of the previous year. Gala Interactive’s stable of sites benefited from the Playtech treatment and as a result saw strong growth in active customer levels, as well as amounts staked increasing by 7 percent compared with the previous year.
Italy is another market that Coral has an online interest in and their turnover increase of 14 percent and EBITDA uplift of 23 percent was driven by “strong performances in both sports betting and online gaming.” This was reflected in an increase of 22 percent in online sports stakes with the number reaching £65.7million.
As for the remainder of the business, their sale of 23 casinos to Rank Group is still ongoing with the Competition Commission’s preliminary findings set to be published at some point later this month. Summing everything else up, Leaver added: “Our retail businesses experienced some softening in top line trends over what was a disrupted summer period, and these trends have continued into the new financial year. On the plus side, July saw the launch of our new galabingo.com website, and early growth from both this and the new galacasino.com website has been positive. With the re-launch of the coral.co.uk in October our new interactive businesses are now fully up and running and we are targeting significant growth over the forthcoming year”.