2012 was a fine vintage for the Gala Coral Group as they witnessed growth in profitability for the first time in five years. The UK firm saw turnover hit the £1.189 billion mark, statutory gross profit of £854.7 million and EBITDA of £291.4 million, against what Group Chief Executive Carl Leaver called, ‘a backdrop of a difficult environment for retail and leisure businesses.’
The company that has fingers in more pies than Desperate Dan, has just released the financial results for the last 16-weeks ending 19th January 2013, and as Yazz used to sing, ‘the only way is up.’
Both turnover and profit are promising as they stand 2% and 1% ahead of last year’s impressive results. EBITDA has decreased by £4.8m – when compared against last years results – and the group have cited poor weather conditions and phasing of certain costs as the reason for a blip they anticipate will unwind over the remainder of the year.
The over the counter results were also outstanding, with football results falling the right side for Coral Retail. Gross win was 8% ahead of the previous year and they had a strong gross win margin of 18.4% as a result of those favorable football results. The gross win of the betting machines, that have caused so much controversy in the UK media, are 1% ahead year-on-year. The news was not so good for Gala Retail who saw gross profit decline by 5%. The report indicated that reduced admissions and the poor weather results were to blame for the lower than expected figures.
The newly revamped Coral Interactive had an impressive first quarter. They experienced a 31% increase in active player numbers, a 43% increase in amounts staked and a 44% increase in gross win. Gala Interactive also enjoyed growth albeit not as favorable as it’s stable mate: active players numbers were up 28%, staking levels were up 29% and EBITDA was up 28%. The Italian sector of Gala Coral continued to be a fruitful venture with online sports stakes increasing by 20% and EBITDA up 18%.
“We have delivered a satisfactory performance in the first quarter, with gross profit ahead in all of our continuing businesses with the exception of Gala Retail, where admissions have been soft. Excluding the impact of adverse weather and the timing of certain costs, performance was in line with the prior year. We launched Coral.co.uk at the beginning of the quarter and all new websites are starting to show good growth in active player numbers and revenue, which bodes well for the months ahead.” Commented Carl Leaver, Group Chief Executive of Gala Coral Group.
The report did not provide any further detail on the proposed sale of 19 Casinos to Rank Group; although it made mention that an announcement would be made shortly.