Gala Coral announce Q1 growth despite having to handle ‘the worst football results on record’ as the Gibraltar-based gaming outfit releases their first financial actuals of 2014.
Gala Coral Group Limited has released their first financial reports of 2014 and it’s a thumbs up particularly in the online business.
The operator posted a 12% year-on-year improvement in turnover as gross profit rose to £13.8m, or 6% ahead, which reflected growth in the company’s online business fortunes during the 16-week period ending 18 January 2014.
EBITDA in the online business was £10.3m, £3.1m or 43% ahead of last year. Player numbers was the key to success with gamblers continuing to filter through the operator’s online halls with Coral.co.uk up 60%, Eurobet.it up 18%, Galabingo up 19% and Galacasino up 142%.
Coral.co.uk sports stakes were £55.6m, or 92% ahead of last years figures, driven by new and improved TV advertising campaign such as the ‘Cornerman’ campaign fronted by Enzo Calzaghe, the father of the retired undefeated boxing champion Joe Calzaghe.
Despite what the business is saying is their ‘worst football results on record’ sports grow win margin was 1.0pp ahead of last year at 5.8% following the removal of unprofitable customer accounts, resulting in sportsbook gross win £3.7m or 124% ahead. It’s estimated that gross profit was reduced by as much as £3.8m as a result of those football scores.
Income attributed through the Coral.co.uk gaming channels was 124% ahead of last year with a gross win of £8.7m. The work to grow mobile increased by 24.66pp to 62% of actives and this number is expecting to grow following the launch of an iPad version in late February.
Moving into the retail sector and once again it was those pesky football results that were being bemoaned as a dog turd in an otherwise outstanding year.
Coral Retails gross profit was £5.3m, or 4% ahead of last year, driven by new shop openings and the performance of those – dare we say it – Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) which continued to outperform the 2013 numbers with gross win per machine reaching £660 (2013: £916).
Sports stakes in Eurobet Retail were £22.4m, or 41% higher than last year, driven by the rollout of new tender licenses; but once again poor football results blackened things somewhat with gross profit down £0.9m, or 14% behind last year.
There were also some green shoots of recovery in Gala Retail. Back in Q4 2013 admission were running 8% down year-on-year, but at the end of January they have fought back to be 2% up. The business also grew EBITDA (pre-exceptionals) year-on-year by £1.3m.
The last point worth mentioning was the strong unlevered free cashflow in the quarter of £34m as the group finally exited from the casino retail segment of the gaming market. The final 4 UK casinos were sold to the Double Diamond Group, and the Gala Casino in Gibraltar was sold to Gryphon AG.
The full breakdown of the financials can be read here.