BUSINESS

Gala Coral Q2 Results: Poor Football Results Eke Into Coral Retail Profits Resulting in Shop Closure Rumors

TAGs: Carl Leaver, closure rumors, EBITDA, Eurobet Retail, Fixed Odds Betting Terminal, FOBTs, football, gala coral group, Lee Davy

Gala Coral’s Q2 financial results show underlying year to date EBITDA ahead in all divisions, but poor football results hits Coral Retail’s gross profit, resulting in shop closure rumors.

Gala Coral have issued their Q2 financial results and here is the nutshell version of things.

Gala Coral Q2 Results: Poor Football Results Eke Into Coral Retail Profits Resulting in Shop Closure RumorsFirst the good news.

Carl Leaver, CEO of the Gala Group, was keen to impress the point that ‘The Group delivered strong underlying growth for the second quarter in a row, with underlying EBITDA (pre-exceptionals) ahead in all divisions and 16% overall.”

For the 12-weeks ending 12 April 2014, turnover was 8% ahead of last year, and gross profit of £215m was £6.2m, or 3% ahead; thanks to the growth of the online business, Eurobet Retail and Gala retail divisions.

The online market was once again king of the castle as Coral.co.uk, and the new ‘Coral Connect’ single wallet service, helped drive gross profit to £10.1m, or 44% ahead of last year, and EBITDA was £6.6m, or 138% ahead. Stakes were 62% ahead, driven by increasing active numbers and spend per head.

The Italian job was also a ‘good job’ with Eurobet Retail gross profit up to £3.1m, or 61% ahead of last year, and EBITDA was £2.2m or 63% ahead. Sports stakes were £24.7m, or 63% ahead of last year, with 445 of the new tender licenses opening at the end of the quarter, and a further 55 due to open in Q3.

Now the bad news.

Coral Retail was another UK bookmaker that blamed the ‘abnormally poor football results’ for gross profit that were £5.6m behind last year, and the price hike in Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) costs, despite the FOBTs continuing to outperform the market, delivering gross win per machine, per week, of £965 (£12 ahead of 2013).

The continued focus on the FOBT machine price hike has set the hares running; however, with several media outlets suggesting that they could be getting ready to close around 80 of their 1,800 shops, resulting in the redundancies of around 400 employees.

Industry leader William Hill revealed plans to close 109 shops, and Ladbrokes also announced plans to close 50.

Coral have not released any specific word on store closures at this time.

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