UK-listed online gambling operator GVC Holdings’ latest trading update shows the company firing on all cylinders as it prepares to merge its operations with recent acquisition Bwin.party digital entertainment.
For the first nine months of 2015, GVC says average daily net revenue was up 11% to €670k, a new record. Sports betting turnover was up 15% to just under €4.5m per day, while sports revenue rose 3% to €314k per day as margins slipped 0.9 points to 9.2%. Average daily gaming revenue was up 18% to €356k and customer deposits rose 14% to €1.7m per day.
GVC said it was “highly confident” of the outlook for Q4 and announced it would pay its second interim dividend of 14€cents per share, bringing 2015’s year-to-date dividend to 56€cents per share, one €cent more than the same period last year.
As for GVC’s imminent takeover of Bwin.party, GVC said it would submit the final draft of its prospectus to the UK Listing Authority by November. Barring any regulatory concerns, the company envisions officially closing the deal early next year.
Earlier this week, Bwin.party’s outgoing CEO Norbert Teufelberger told eGaming Review that he believed the integration of the two companies could be accomplished “within two years.” Teufelberger said this was 12-18 months shorter than the process would have taken had Bwin.party accepted a rival acquisition bid from 888 Holdings.
GVC plans to migrate its sports betting customers to Bwin.party’s platform and Teufelberger acknowledged that closing down one technology operation means “there will be offices and staff that have to go with it.” Teufelberger noted that his company had undergone its own downsizing over the past year or so as its revenue tanked “and now the new team is going to look at it again.”
Teufelberger has been here before, having helped engineer the ill-fated 2011 merger of Bwin with PartyGaming. Teufelberger told eGR he didn’t view the union as a mistake and said he would have made the same decision today, given the information he had at the time. But hey, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush fumbled his response in a series of interviews this year before he would finally cop to the lunacy of his brother George’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, so perhaps Norbert too will one day embrace reality.