GVC Holdings enjoys double-digit growth in Q1


gvc-holdings-sports-betting-growthUK-listed online gambling operator GVC Holdings enjoyed double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2017, as the company’s turnaround of the Bwin.party brands continues to gain momentum.

On Thursday, GVC issued a trading update covering the three months ending March 31, which showed pro forma daily net gaming revenue rising 13% year-on-year to €2.68m, while group net gaming revenue was up 12% to €241m for the quarter. The numbers have been adjusted to assume full Q1 2016 contributions from the Bwin.party brands, which GVC officially acquired midway through that quarter.

Daily sports betting turnover at the Bwin and Sportingbet brands was flat at €12.9m but sports revenue was up 12% to €948k as margins improved 1.1 points to 9.6% despite punter-friendly results at the end of March. The company credited improved marketing and product following GVC’s acquisition of the previously underperforming Bwin.party brands.

Gaming/other daily net gaming revenue was up 19% to €1m, while games brands improved 4% to €615k, with the much-maligned PartyPoker operation singled out for showing particularly positive momentum. The B2B/Non-core segment was up 17% to €115k.

GVC says it still has the wind at its back, as trading to date in the second quarter has daily revenue rising 16%, thanks in part to a 10% rise in sports betting handle and margins improving to 10%.

GVC CEO Kenny Alexander expressed delight at his company’s Q1 performance, although he cautioned that comparatives will get tougher as the year progresses, due to the lack of a marquee football tournament. That said, Alexander believes continued enhancements to the product and “a return to more normalized marketing spend” will produce “another year of strong progress.”

This week saw GVC’s Italian-licensed Gioco Digitale operation add new casino content from developer Yggdrasil Gaming. The launch of 11 new HTML5 slots titles marks Yggdrasil’s first foray into Italy’s regulated online market, and Gioco Digitale – and eventually Bwin.it – will also enjoy access to Yggdrasil’s BOOST in-game promotional tool.