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GVC proposes third interim dividend following “transformational” year

9th January 2014 9:45 am GMT

AIM-listed online gaming operator GVC Holdings has announced that it will pay out a third interim dividend for the full year ended December 31st, reflecting the company’s confidence in its current trading and future prospects.

GVC said that 2013 was a “transformational” year for the company following the acquisition and successful integration of Sportingbet, a reduction in the inherited cost base of around 50 per cent, as well as growth in its inherited revenues.

Net gaming revenue (NGR) for the fourth quarter averaged €531,000 per day, equivalent to €48.9m for the period, an increase of 3 per cent versus the previous quarter.

Sports betting NGR fell 6 per cent quarter-on-quarter to €23.0m despite a 19 per cent improvement in total sports wagers to €361.9m.  The decline in NGR followed a reduction in sports margins during the quarter, down from 9.8 per cent in Q3 to 8.4 per cent. Gaming NGR rose 9 per cent compared to the previous quarter to €25.9m.

For the full year period, total NGR amounted to €168.7m. Sports betting and gaming NGR amounted to €90.1m and €90.0m respectively, while €12.2m was attributable to its B2B partner, East Pioneer Corporation.

GVC said that it has now completed all of its data migrations onto the one platform of Sportingbet, including that of Betboo.  In addition, the company has moved its principal gaming licence from Alderney to Malta where GVC has been established for many years and where its sports trading management team is located.

Following the strong performance, GVC has proposed payment of a third interim dividend of the year of 11.5 cents.

The company said that the dividend represents management’s confidence in the group’s current trading and future prospects and brings the total of interim dividends paid in the 2013 financial year to 32.5 cents, compared to 22.0 cents in 2012.

GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander said: “The board is pleased to be able to present excellent figures for 2013 and to continue to reward our shareholders with an increased dividend. The Sportingbet acquisition and our successful restructuring of that business has been transformational for GVC.

“The board’s confidence in the future growth of the group is demonstrated by our ongoing progressive dividend policy, and we look forward to providing a full update at the time of the Preliminary Results in April.”

GVC added that it expects to report clean EBITDA above the top-end of analysts’ current forecasts.

Shares in GVC Holdings plc (Co. Data) (AIM:GVC) have gained 1.16 per cent to 380.36 per share in London this morning following the announcement. The company’s shares hit a 52-week high of 383.00 pence in trading Wednesday.

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