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TOP NEWS: GVC To Become Entain As Strong Trading Continues In October

Thu, 12th Nov 2020 09:58

(Alliance News) - GVC Holdings PLC on Thursday announced it will change its name to Entain PLC as the company sets out a new strategy focused on "sustainability and growth".

The sports betting and gaming group said customer protection and growth into new, regulated markets will be at the core of its new strategy.

Chief Executive Shay Segev said: "Under our new corporate identity, we will continue to use our unique technology platform to build on the exceptionally strong momentum that we have in our existing markets, grow into new markets, reach new audiences, enhance the customer experience, and provide industry-leading levels of player protection."

GVC's brands in the UK include Ladbrokes and Coral, while in the US, it is part of the BetMGM joint venture.

GVC has launched a player protection programme which uses technology to head off problem gambling, through additional checks as well as improved monitoring and interventions.

GVC also committed to having all of its revenue coming from markets that are nationally regulated by the end of 2023. By the end this year, 99% of revenue will come from regulated and regulating markets, the company said.

Currently, 96% of GVC's revenue comes from markets that are nationally regulated or regulating.

GVC said: "These new actions and initiatives are unquestionably the right thing to do for the long-term, but in the short-term they will inevitably come at a cost."

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be hurt by some GBP40 million in 2021 by the rebranding, GVC said. The name change to Entain is subject to shareholder approval.

GVC said this will be offset by strong underlying growth in the business.

GVC has seen strong trading in October and into November, benefiting the company's Ebitda by between GBP30 million and GBP40 million. This offsets the GBP37 million impact from the current enforced store closures due to coronavirus, the company said.

Ebitda guidance for 2020 remains between GBP770 million and GBP790 million. GVC reported underlying Ebitda in 2019 of GBP761.1 million.

Segev added: "We are absolutely committed to pursuing the highest standards of corporate governance, to providing outstanding career development opportunities for our colleagues, and to supporting the communities in which we operate. Our clear strategy of prioritising sustainability and growth will allow us to achieve these goals, thereby providing long-term value for all of our stakeholders."

The renaming is still subject to shareholder approval, the company added.

GVC shares were flat at 1,019.50 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Greg Roxburgh; gregroxburgh@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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