Gambling Industry Acquisitions and Financial News — Weekly Round-up for September 21, 2018

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Sep 21, 2018

GVC Holdings Admitted To Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Review conducted by RobecoSAM, the investment specialist

GVC Holdings, the multinational sports-betting and gaming group, announced Friday it is to become a member of Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), following the results of the DJSI’s annual review.

Launched in 1999, the DJSI represents the gold standard for corporate sustainability, tracking the leading sustainability-driven companies based on analysis of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors as well as S&P DJI’s robust index methodology. The review was conducted by RobecoSAM, the investment specialist, focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing.

RobecoSAM assesses the world’s largest companies via its annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment, which uses a consistent, rules-based methodology to convert an average of 600 data points per company into one overall score. This score determines inclusion in the DJSI.

Nick Batram, GVC’s director of investor relations said:

“We are proud to be recognised as a leader in corporate social responsibility, which is at the core everything we do as a business. Acting responsibly is not a luxury but fundamental to our long-term success and a key driver of shareholder value.”

Manjit Jus, head of ESG Ratings, RobecoSAM said: “I congratulate GVC for being included in the DJSI Europe. Companies that compete for a coveted place in the DJSI challenge themselves to continuously improve their sustainability practices and we are pleased to see that the number of companies that commit to achieving measurable positive impacts continues to rise.”

The Stars Group Looks Ahead With Sky Betting And Gaming Acquisition

Gambling group posts financials on SBG

On Monday The Stars Group Inc. filed a business acquisition report with respect to its GBP 3.4 billion purchase of Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) and provided supplemental historic financial information and additional highlights and updates for SBG.

The business acquisition report includes, among other information, SBG’s audited financial statements for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, as well as certain pro forma unaudited financial statements and information of The Stars Group, and high lights:

  • Revenues at Sky Bet rose 30 percent to GBP 670 million in the company’s latest financial year;
  • The firm’s revenue from betting rose by 37 percent to GBP 407 million in the year to June 30, driven by product enhancement and innovation helping to increase stakes and a sustained good run of sporting results;
  • SBG enjoyed a successful World Cup football season with 1.3 million active unique customers on its sportsbook, generating revenue of approximately GBP 33 million across the tournament;
  • Gaming revenue rose 19 percent to GBP 239 million;
  • EBITDA for the year was GBP 209 million, an increase of 43 percent; Margin was 31.1 percent;
  • Operating profit up 26.5 percent at GBP 86,719,000.
  • Gross profit up 33.2 percent at GBP 500,132,000
  • Capital expenditure down at -13.6 percent at GBP 28,233,000

Sky Betting & Gaming chief executive Richard Flint said: “The 2018 fiscal year was another strong year for SBG, with continued product leadership and innovation. We enjoyed another year of growth, extending our leadership as the UK’s most popular online betting and gaming brand.

“We also continued our investment in brand, technology and people, and continued delivering innovative products that meet the needs of our customers, all of which we believe combined to drive strong operating results.

“I’m also particularly pleased with the progress we made to deliver a safer gambling environment to our customers and to continue our record of job creation and investment in Yorkshire, as well as our contribution to regional and national taxation in the UK.

“The transaction with The Stars Group will allow us to offer our best-in-class products to a truly global audience. We enter the rest of 2018 and head into 2019 as part of one of the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming companies, and I’m excited about the opportunities this combination presents.”

The Stars Group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi said 2018 had been a “transformative year” for the business, which has also bought Australian bookmaker Crownbet, who had themselves acquired William Hill’s Australian operation in March.

“We’ve executed on these transactions and looking forward into 2019 are now focused on integration,” he said. “We’re confident we’ll deliver on our plans to grow market share both globally and in key markets.

“SBG is a key component of this plan and we’re excited about its potential as the fastest growing and one of the largest online and mobile sports betting and gaming businesses in the UK, the world’s largest regulated online gaming market.”

Full Year Guidance –The Stars Group continues to expect the following 2018 full year financial guidance ranges:

  • Revenues of between $1.995 and $2.145 billion;
  • Adjusted EBITDA of between $755 and $810 million;
  • Adjusted Net Earnings of between $485 and $545 million;
  • Adjusted Net Earnings per Diluted Share of between $1.99 and $2.22; and
  • Capital Expenditures of between $110 and $150 million.
Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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