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Ladbrokes owner GVC upgrades 2019 profit forecast

The bookie upgraded profit forecasts following strong trading in the third quarter
Ladbrokes owner GVC upgrades 2019 profit forecast

Strong trading in the third quarter has prompted GVC (GVC) to upgrade profit guidance for the full year. The bookie now expects to generate cash profits of between £670m and £680m during the 2019 financial year, up from the £650m-£670m range previously expected. Chief executive Kenny Alexander said this upgrade was driven by strong online momentum across all territories, with net gaming revenue (NGR) up 12 per cent during the third quarter, despite part of the Football World Cup falling in the comparative period. Mr Alexander also called the September launch of the BetMGM app in New Jersey a “key milestone”, adding that the joint venture with MGM is well placed to take advantage of the US sports betting market.

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So far, the impact of the maximum stake cut from £100 to £2 on fixed-odds betting terminals in UK retail shops hasn't proved as detrimental to trading as initially expected. Management said trends in UK retail “remain ahead of initial guidance”, with like-for-like NGR down 18 per cent, as a 36 per cent decline from machines was partially mitigated by a 7 per cent improvement in over-the-counter NGR.