Coronavirus: Ladbrokes Coral-owner warns of £43m hit from closures

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2 min read
A sign hangs outside a branch of Ladbrokes in London
Leisure, retail and hospitality venues across England will be forced to close their doors for a second time as a one-month lockdown is imposed. Photo: REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Ladbrokes Coral-owner GVC Holdings (GVC.L) has warned it could take up to a £43m ($55m) hit if all its retail outlets were to close for a month under new lockdown measures.

The FTSE 100 betting giant said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would suffer an estimated £34m loss in the UK and a further £9m in Europe.

The estimates include the benefit of government support where available and other retail cost mitigation.

GVC added that the current cost of retail closures on underlying profits in UK retail operations would be £27m and £10m in Europe.

“The well-being, safety and security of our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance to us,” the company said in a statement.

“We are following government advice in each area of our operations and are enacting contingency plans to minimise the impact on the business.”

It comes as leisure, retail and hospitality venues across England will be forced to close their doors for a second time as a one-month lockdown is imposed.

Germany and France also went into national lockdowns amid surging coronavirus infections.

Citi’s Monique Pollard noted that GVC’s figures do not include the offsetting effect of a stronger online effect.

READ MORE: Betting shop closures hit Ladbrokes-owner but online gambling booms

Last month the bookmaker upped its full-year earnings forecast for underlying profits in the year to the end of December to between £770m and £790m as online betting climbed during the pandemic. It had previously expected a range of £720m to £740m.

At the time, the group said that sports bets were “well ahead” of last year’s levels due to the packed schedule of fixtures since sports games had resumed.

It recorded its 19th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in its online gaming division, while group net revenue jumped 12% in the third quarter to the end of September.

GVC further announced that it would buy the Portuguese betting company Bet.pt as it continues its expansion into European markets.

Watch: England to enter second lockdown as COVID-19 cases top 1 million