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UK Sparks: Betting Group GVC Announces £12.3m Loss After Merger Charges


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GVC Holdings, the sports betting and gaming group that owns Ladbrokes Coral, made a pre-tax loss of £12.3m in the first six months of this year. The loss, which compares to a pre-tax profit of £114m in the same period of last year, came after £224m of charges, mostly for the “amortisation of acquired intangibles” relating to the integration of the Ladbrokes Coral Group.

Before these items, pre-tax profits increased by 31% from £162m to £212m and net gaming revenues rose from £1.13bn to £1.8bn. The group says it remains on track to deliver promised cost synergies of £130m from the takeover by 2022 and £30m of capital expenditure synergies by 2021. It has raised its earnings outlook, saying it now expects full-year earnings of between £650m-670m.

Mining group Kaz Minerals saw interim earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation fall from $690m to $620m on revenues down from $1.1bn to $1.05bn. Operating profits dropped from $464m to $410m. Copper production increased by 6% to 147,000 tonnes but was offset by an 11% decrease in the copper price. Underlying profit margins slipped from 63% to 59%. The company says it is on track to achieve its full-year guidance for its main products copper and gold.

Landscape products group Marshalls has announced a 14% improvement in interim pre-tax profits to £37.1m on revenues 15% ahead at £280m. Operating margins edged up from 13.7% to 13.9% and the company says it is “increasingly confident of at least achieving its expectations for 2019”.

Chief executive Martyn Coffey says: “The group continues to outperform the Construction Products Association’s growth figures, despite ongoing political and Brexit uncertainty.” Finally, transport operator FirstGroup has appointed former Arriva chief executive David Martin as its new chairman with immediate effect. Mr Martin was lined up to be chairman earlier this year by activist shareholder Coast Capital, which owns 10% of FirstGroup. However, he withdrew his nomination before an extraordinary general meeting. Interim chairman David Robbie says Mr Martin is an “extremely experienced, high-calibre and independent” executive with an “extensive track record in surface transportation”. He adds: “His expertise and focus will be invaluable in driving forward the plans to rationalise the group’s portfolio and create value for shareholders.”

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