Gala “re-platforming project” on track

Gala Coral’s online arm continued to show signs of recovery in the last quarter, with revenue from its Gala gaming and Coral betting brands up 27% year-on-year to £20.7m and earnings by 13% to £7.8m.

An improved sportsbook margin of 7.5%, up from 2.7% the previous year, drove a 70% rise in gross win to £8m from its Coral Interactive division, which included all revenues from as well as its telebetting businesses in the third quarter ended 30 June 2012., the first of the group’s online properties to complete a move onto Playtech software platforms in May of this year following the 10-year online supply deal signed between the two in July 2011, delivered gross win 158% ahead of the prior year, “albeit off a low base” admitted the company. Revenue from the Gala online gaming brands – notably including – was up 10% to £12.7m.

The performance also continued into July, despite some loss of customers suffered during migration of its Gala Bingo customers from its own proprietary software onto Playtech’s Virtue Fusion bingo platform. Gala Interactive customers were up 33% year-on-year, with Coral customers up 22% alongside a strong sports margin of 9.7%.

Group CEO Carl Leaver said that early results of “our strategic re-platforming project” had been positive and that he believed the company’s Playtech-powered websites would “represent a springboard to growth for the Group over the next few years.”

In Italy, where the company operates both online and offline businesses under the Eurobet brand, stakes were up 142% to £162.2m, gross win by 19% to £11.9m, and earnings by 43% to £2m, driven by Euro 2012 and additional online gaming regulation in the territory, with casino table games and cash poker being launched in July 2011.

Solid growth across all the Group’s business divisions with the exception of its bricks ‘n’ mortar Gala Casinos business helped the group deliver earnings of £64.2m in the period. However, the cost of servicing the company’s massive debt – £2.25bn – saw Gala Coral post an overall loss of £55.2m.

Casino Choice journalist

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