ank is the UK’s second largest casino operator, while Gala is the third. It is thought the deal could be worth in the region of us$ 395.1 million. Neither company has speculated on the nature of the possible transaction but in its financial announcement Gala described them as “discussions on the possible disposal of UK casinos.”
Gala Coral’s Gala Casino business saw turnover increase by 4% to us$ 66.5 milion during the 16 weeks to January 14. Although the company’s strategy of focusing on higher value players resulted in a 10 per cent fall in admissions, Gala Casinos enjoyed an improvement in gaming drop per head of 15 per cent during the period.
Total gross profit stood at us$ 56.7 million, compared with us$ 53.1 million in the corresponding period in 2011. Gaming delivered gross profit growth of six per cent, with gross profit from machines increasing 8%. The latter was attributed to the renegotiation of contracts and improved customer service.
The company said that it planned to roll out 500 new Sabre electronic roulette terminals from Inspired Gaming during the second quarter of the year, which are expected to support gaming growth over the course of the year.
Gala Casino’s EBITDA of us$ 12.9 million was 6% ahead of the previous year. Overall, group turnover totaled us$ 557.5 million for the period, while gross profit and EBITDA stood at us$ 429 million and us$ 123.9 million, respectively. Performance across all of the group’s businesses improved, with the exception of its remote division.
“We are pleased with the progress in trading since our last update, with continued positive momentum across all of our businesses, helped by a much milder winter,” said Carl Leaver, Gala Coral’s CEO, noting the strong growth shown by both its bingo and bookmaking arms.
“The recent weeks have been more challenging, however, due to the adverse weather and we continue to be cautious about the impact of the economic outlook on our businesses. Accordingly, while these first quarter results put us on track to meet our growth targets across all of our businesses in 2012, we have put robust profit protection plans in place.”