Online and land-based betting operator Gala Coral has cited ‘difficult trading conditions’ during the fourth quarter as the reason behind its drop in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the year ending September 28, 2013.
The operator posted total EBITDA of £246.4 million (€288.3 million/$394.2 million) for the year, a 9% drop on the £271.8 million recorded the previous year.
The annual figure was impacted greatly by the firm’s performance in the fourth quarter of 2013, in which it posted EBITDA of £39.5 million, an amount significantly lower than the £59.7 million recorded in the corresponding period last year.
Despite the fall in EBITDA, Gala Coral was able to post a slight increase in annual gross profit, which grew by 3% to £822 million during the year ending September 2013. Turnover also increased by 6% year-on-year.
“In light of the difficult trading conditions, especially in Q4, the Group posted a satisfactory performance in the year, with gross profit ahead in all our businesses with the exception of Gala Retail,” Gala Coral’s chief executive officer, Carl Leaver, said.
“Performance in the year to Q3 was resilient, but a prolonged period of abnormally hot weather in Q4 resulted in reduced footfall in the UK retail businesses.
“This, combined with poor sports results (primarily football), resulted in a material adverse impact on Q4 EBITDA (pre-exceptionals).
“These trends are consistent with those highlighted by our competitors. However, trends in the new financial year have been more positive with results and customer volumes returning to more normal levels, and encouraging growth in our online businesses.”