GVC Holdings PLC (LSE:GVC), the multinational sports betting and gaming group, is pleased to announce its intention to pay a special 10 euro cents per share dividend in February 2017 in respect of the 2016 financial year. In addition, the Company announces its dividend policy together with a trading update for the third quarter and the period up to 31 October 2016.
As part of the terms of the €400m loan facility provided by Cerberus Business Finance LLC ("Cerberus Loan") associated with the acquisition of bwin.party digital entertainment plc ("bwin.party"), the Group agreed to take a dividend payment holiday in 2016. On 2 August, the Company announced that it had entered into a commitment with Nomura International to replace GVC's existing financing with a new €250m Unsecured Loan at materially lower rates of interest. This together with existing cash resources will enable the Group to repay the outstanding balance of the Cerberus Loan, being €386.5m, which the Group intends to do shortly before 2 February 2017 (the anniversary date of the full draw down of the Cerberus Loan). As a result of this and continued positive trading, the Board is pleased to announce the Group intends to pay a special dividend of 10 euro cents per share in February 2017 in respect of the 2016 financial year. An announcement containing further details of the proposed special dividend, including record and payment dates, will be made in due course.
Absent of any significant capital allocations or investments and consistent with maintaining appropriate capital ratios, the Group plans to adopt a dividend policy of distributing 50% of annualised free cash flow, commencing financial year ending 31 December 2017. It is expected that payments will be biannual with an approximate split of 40%:60% between the interim and final payment. Furthermore, the Board will also consider returning any future excess cash to shareholders in the form of special dividends and/or share buybacks. Excess cash will be determined by the capital requirements of the business, together with the trading outlook at the appropriate time.
|Per day in €000's||Q3-16||Q3-15||Change
|Total NGR per day||2,407||2,155||12%||15%||2,485||2,370||2,339|
|Total NGR €m||221.5||198.3||12%||15%||226.2||215.6||215.2|
Trading in Q4 has begun positively with pro forma Group daily NGR up 8% (+10% constant currency) for the period up to 31 October 2016. This performance is particularly pleasing given the tough comparative, with pro forma Q4 being the strongest period in 2015.
The Group intends to announce full year results on Thursday 23 March 2017.
Kenneth Alexander, CEO, said:
"As we did following the Sportingbet acquisition, through the rapid integration of bwin.party and a solid trading performance, GVC expects to recommence the payment of dividends ahead of schedule. Our shareholders have been highly supportive and it is pleasing to be able to reward them with a dividend sooner than we had originally anticipated. Trading has continued to be positive and with our proprietary technology, strong brands and talented people we are confident that GVC is well placed to deliver in a market that presents many opportunities and challenges."
The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
For further information:
|GVC Holdings PLC|
|Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive||Tel: +44 (0) 1624 652 559|
|Richard Cooper, Group Finance Director
Nick Batram, Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Strategy
|Tel: +44 (0) 20 7337 0110|
|Cenkos Securities plc|
|Mark Connelly, Jeremy Osler, Camilla Hume||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7397 8900|
|Investec Bank plc|
|Garry Levin, Chris Treneman, Carlton Nelson||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 4000|
|David Rydell, James Newman, Anna Legge, Laura Jaques||Tel: +44 (0) 20 3772 2500|
About GVC Holdings PLC
GVC Holdings PLC is a leading e-gaming operator in both B2C and B2B markets. GVC has four business segments with a number of brands; Sports labels (bwin, Sportingbet, gamebookers), Gaming labels (partypoker, partycasino, Foxy Bingo, Gioco Digitale, CasinoClub), B2B and non-core assets. GVC acquired bwin.party digital entertainment plc on 1 February 2016. The Group, headquartered in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index and has licences in more than 15 countries.
For more information see the Group's website: www.gvc-plc.com