- Gambling group GVC posted Tuesday a jump in underlying profits as 'effective marketing' and a 'good' World Cup helped boost revenues.

For the 12 months to 31 December, reported underlying pre-tax profit rose 188% to £434m and revenues jumped 198% to £43.8m.

Reported underlying earnings (EBITDA) rose 138% to £2.3m, reflecting the sale of Kalixa in 2017 and the Ladbrokes Coral acquisition.

Proforma Group net gaming revenue was up 9% at £3,571.4m.

Underlying operating profit of £6.8m was £12.8m ahead of 2017 and operating profit after charging separately disclosed items of £6.8m was £15.3m ahead, the company said.

The company declared a second interim dividend of 16.0p per share, taking the full year dividend to 32.0p, an increase of 7% on last year.

'The Group's full year results reflect a very strong performance with proforma net gaming revenue 9% ahead of last year and proforma underlying EBITDA 13% ahead. 2018 was a transformational year for the Group with the completion of the Ladbrokes Coral acquisition in March making the Group the largest online-led sports-betting and gaming operator in the world,' said Kenneth Alexander CEO.

'Excellent operational execution, effective marketing and a good World Cup helped both the legacy GVC and the acquired Ladbrokes Coral businesses perform ahead of expectations and materially ahead of the market, delivering market share gains in all our major territories.'

'Combined with the benefit of being a truly global scale operator, together with the opportunities provided by the integration of Ladbrokes Coral and our joint-venture in the US with MGM Resorts, the Board is confident the Group is well-placed to absorb the impact of the Triennial Review and associated tax increases in 2019, and deliver strong EBITDA growth in future years.'

At 8:35am: [LON:GVC] GVC Holdings Plc share price was -9p at 642p

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