- Gambling group GVC upgraded its outlook on profits as strong performance of its online business was expected to offset any potential costs associated with the new sports-betting licences in Germany.

'With the outperformance in UK Retail, and Online and European Retail trading in-line with expectations, the board now expects the group to deliver full year 2019 earnings (EBITDA) within a £650m-£670m range," the company said.

The upbeat outlook was supported by strong first-half results.

For the six months ended 30 June, underlying pre-tax profit rose to £212.1m from £162.1m a year earlier and net gaming revenue (NGR) increased 5%, with strong growth in online NGR, which was 17% ahead.

UK retail like-for-like NGR fell 10%, but that was better than the company had feared; European retail NGR rose 7% amid growth in all territories.

The company said it would pay an interim dividend of 17.6p, reflecting an increase of 10% compared to last year.

'The US JV, Roar Digital, is on track for its full launch in New Jersey in September and, building on the combination of proprietary technology, powerful brands and our marketing expertise, is well-placed to succeed,' the company said.

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