Multinational sportsbetting and gaming firm GVC Holdings has released its financial results for 2016 showing that pro forma sports wagers increased by 4% year-on-year to reach $4.92 billion off of a margin that had improved by 1.1% to hit 9.6%.

The Isle Of Man-based firm completed its acquisition of rival Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment in February of 2016 and revealed that the purchase had helped it to record pro forma annual net gaming revenues of $966.82 million, which was a rise of 9% year-on-year, while its earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization swelled by 26% to $222.29 million.

London-listed GVC Holdings explained that all of this gave it an adjusted annual profit before tax of $101.36 million, which was considerably up when compared with the previous year’s $50.14 million, while its net debt now stood at $142.09 million.

“The acquisition of Bwin.Party [Digital Entertainment] in February of 2016 was our most ambitious transaction to date and through the hard work of our people we have once again demonstrated our ability to create significant shareholder value through selected acquisitions,” read a statement from Kenneth Alexander, Chief Executive Officer for GVC Holdings. “Our strategy of pursuing international diversification and scale through leveraging our proprietary technology is more appropriate today than at any time in our history. The organic growth opportunity is equally exciting and we are confident of delivering further growth in 2017.”

In related news, GVC Holdings has additionally announced that it has continued to diversify its board of directors following the appointment of Will Whitehorn as its Senior Independent Director. The Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director for Stagecoach Group and an independent non-executive director for Purplebricks Group, the 56-year-old was previously a member of the GlobalScot business mentoring network and served as non-executive chairman for Next Fifteen Communications Group, Crowd Reactive Limited and Speed Communications Agency Limited.

“I am delighted that Will has agreed to join the board and we look forward to working with him,” read a statement from Lee Feldman, Chairman for GVC Holdings. “He brings a wealth of innovative commercial experience and corporate knowledge. The appointment reflects the company’s continuing commitment to broadening the skills-base of its board and enhancing its corporate governance practices following the move to the premium segment [of the official list] in 2016.”

Whitehorn joined Virgin Group in 1987 and served as its Group Public Relations Manager before being appointed as the firm’s Brand Development And Corporate Affairs Director. He subsequently helped to establish the company’s Virgin Games enterprise and served as President for Virgin Galactic from 2007 to 2011.

“I am very excited to be joining and contributing to the great team that has built GVC Holdings so successfully,” read a statement from Whitehorn. “It is a company that is growing in an industry that is changing dramatically due to new technology, competition and regulation. All of which means exciting opportunities and challenges ahead.”

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