Skip to Content

Coral gain 30 betting shops as Hughes departs

29 September 2011

GALA CORAL have lost chief finance officer Gary Hughes, who will depart on Friday, but gained 30 betting shops by acquiring the Chas Kendall chain in Cumbria and south-west Scotland.

Coral’s purchase for an undisclosed price includes ten shops in Barrow in Furness, where Chas Kendall established the firm in 1925.

Cath Rigg, whose father Les was Kendall’s son in law, was chairman and majority shareholder. Annual turnover of the group was reported to be around £60 million.

Coral chief executive Andy Hornby said on Tuesday: “This is a brilliant acquisition. Chas Kendall operated an excellent chain of shops in a region that Coral was not well represented. It is therefore a perfect fit.”

Hornby, who joined the group in July, added: “This acquisition shows our determination to keep growing a strong shop network.”

With 1,710 outlets, Coral have consolidated themselves in third place behind William Hill (2,370) and Ladbrokes (2,097) in the UK betting-shop league table. Betfred’s July purchase of the Tote took them to 1,350 shops.

The new ‘big four,’ which account for nearly 90 per cent of UK betting shops, have drawn further ahead of rest of the field, with only Paddy Power (151) being in three figures.

Hughes, who joined Gala Coral in 2008, played a major part in the restructure of the business in 2010 and the recent refinancing.

His replacement Paul Bowtell is former CFO of travel firm TUI and finance director of British Gas, and previously held senior roles with WH Smith and Forte.

Back to News