888 delivers 40% H1 profits jump but warns of tough year-end landing
888 Holdings maintains confidence in achieving its full-year revenues and earnings expectations ’, as ‘tougher comparatives approach during the second half of year trading, in light of ‘exceptionally strong performance in both betting and gaming revenues during 2020’.
Publishing its H1 Interim results 30 June, total group revenue increased by 39% in comparison to $528 million (H12020: $379m), as 888 delivered period profits of $352 million up 40% on 2020 results of $250 million.
Additionally, the operator’s net cash flow stood at $114 million (H12020: $77m), representing an uptake of 48%, whilst AEBITDA increased by 39% to $97 million (H12020: $70m). Likewise, adjusted profit before tax was reported at $75 million, an increase of 49% on 2020 figures (2020: $70m).
The FTSE250 group has largely attributed its strong H1 trading to its ‘product-leadership strategy delivering strong results,’ as 888 maintained its growth profile within the mature markets of the UK and Italy.
888 experienced growth rates of 80% in Italy and 50% in the UK respectively, attributed to ‘strong acquisition trends and customer activity across all product verticals’, with total revenue from regulated markets increasing by 50% to account for over 75% of total group revenue (2020: 73%).
B2C earnings across all markets rose by 40.9% to $509 million (H12020: $361m) as B2C brands saw customer acquisition increase by a reported 6%.
The 888 Sport proprietary platform has been launched in the majority of markets, with the BetFinder, BetFeed, BetBuilder and personalised recommendation offerings highlighted as driving positive sportsbook growth,
Furthermore, over 435 new titles were launched via the 888casino product, whilst the firm’s in-house game studio, Section8, ‘continues to produce high quality games’ including 140 exclusive titles.
888 CEO, Itai Pazner, said: “The strong momentum from 2020 continued into the first half of 2021, with growth driven primarily by regulated markets, where we believe ongoing market share gains continue to reflect our product-leadership strategy, highly effective data-driven marketing, and our excellent content.”
However, the group also acknowledged a slowdown in revenue throughout July and August by mid-single digit percentages in relation to H1 2020, as a result of retail and leisure venues reopening across various markets as well as the impact of regulatory and compliance changes in certain jurisdictions.
Moving forward, 888 plans to continue to solidify its position in the expanding US market, having established a ‘platform for growth’ via a partnership with Sports Illustrated as well as extending its B2B offering in Pennsylvania, with plans to launch the SI Sportsbook in Colorado later this month ahead of initiating operations in other states.
Lastly, the group aims to continue rollout of its safer gambling and player protection initiatives, including its Control Centre, to provide its customers with spending control tools and real-time information regarding a user’s gambling activity.
“We made significant strategic progress in the first half, securing a long-term strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated to strengthen our position in the US,” Pazner continued.
“We also continued to execute our product leadership plan, delivering further improvements in the usability and quality of products across sports and gaming, all the while maintaining our persistent focus on delivering our safer gambling priorities.
“The Board remains confident that, with 888’s advanced technology, products and diversification across markets, the Group remains well positioned to deliver further strategic progress during 2021 and beyond.”