888 surpass profit targets after online growth and return of sport

Business News

888 Holdings said Wednesday that adjusted earnings for 2020 will be significantly ahead of its previous expectations, and declared a special dividend.

Pretax profit for the first six months of the year was $50.9 million compared with $22.2 million for the year-earlier period, the London-listed gambling company said. Revenue for the first half rose 37% to $379.1 million.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization–the company’s preferred profit metric, which strips out exceptional and other one-off items–grew 56% to $70.1 million.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented: “888 has performed very well throughout the first half of 2020 with robust year-on-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of 37% and 56% respectively. This outcome reflects the Group’s continued strong levels of customer acquisition, general consumer trends towards increased use of online services especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period and 888’s relentless focus on product leadership.

We recognised early on that the COVID-19 pandemic would have a material impact on the lives of our customers across many global markets and this required an appropriate response from 888. We were therefore quick to increase our vigilance on safe gambling and preventing gambling-related harm.

We are pleased with our continued progress in the US where revenue increased by 90% year-on-year reflecting the Group’s outstanding B2C growth in New Jersey as well as strong performances from our B2B partners. We remain excited by the potentially significant medium-to-long-term opportunities for 888 in the US market.

888 is looking forward to delivering further product enhancements including the introduction of our new poker product across markets during H2 2020 and the launch of our proprietary sportsbook in the UK early next year. In addition, we are continuing to invest in safe gambling tools and will begin the roll-out of a new customer-centric safe gambling feature called the ‘Control Centre’ later this year that will offer customers an improved interface to help them understand better their gambling behaviour.

As a result of the Group’s continued momentum, as well as its strengths as a product-centric, responsible and diversified operator, the Board believes that 888 has a unique platform to deliver continued strategic progress during H2 and beyond.”