888 Release Q1 Trading And US Ambitions

888 has released its Q1 trading update for the three months ended March 31, 2021, which shows sales growth and optimistic consumer acquisition patterns.

Providing an update to investors, CEO Itai Pazner said: “We are excited about the US, where we plan to roll out sports into further states in the next few months, and launch our upgraded poker platform into further states in partnership with Caesars and their leading and hugely popular WSOP brand.”

888 reported sales growth of 56 percent in the first quarter, owing to its product-leadership strategy, long-term positive consumer acquisition patterns, and continued expansion in controlled markets.

B2C revenue grew by 57 percent to $262.8 million, driven by increases in casino (68 percent) and sport (53 percent) revenue, as well as continued growth in poker (10 percent) and bingo. The business also boasted about the growth of its in-house sports betting platform, which now handles the bulk of sports betting volumes.

Ahead of board expectations

With continuing good momentum throughout the market and favourable exchange rate changes, the firm’s first-quarter output was said to be ahead of board expectations.

It stated: “For the remainder of 2021, year-on-year trends will be impacted by a tougher comparative period, the previously disclosed expected impact of regulatory and compliance changes, and the impact of the reopening of retail and leisure venues across our markets. 

“The group continues to increase investment in product and marketing to support its long-term growth plans, and as a result, the board expects adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be broadly consistent with the prior year, despite increased investment in US B2C expansion.” 

Continuing strong momentum

Pazner commented: “The strong momentum in 2020 has continued into the first quarter of 2021, with a new all-time-high for FTDs and revenues, although year-on-year trends were partly inflated by the disruption to sporting events at the end of the prior year period, and increased demand for digital entertainment during this period across our main markets. 

“Our differentiated products and our data-driven marketing continued to underpin strong progress, supported by a favorable industry backdrop. We are particularly pleased with the strong performance of our new proprietary 888sport platform, which is already servicing the majority of bets while maintaining strong customer service levels and highly effective risk management and trading. 

“We remain very pleased with the strong momentum in the business and the continued positive customer reaction to our suite of new products and innovations. As a result, and underpinned by the group’s strengths as a product-centric, responsible, and diversified operator, the board believes that 888 has an outstanding platform to deliver continued strategic progress during 2021 and beyond.”