888 Upgrades All 2020 Forecasts

888 Holdings has upgraded its full-year 2020 results to be significantly above its previous estimate by announcing improvement in all main indicators and good progress on its year goals.

888 posted a 37 percent rise in group sales to $379 million (H12019: $277 million) when it released its 2020 interim results (period ended 30 June), which the company said was primarily driven by the strong growth of its B2C verticals.

888 total B2C sales of $361 million were announced in a breakdown of market divisions, up 38 percent from the corresponding $262 million in 2019. During H1 trading, 888 highlighted a strong take-up of its online casino offering, which increased by 48 percent to $260 million (H12019: $175 m).

888 signs of strong engagement with its new online poker platform also saw more revenue highlights, which posted a 56 percent rise in revenues to $36 million (H1 2019: $23 million), representing a 103 percent increase in first-time depositors (FTDs) during the span.

Of note, 888 indicated that its B2C growth was created during a disrupted period of COVID-19 when the company introduced new player safety algorithms that track player interaction with its games and services.

In addition, 888 has retained its core corporate goal of maintaining growth through controlled and taxed markets in which, during the interim period , the company generated 73 percent of group sales.

Although COVID-19 created an unprecedented sports trading climate, 888 said it was able to mitigate wagering effects as its 888Sports division saw sales drop by just 1 percent to £ 44 million (H12019: US$ 44.5 million) with the unit delivering a result ‘above management expectations.’

888 stated that operating expenses grew by a substantial 36 percent to $95 million as a result of its controlled casino and poker growth markets, with the company underlining that it had paid $70 million in combined gaming duties.

888 delivered an adjusted H1 EBITDA of $70 million despite bearing higher operating costs, up 56 percent from $45 million in 2019. 888 reported a 130 percent rise in corporate income to $51 million at the close of its H1 accounts (H12019: $22 m).

888 Governance stressed that the company’s end-of-year success will be driven by the complete launch of its latest poker customer in all regulated markets and the launch of its proprietary sportsbook within the UK and Sweden, bolstered by the return of sports, upgrading its 2020 earnings outlook.

The CEO of 888, Itai Pazner, 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 percent and 56 percent 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.

“888 is looking forward to delivering further product enhancements including 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.”