888 copybook blotted by social gaming

888holdingslogo888 Holdings felt the full force of a social gaming deal that failed as the firm’s half-year report showed a significant loss before tax. Their acquisition of MyTopia last year was supposed to give them a back door into the lucrative social gaming industry arena. Instead, it cost them a goodwill impairment of $20.2million and meant that the adjusted loss before tax bottomed out at $15.5m. That compares unfavorably with last year’s figure of $8.2m. It’s all a rather nasty blot on what was a fairly successful first half of the year. Revenue for the firm was up 18% to $154m. A lot of this was down to the company’s poker product seeing growth of 22% as it hit $24m in revenue. Casino also saw an improvement of 16% to $69m.

Deputy chairman Brian Mattingley commented, “This is a very strong set of results driven by good operating performances across our business lines. We have improved our offer, experienced good levels of new customer sign ups and activity has been at record levels. We are in good shape and, bolstered by our renewed strategic focus, are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities as they arise in newly regulated markets.”

The last quarter saw the firm’s Dragonfish casino brand expand aggressively into the newish Italian market. After receiving Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) approval, their product is now being used by bwin.it and MicroGame. In addition expansion will see Gioco Digitale and King.com run on their CasinoFlex platform with “other deals in the pipeline.” Apart from the MyTopia loss it was an impressive few months and those at the top won’t be too worried about the future.