888 Holdings posted their “highest ever six month revenues” in a trading update delivered by CEO Brian Mattingley. It was the first set of results since he took the job full time and showed that total revenue increased by 21 percent to $186.4 million as a result of strong B2C numbers. In that regard, poker improved its revenue by 72 percent to $41.3 million and casino was up 20 percent to $83.1 million. All of that left Mattingley understandably happy and even moved the firm to reinstate its dividend.
“This has been an excellent first half of the year. The tremendous increase in customer numbers caused by the improvements in our product offering has led to these record results, with the highest revenues in the history of 888. On the back of this performance, the Board has decided to reinstate the interim dividend, while we retain the cash necessary to continue growing the company,” he said.
The period was their most profitable since refocusing the business outside of the USA following their exit in 2006 in the wake of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The period also saw mobile show its increasing presence and 17 percent of sportsbook bets are now placed using a mobile device. Whilst we’re on the subject of sports, the company saw Olympic Games revenue in line with what they expected and sportsbook wagers rose 5 percent in the July/August timeframe during which the games took place.
In terms of the coming months the company is expected to look at improving their position in a number of recently and soon-to-be regulated markets. They’ve already cornered 24 percent of the Spanish poker market with their share in Italy also growing and these are just two of the markets they’ll be targeting in the latter part of the year.
“The second half of the year will see increased investment in Spain, where we will attempt to build on our impressive market share, and also in the United States where we are preparing for regulatory changes. We will also continue to invest in our technological platform, the cornerstone of our offer, and make improvements to our mobile channel,” Mattingley added.
The U.S. market is clearly where much of their focus will be and once Nevada is fully open for online poker you can expect the firm to be in the thick of it, on their best behaviour and with a nice land based beau on their arm.
As for the stock market, it liked what it saw in this trading update and shares in London were up 4.75 percent in early trading to 86.50p – their highest price in the past year.