888 says 2019 earnings targets in sight after record December


888-holdings-2019-online-gambling-previewUK-listed online gambling operator 888 Holdings says it’s on track to realize its 2019 earnings projections, thanks in part to a record-setting performance in the year’s final month.

On Tuesday, 888 issued a trading update on its 2019 performance, which the company said got a boost from December’s “all-time monthly record” performance. That, combined with 888’s “continued progress” during the second half of the year, leaves its board confident of FY19’s adjusted earnings coming in in-line with its earlier expectations. 888’s official 2019 results won’t be released until March.

The good news comes courtesy of 888’s Orbit casino platform performing well across several regulated markets, particularly in Italy, despite that market’s new restrictions on gambling advertising and sponsorship.

Sports betting enjoyed “further good revenue growth” despite the distractions of integrating BetBright’s wagering platform (which 888 acquired in March), and the company expects to launch its first proprietary sports product in the first half of this year.

In 2018, 888 saw its poker revenue fall 37% year-on-year, and 888 said Tuesday that poker remains “challenging” despite the rollout of the company’s new Poker 8 platform in H2. In July, 888’s poker product launched shared liquidity between Spain and Portugal and 888 said it has been “encouraged” by the early performance of this cross-border liquidity pool.

888 CEO Itai Pazner said the company had set a record in 2019 with over 1m new customers registering with 888 brands. Pazner (pictured) said 888’s UK-facing business had enjoyed a “strong recovery” thanks to its focus on “entertaining recreational customers in a safe and secure environment.” Pazner added that the company continues to increase its share of revenue from regulated markets.

888 investors largely shrugged at Tuesday’s announcement, as the stock closed down 1% on the day.