888 hails operational progress as 2020 revenue grows 51.6%
Over the year the operator launched its new sportsbook platform, as well as strengthening its casino offering with proprietary content, and deployed a new safer gambling solution for customers.
For the 12 months to 31 December, total revenue amounted to $849.7m (£608.4m/€711.0m), compared to $560.3m in the prior year.
B2C revenue grew 54.5% to $814.3m, with casino by far 888’s primary source of B2C income. Revenue for the vertical climbed 63.3% to $586.8m, helped by the launch of 44 new games via 888’s Section8 games studio.
Sports betting revenue jumped 35.7% year-on-year to $122.1m, driven by the roll-out of its first proprietary sports betting platform.
Poker revenue increased by 47.8% to $63.1m, helped by the launch of its new poker product and a resurgence for the vertical in 2020.
Finally, bingo revenue edged up 9.9% to $42.3m, partially due to the impact of the Costa Bingo acquisition in 2019.
The operator also reported growth in B2B revenue, which increased 18.9% to $35.4m, with both 888’s bingo and US operational segments delivering growth.
Looking at geographical performance, the UK remained 888’s core operating market, with revenue here amounting to $333.5m, or 39% of total revenue.
Revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) reached $253.4m, or 30% the group total, while US and the Americas contributed $93.7m, 11% of overall revenue. Italy represented 10% of revenue, Spain 8% and rest of world 2%.
Last year also saw 888 launch its Control Centre, a responsible gambling source designed to offer customers a one-stop-shop for safer gambling tools.
As part of its ‘Safer. Better. Together.’ strategy, 888 also rolled out a safer gambling advertising campaign, and continued to develop its Observer technology to flag and monitor concerning customer activity.
“2020 was a landmark year for 888, with our team navigating the many challenges presented by a global pandemic to deliver record financial results, and significant progress against our strategic priorities,” 888 chief executive Itai Pazner (pictured) said.
“Our product-leadership strategy delivered outstanding results in 2020, with the launch of our ground-breaking [responsible gambling solution] Control Centre, our first ever in-house sportsbook, and a totally new poker platform.
“Our focus on delivering safe, intuitive, content-rich and entertaining products is helping us to deliver a differentiated customer experience and supporting our market share gains in key regulated markets.”
After paying $151.8m in gaming taxes and duties and $135.1m in costs related to sales, 888 posted a gross profit of $562.8m, up 49.4% year-on-year.
Marketing expenses reached $237.1m and operating costs $170.1m, which left the operator with $155.6m in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), up 69.0% on 2019.
However, when including $11.0m in share-based benefit charges, $33.6m in depreciation and amortisation, and $78.2m in exceptional items – the latter of which related to a bingo goodwill impairment charge – operating profit was $32.8m, down 37.1%.
After accounting for finance costs, profit before tax was $26.7m, a fall of 41.1% on 2019’s total. 888 paid $15.4m in tax, leaving it with a net profit of $11.3m for the year, down 72.8% year-on-year.
Looking ahead, Pazner remained upbeat about the operator’s growth prospects for 2021 and beyond.
“We enter 2021 with strong momentum, with a record level of customers, and with a positive reaction to our suite of new products and innovations,” Pazner said.
“As a result, as well as 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.”