888 has reassured investors by claiming that its earnings for 2017 will be in line with market expectations following a strong H2 performance by its sportsbook and casino.
The gambling operator, which trades on the FTSE 250, said it is “well positioned” despite increased regulatory focus, primarily in the UK, and the strategic decision to exit from five markets – including Australia and Poland – in the first half of the year.
888 issued a trading update on Thursday, three months after reporting a pre-tax loss of $17.3m in the first half of 2017 despite a 9% leap in revenues.
888 is set to release its results for the year to December 31 in March.
The group said business had again been driven by further progress in its casino operations, strong momentum with 888Sport, increased activity on mobile devices and continued expansion in regulated continental Europe markets – notably Italy and Spain.
“888 has continued to develop its position in European regulated geographies, further diversified the business and maintained a firm focus on enhancing operational efficiencies,” said chief executive Itai Frieberger.
“A major focus in 2017 has been on ensuring that 888 is leading the way in terms of compliance and responsibility.
“This is an ongoing process of continuous improvement and I am confident that 888 is well positioned as the regulatory focus on the industry continues to become tighter, particularly in the UK.”
888 fell into the red in the first half of 2017 after being hit for $50.8m over a record £7.8m ($10m/€8.5m) fine in the UK for failing to protect vulnerable customers and a potential tax bill in Germany.
Frieberger described 888 as an “agile business” with an entrepreneurial culture and team, which has successfully adapted to opportunities and challenges during 2017.
He added: “Our progress has again been underpinned by the strength of 888's proprietary technology as well as the group's core expertise in CRM, marketing and business analytics.
“With these qualities, 888 remains well positioned for future growth.”
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