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888 sees B2C growth drive revenue up 20% in second quarter

| By Robert Fletcher
Online gambling operator 888 has reported a 20% year-on-year increase in revenue for the second quarter of its financial year, driven by growth within its B2C segment.

Revenue for the three months to 30 June amounted to $257m (£186m/€217m), up from $214m in the same period last year, and an increase of 10% on a constant currency basis. 

888 put this growth down to the success of its product-leadership strategy, long-term positive customer acquisition trends and continued expansion in regulated markets.

The operator noted growth in regulated and taxed markets, which contributed 74% of revenue in the quarter, though performances in the UK, Italy, Spain, Romania and Portugal were offset by the impact of new regulation in Germany.

Focusing on segment performance, B2C revenue was up 21% year-on-year – 11% on a constant currency basis – to $247m. B2C sports betting revenue hiked 94% – due to the lack of sports events in the comparative period last year as a result of cancellations caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid019) pandemic – while B2C casino revenue was also up 13%. 

Poker and bingo revenues declined, though 888 said this reflected an exceptionally strong performance during the prior year period when many players turned to other gambling when sports betting was limited.

However, despite overall B2C growth, 888 noted a 6% decline in. B2B revenue to $10m, with this total down 13% on a constant currency basis.

888 plans to release its results for the six months to 30 June on 1 September.

“I am pleased to report that the strong momentum from the first quarter of 2021 continued into the second quarter, albeit with the year-on-year growth rate moderating in light of stronger comparables from the prior year,” 888 chief executive Itai Pazner said.

“Growth was driven primarily by regulated markets, where we believe ongoing market share gains continue to reflect our product-leadership strategy, highly effective data-driven marketing, and our excellent content.

“In addition to strong trading across our core European markets, we made significant strategic progress during the period in the attractive US market, where we announced a long-term strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated.”

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, 888 said that its board remains mindful of the potential impact of greater than normal seasonality in the summer post after the pandemic. Since casinos and bingo halls reopened in the UK on 17 May, average daily revenues in the UK were 20% lower after this point than in the four-and-a-half months before.

888 also said it remained aware of the expected impact of regulatory and compliance changes in Germany.

Though investment in product and marketing is likely to be higher in the second half, 888 expects adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be slightly ahead of the prior year.

“The board remains confident that, with 888’s advanced technology, products and diversification across markets, the group remains well positioned to deliver further strategic progress during 2021 and beyond,” Pazner said.

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