888 prospers despite ‘challenging’ poker sector
Releasing a trading update for the period from January 1 to May 18, 2019, online gaming operator 888 saw group revenue rise by six per cent year on year, despite a 28 per cent drop in poker revenues.
The six per cent rise was on a like-for-like basis, just two per cent increase on a reported basis. The growth is attributed to significant gains across sport and casino, offsetting losses in poker.
Driven to some extent by the release of 888’s Orbit Casino platform, new customer acquisition was up by 20 per cent, year on year, with revenue across the group’s casino business rising 13 per cent in the period.
Sport performed better still, climbing 29 per cent year on year, while bingo revenues were flat. Poker however saw dramatic losses, dropping 28 per cent compared with the same period in 2018, amid what 888 called “challenging” conditions.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said in a statement: “888 has enjoyed a solid start to the year with strong momentum in Casino and Sport across a number of the group’s major regulated markets.
“Whilst Poker has remained challenging, we were pleased to see an improving revenue trend in Q1 2019 against Q4 2018. In addition, we are very encouraged by a 20 per cent increase in first-time depositors across the group’s B2C business in the period; this reflects 888’s outstanding marketing capabilities and is a key indicator of our growth prospects.
“As a diversified operator that owns its own technology, the Board continues to believe that 888 has a unique platform to deliver continued growth in the dynamic global online gaming industry,” said Pazner.
The group said that, f urther to the announcement of its 2018 financial results in March 2019, 888 has continued to achieve encouraging growth during the period in the UK, with revenue up 18 per cent (like-for-like basis).
The board said that it remains confident that the outcome for the full year “will be in line with its expectations”.