Market share expansion

888's UK growth drives 39% revenue increase for 2021 first half

888 remarked its recent US partnership with Sports Illustrated for "strong US growth."
Reading time 1:50 min
The operator achieved a record half-yearly revenues of $528 million, with adjusted EBITDA up a 39%. It saw over 50% UK revenue growth, boosted by favourable foreign exchange movements. Gaming and betting activity also increased by 35% and 82% respectively. 888 lifted its revenue and earnings expectations for the year.

888 Holdings PLC released on Wednesday a report on its profits for the first half of 2021, and said that it anticipates “full-year revenue and earnings ahead of prior expectations”. 

The highlights of the report are:

  • A record half yearly revenues of $528 million 
  • Adjusted EBITDA $97 million, and Adjusted EPS 18.3c
  • Regulated markets driving growth, with regulated and taxed mix at 75% of revenues.
  • Revenue growth of 39% driven by expansion in regulated markets 
  • Cash generated from operating activities before working capital and tax of $94 million (+37%) 

The online betting and gaming company made a pretax profit of $57.9 million in the six months ended June 30, up from $50.9 million a  year earlier.

Adjusted EBITDA rose 39% to $97.4 million, with growth driven primarily by regulated markets. 

In terms of gambling, gaming went up 35%, which was attributed to new content launches, improved AI features and marketing, as the company reported a 71% growth in investment. Betting went up 82%, benefitting from in-house product and strong promotions, as well as lapping a period impacted by fixture cancellations, according to the company. 

888 declared an interim dividend of 4.5 cents a share, up from 3.2 cents in 2020. Shares in the company lifted after it reported more than 50% UK revenue growth for the six months to the end of June. It also highlighted over 80% growth in Italy, with new customer increase of 11%. 

Looking forward, the company said revenue growth slowed in July and August to mid-single digit percentages, reflecting the reopening of retail and leisure venues and the expected impact of regulatory and compliance changes.

The company looks forward to growth with a partnership in the US to launch Sports Illustrated Sportsbook. It will first launch in Colorado, with more states to follow in the coming months.

Itai Pazner, chief executive officer of 888, said: “The strong momentum from 2020 continued into the first half of 2021, with growth 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".

“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”, he concluded. 

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