888 revenues send it straight to the top of UK market

Onli

888holdingsfinancial
ne gaming and solutions provider, 888 Holdings has declared a special dividend for the fifth straight year as full-year pre-tax profit surged 82%, driven by strong performance in its sportsbetting and casino businesses.

The group, which operates 888 casino, poker, sport and bingo brands said it was recommending a final dividend of 5.1c per share along with an additional one-off 10.4c per share, bringing the total dividend to 19.4c per share.

Investec analysts who rate the stock a “buy” said in a statement: “Given 888’s size and superior technology offering, as well as its growing Sport product vertical, we regard 888 as either a consolidator or key potential take-out target.”

Shares rose as much as 7.6% in morning trade to 252p per share, hitting its highest in nearly 11 years on the London Stock Exchange.

The company said revenue at its casino division rose 21%, whilst the sports unit’s revenue grew 49%, with total group revenue rising 13% to $520.8m.

Updating investors, the operator disclosed that pre-tax profit rose to $59.2m from £32.5m a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Itai Frieberger, Chief Executive of 888 says: “2016 was another fantastic year for 888 during which we continued to deliver very strong organic revenue and profit growth. This was again underpinned by further outstanding progress in Casino, Sport and across regulated markets.

“888’s further expansion in the UK, Spain and Italy is a strong demonstration of the Group’s ability to drive excellent growth and build leading market positions across regulated markets as the industry continues to head in this direction. These strong results demonstrate the truly outstanding underlying momentum in the business.

“Current trading since the start of the year remains healthy with average daily revenue more than 11% above the previous year at constant currency. The Board continues to see a number of significant growth opportunities for 888 both in new and existing markets and we look forward to another exciting year of progress.”


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