Strong H2 performance for 888 Holdings in 2017

Last week, 888 Sport issued its final trading update of 2017, which showed a strong H2 performance and that its earnings for the year should largely be in line with market expectations.

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Earnings should be in line with market expectations at 888 in 2017. © Gaming Awards.

The update should help to reassure investors after a turbulent year for the operator.

Both the sportsbook and casino performed strongly in H2 of 2017, with the business particularly boosted by a large increase in mobile earnings and activity, along with the group’s expansion into a number of European markets, with Italy and Spain being the most lucrative to date.

The operator also made the strategic decision to leave five markets in 2017.

Commenting on the results, chief executive, Itai Frieberger, said:

888 has continued to develop its position in European regulated geographies, further diversified the business and maintained a firm focus on enhancing operational efficiencies. 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.Itai Frieberger, 888 chief executive

The group plans to issue its next set of trading updates for Q4 of 2017 at the end of March 2018.

A strong end to a turbulent year

Frieberger added that 888 is now well positioned to build on H2’s performance despite what has been a turbulent year for the operator.

Back in September, the operator was fined a record £7.8m by the UK Gambling Commission for social responsibility failings revolving around allowing customers to continue to access the platform, despite the customers excluding themselves. This record fine led the group to declare a record loss of $17m for H1 of 2017 later in the month.

Despite that loss, those results did have some positives. Revenues were up across most 888 operations, with the sports division performing particularly well.

In October, share prices in the firm dropped by 6% after the family of founder Aharon Shaked sold their 13% stake in the business. The family had already sold off over forty million shares in the company earlier in 2017 and the second sell-off was the Shaked family’s entire remaining share of the business.

Despite the fine and fall in share price, the H2 figures should go someway to reassure investors, while Frieberger believes that 888 Holdings is well placed to meet future growth targets.

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