The gambling industry has been left reeling by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but the latest financial figures for 888 Holdings, parent company of 888poker, seem to buck that trend.
The latest figures take us up to June 30, 2020 and are impressive considering the current trading conditions. Overall group revenue increased 37% to $379.1 million, up from $277.3 million in H1 2019.
All but one of 888’s products saw an increase in revenue. Sports betting was the only negative, falling 1% to $44.1 million. Even that figure is better than expected with sports only just returning to some sort of normality. 888 was keen to point out at sports revenue during June was 59% ahead of H1 2019.
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Casino revenue increased 48% to $260.0 million helped by a 72% rise in first time depositing players. Bingo, a sector that has dwindled, saw revenue rise 8% to $21.1 million.
Perhaps most impressive is the massive surge in revenue and first time depositing players at 888poker. New depositing customers increased by 104% which resulted in revenue soaring 56% to $36.1 million. This sum is 888poker’s highest half-year revenue in three years.
All these increase ultimately lead to a massive rise in profit before tax. This stood at $22.2 million in H1 2019 but weighed in at $50.9 million for H1 2020, a 129.3% increase.
Unsurprisingly, Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, is delighted with how the company has performed during difficult, unprecedented times.
“888 has performed very well throughout the first half of 2020 with robust year-on-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA of 37% and 56% respectively. This outcome reflects the Group’s continued strong levels of customer acquisition, general consumer trends towards increased use of online services especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period and 888’s relentless focus on product leadership.”
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Panzer praised his team for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the work they did to help make gambling safe and prevent gambling-related harm.
He also revealed there will be further “product enhancements” during H2 2020. These include “our new look poker product”, the launch of a “proprietary sportsbook in the UK” and a new customer-centric safe gambling feature known as “Control Centre”.
Investors, rightly, saw the positivity surrounding 888 as an excuse to purchase shares. The surge in buys saw the 888 Holdings share price jump from 208.00 pence per share on September 29 to 250.50 pence per share at close on September 30 when the results were announced. They reached 264.00 pence per share on October 2 and are currently trading at 261.00 pence per share at time of writing, valuing the company at £962 million.