888 Holdings has stressed that the firm remains focused on growing in sustainable, regulated markets, with the US a key focus following Orbit’s New Jersey debut in July.

Profit before tax during the first half of the year ending June 30, 2019, has dropped almost two thirds to $22.2m, representing a 63 per cent decline year-on-year from $60.1m, but the firm is quick to state positivity in its future outlook.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented: “The board continues to believe that 888 is very well positioned for the future as a result of the group’s diversification across products and markets, product leadership, and first-class team. 

“Trading during the second half of the financial year to date has been in line with the board’s expectations with average daily revenue 6 per cent higher year on year representing a 9 per cent increase at constant currency. This has been led by a 24 per cent year on year revenue increase in the UK.  

“888 has a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead which will leverage the group’s new product developments and marketing innovation. As a result, the board remains confident that the outcome for the full year will be in line with its expectations.”

Adjusted EBITDA for the first half of the year fell 14 per cent to $44.9m (2018: $52.4m), with group revenue increasing two per cent to $277.3m (2018: $273.2m).

B2B revenue dropped 44 per cent to $14.8m (2018: $26.5m), driven by the acquisitions of AAPN and the Costa bingo brands which transferred from B2B to B2C, as well as the migration of Cashcade bingo.

Total B2C revenue jumped six per cent to $262.5m (2018: $246.7m), not helped by a 24 per cent drop in 888’s poker segment from $30.6m to $23.1m.

Overall casino revenue jumped nine per cent to $175.4m (2018: $161m), bingo increased ten per cent to $19.5m (2018: $17.6m) and sport rose 19 per cent to $44.5m (2018: US$37.5m). 

Pazner commented: “888 has delivered a solid performance in the first half of 2019. The group’s business in the UK has continued its recovery, which was underpinned by exciting product innovation as well as 888’s successful casual customer focus, and further expanded across several regulated European markets including launching its offering in Sweden and Portugal. 

“The group has also completed two acquisitions including the exciting and strategic acquisition of a first-class sports betting platform and team, thereby giving 888 complete ownership for the first time of its technology and product development across the four key online gaming product verticals.

“First time depositors in the group’s B2C business have shown very healthy growth of 20 per cent driven in particular by casino. This very encouraging trend reflects highly effective marketing investment as well as the benefits of Orbit, 888’s latest casino platform, which has delivered strong results in each market where it has been launched.”