888 confident that product growth will outride inbound headwinds 

888 Holdings has cited confidence in achieving its 2021 growth objectives, as the company enters a crucial H2 trading period aware of numerous dynamics impacting its commercial performance.

This morning, the LSE-listed online gambling group published a pre-close Q2 trading update, anticipating group revenues of $257 million – up 20% on 2020 corresponding results of $214 million.

The revenue uplift is attributed to the continued growth of its flagship B2C unit, which recorded top-line growth across its Casino (+13%) and Sportsbook (+94%) verticals.

Positive trading results saw 888 underscore the firm’s ‘product-leadership strategy, long-term positive customer acquisition trends, and continued expansion in regulated and taxed markets’ – which generated 74% of group revenues.

Casino and sportsbook B2C growth, offset a 6% downturn in 888’s B2B performance as the unit’s Q2 revenues remain stagnant at $10 million. Elsewhere, 888 noted that its poker and bingo verticals will be below last year’s exceptional results. 

“I am pleased to report that the strong momentum from the first quarter of 2021 continued into the second quarter, albeit with the year-on-year growth rate moderating in light of stronger comparables from the prior year,” explained Itai Pazner, CEO of 888.

“Growth was 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.”

Despite its positive momentum, 888 expects a tougher H2 trading period, citing that it “remains mindful of the potential impact of greater than normal seasonality in the summer post-COVID-19”.

The group noted that since the 17 May reopening of UK retail and leisure venues average UK daily revenues had been approximately 20% lower compared to year-to-date comparatives.

The reopening of retail/leisure venues across international markets, alongside seasonal dynamics and further regulatory compliance demands were recognised as factors “weighted towards the second half of the year”.

Against inbound headwinds, 888 maintains its corporate outlook, stating that the firm will achieve an ‘adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be slightly ahead of the prior year, despite the increased investments in the business’.

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