Online operator 888 has posted record half-year revenues of $186.4m on the back of a stellar performance from poker and solid growth from its core casino component.
Earnings were up 81% to $36m in the six months to the end of June, albeit from a low base of $20m a year earlier, with the company announcing it had reinstated its dividend at 2.5c per share.
888Poker revenue was up 72% year-on-year to $41.3m in the six months to the end of June, with second quarter performance also holding up well in the historical seasonal slowdown leading into summer. Active poker customer numbers were up 63% in Q2, on top of the 90% rise recorded in the prior year.
In Spain, where the operator made a backdated tax payment of US$11.1m to Spanish authorities ahead of launching in the regulated market in early June, 888 doubled its poker revenue from Spain compared to the period immediately prior to regulation. 888poker.es is now No 2 behind PokerStars in the segregated player pool, with a 24% market share, according to the company’s statement today.
The company said it would “look to consolidate and build upon this strong position as concerted marketing efforts step up in the second half of the year.”
Revenue from the company’s core casino component also contributed to the 21% uplift in group revenue, with revenue up 20% year-on-year to $83.1m from $69.m. 888 also launched its new casino front end, Casino 50, which it said it believed was “one of the most powerful and sophisticated platforms in the industry”.
Bingo however, “continues to be challenging and in a very competitive market”, said the company this morning, as revenues from its 888ladies, Wink and other brands dipped 2% to $26.9m from $27.6m.
Revenues from the company’s Dragonfish B2B division, including contributions from the bingo network which is home to the Foxy brands and Costa, fell 1% to $22.8m from $23.1m, which 888 said reflected “the impact of phasing out smaller unprofitable licenses.”
CEO Brian Mattingley credited the record results to “[t]he tremendous increase in customer numbers caused by the improvements in our product offering.”