888 highlights US ambitions and bright outlook in Q1 trading update

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Online betting and gaming firm 888 has posted its Q1 trading update for the three months ended 31 March 2021, showing revenue growth and positive customer acquisition trends.

Updating investors, CEO Itai Pazner stated: “We are excited about the US, where we plan to roll out sports into further states in the next few months, and launch our upgraded poker platform into further states in partnership with Caesars and their leading and hugely popular WSOP brand.”

Addressing Q1 financial highlights, 888 revealed revenue growth of 56%, driven by product-leadership strategy, long-term positive customer acquisition trends, and continued expansion in regulated markets. 

B2C revenue increased 57% to $262.8m, led by growth in casino (68%) and sport (53%), with continued growth in both poker (10%) and bingo (8%). The company also cited the successful deployment of its in-house sports betting platform, which is now delivering the majority of sports volumes. 

On the outlook, the first quarter performance was said by the firm to be ahead of board expectations, with continued strong momentum across the business, and favorable exchange rate movements. 

It stated: “For the remainder of 2021, year-on-year trends will be impacted by a tougher comparative period, the previously disclosed expected impact of regulatory and compliance changes, and the impact of the reopening of retail and leisure venues across our markets. 

“The group continues to increase investment in product and marketing to support its long-term growth plans, and as a result, the board expects adjusted EBITDA for the full year to be broadly consistent with the prior year, despite increased investment in US B2C expansion.” 

Pazner commented: “The strong momentum in 2020 has continued into the first quarter of 2021, with a new all-time-high for FTDs and revenues, although year-on-year trends were partly inflated by the disruption to sporting events at the end of the prior year period, and increased demand for digital entertainment during this period across our main markets. 

“Our differentiated products and our data-driven marketing continued to underpin strong progress, supported by a favorable industry backdrop. We are particularly pleased with the strong performance of our new proprietary 888sport platform, which is already servicing the majority of bets while maintaining strong customer service levels and highly effective risk management and trading. 

“We remain very pleased with the strong momentum in the business and the continued positive customer reaction to our suite of new products and innovations. As a result, and underpinned by the group’s strengths as a product-centric, responsible, and diversified operator, the board believes that 888 has an outstanding platform to deliver continued strategic progress during 2021 and beyond.”