888 hails 2021 ‘a very successful year’ after hitting new revenue record

888 has posted its full-year results, with CEO Itai Pazner calling 2021 ‘a very successful year’ as the group achieved a new revenue record of $980.1m.
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888 Holdings has posted its full-year 2021 results, reflecting on what CEO Itai Pazner called ‘a very successful year’ as the group achieved a new revenue record of $980.1m.

In terms of the Americas, 888 noted that it witnessed strong growth in Canada, as well as a platform for further growth in the US following its strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated and the launch of the SI Sportsbook in Colorado.

Reporting its full-year 2021 financial performance, 888 declared a group revenue growth of 15.4% year-over-year to $980.1m (FY2020: $849.7m) and double-digit B2C growth in most of its core and growth markets.

Broken down per B2C vertical, the group recorded $814.5m in gaming revenue, a 17.7% improvement YoY (FY2020: $692.2m) and $127.4m in betting revenue, a 4.3% increase YoY (FY2020: $122.1m).

Despite regulatory-related revenue headwinds, 888 notes that B2C growth was down to its focus in ‘areas of competitive advantage, product, brand, and customer excellence’ producing a 4% increase in average monthly players.

The group’s B2B revenue came in at $38.2m, a 7.7% YoY rise (FY2020: $35.4m) thanks to growth in both its bingo B2B business and its US B2B business.

Market growth helped 888 generate $647m of gross profits from operations, up 15% YoY (FY2020: $562m), but group-wide expenses totaled $482m (FY2020: $407m) due to higher marketing costs ($306m) and total operating expenditure ($175m).

Higher operating costs combined with the significant investment in the SI Sportsbook saw 888’s adjusted EBITDA go up by 6% to $165.0m (FY2020: $155.6m), representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 16.8% (2020: 18.3%).

Improved bottom-line results saw the group declare a 510.5% jump in profits after tax to $69m (FY2020: $11m), recovering from an impairment charge of $80m in the previous year.

CEO Pazner commented: “2021 was a very successful year for 888 as we continued to position the Group to become a global leader in online betting and gaming. It was another record year from a financial perspective, and we have truly transformed the scale of the business over the past two years.

“This step-change in scale has come from a clear market focus on regulated markets, which now make up three quarters of revenue, and where we are seeing really positive market share trends.

“We continued to leverage our competitive advantages around product leadership, brands, and customer excellence to improve the quality of products and the customer experience across sports and gaming, all the while maintaining our persistent focus on delivering our safer gambling priorities.”

In the Americas, 888 reported revenue of $125.6m, a 34% change YoY (FY2020: $93.7m), primarily driven by strong growth in Canada.

US revenue increased by 6% to $22.0m (FY2020: $20.8m), reflecting a good performance for the 888casino brand in New Jersey, offset by investment in promotions to drive customer activity associated with the launch of SI Sportsbook in Colorado in September, and increased investment in Q4.

Looking ahead, and as part of the strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated, 888 plans to launch the SI Sportsbook in 3-4 additional states during 2022. Last year, the group was also awarded a license in Virginia and Ontario, it launched the World Series of Poker in Pennsylvania, and it is ready to launch in Michigan, subject to regulatory approval.

The group also expects the sale of its bingo business for up to $50m to a division of Broadway Gaming to help increase its focus on its core growth strategy including US expansion.

Pazner concluded: “Given this strong financial and operational performance, the Board remains confident that, with 888’s advanced technology, products and diversification across markets, the Group is well-positioned to deliver long-term sustainable growth for all its stakeholders into the future.”