888 expects hit from end of COVID-19 lockdowns, new regulations

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888 Holdings PLC (LON:888) said trading in the coming months may be affected by the end of Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns and changes in regulation across its markets.


Since 17 May, when UK retail and leisure venues reopened, average daily revenues in the country dropped 20% compared with the year-to-date period the year before.


READ: 888 inks partnership with Sports Illustrated


The online betting and gaming group said it continues to increase investment in product and marketing and despite the extra spend, adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) are estimated to be slightly ahead of the prior year.


The second quarter was also slightly ahead of expectations, helped by favourable exchange rate movements.


Total revenue jumped 10% to US$257mln, with regulated and taxed markets accounting for 74% of the total.


Strong performances in the UK, Italy, Spain, Romania and Portugal were offset by the impact of new regulations in Germany, although the German regulator has awarded a sports-betting licence to 888.


The sports segment saw high growth because of weak comparatives last year, while Poker and Bingo revenues were lower due to exceptionally strong performance in 2020.


“In addition to strong trading across our core European markets, we made significant strategic progress during the period in the attractive US market, where we announced a long-term strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated. We look forward to launching SI Sportsbook as a key pillar of our strategy to drive increased growth in the US,” said chief executive Itai Pazner.

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