888 expects hit from end of lockdowns and regulatory changes

The London-listed firm saw shares slide in early trading on Wednesday despite posting better-than-expected trading for the past quarter.

Henry Saker-Clark
Wednesday 07 July 2021 08:59
The 888 site
The 888 site

Online gambling firm 888 said it has performed above expectations over the past three months, but warned that it is likely to be affected by customers returning to pre-pandemic habits and looming regulatory changes.

The London-listed firm saw shares slide in early trading on Wednesday as a result.

The company shareholders that continued momentum driven from the pandemic and favourable exchange rates meant it was “slightly ahead” of targets for the second quarter of 2021.

It revealed that total revenues climbed by 10% to 257 million US dollars (£186 million) in the three months to June 30.

However, 888 added that bosses are “mindful” that seasonal trends could affect its growth as it is also hit by the reopening of retail and leisure venues following global lockdowns.

The betting and gaming business said average daily revenues in the UK have fallen by 20% year-on-year since retail and leisure venues reopened on May 17.

It also stressed that the second half of 2021 is likely to see a greater impact from “regulatory and compliance changes” in the sector.

Itai Pazner, chief executive officer of 888, said: “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.

“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.

“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.

“The board remains confident that, with 888’s advanced technology, products and diversification across markets, the Group remains well positioned to deliver further strategic progress during 2021 and beyond.”

Shares were 4.8% lower at 393p in early trading.