A Weaker Interim Report From 888 Holdings

Taxes and adverse currency moves weigh on results

Due to its bid for Bwin-Party, online gambling group 888 Holdings plc has been much in the news this month, and the interest in the group has been boosted by its latest half-year results, released Friday.
The report for the period to end June 2015 highlights:
* Revenue up by 9 percent to US$244.9 million although reported revenue declined by 2 percent to US$220 million (H1 2014: US$225.1m);
* B2C like for like revenue increased by 11 percent to US$213.6 million, but reported B2C revenue declined by 1 percent to US$191.1m (H1 2014: US$192.8m);
* B2B like for like revenue decreased by 3 percent to US$31.3 million, with reported B2B revenue down by 10 percent to US$28.9 million (H1 2014: US$32.3m) impacted by adverse currency movements;
* Adjusted EBITDA fell by 17 percent to US$40.9 million (H1 2014: US$49.0m), thanks largely to the introduction of UK point of consumption and EU VAT during the period amounting to US$19.5 million;
* Adjusted EBITDA margin decreased to 18.6 percent (H1 2014: 21.8 percent);
* Adjusted profit before tax decreased by 10 percent to US$30.5 mllion (H1 2014: US$34.0m);
* Profit before tax decreased by 41 percent to US$20 million (H1 2014: US$34.0m);
* The company reported a strong balance sheet with net corporate cash of US$65 million (: US$95.6m);
Operational Highlights included:
* Mobile driving growth across product verticals and accounting for 43 percent of UK GGR (H1 2014: 29 percent);
* On , 888 had 19.2 million Casino, Poker and Sport real money registered customer accounts, representing an increase of 7 percent from ;
* Online casino active players up 22 percent;
* 888poker active players up 4 percent;
* Bingo active players up 18 percent driven by strong mobile performance;
* Sport revenue up 81 percent reflecting increasing brand traction;
* Market share increased in Spain driven by positive response to newly introduced slots;
* Progress in Italy driven by fresh Casino content and introduction of mobile in H2 2014;
* Progress in regulated US market with launch of Multistate Poker Network across Nevada and Delaware;
* Post the reporting period end, sport betting licence obtained in Ireland and casino, poker and sport betting licenses obtained in Denmark.
Chief executive Brian Mattingley said that the group had again delivered an "encouraging" performance in both operational and business terms, with strong increases in active players and first time depositors despite the new point of consumption tax in the UK, VAT in certain European markets and adverse currency movements.
"On a like for like* basis revenue was up by 9 percent year on year driven primarily by sustained strong growth in Casino and exceptional momentum in Sport, which recorded a revenue increase of 81 percent," Mattingley said. "We have made further progress across regulated markets in Spain, following the introduction of mobile, Sport and, more recently, video slots and in Italy, driven by our mobile offering and new Casino content.
"The Board remains confident of achieving its full year expectations. We are well positioned to deliver long term sustainable growth and look forward with confidence as we continue to develop the business."

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa