888 reports strong momentum in sports betting

888sport888 Holdings has seen like for like revenue increased by 9% to US$244.9m for the first half of the year, helped in a small part by a strong performance in its fledgling sports betting business.

Adjusted EBITDA at the firm decreased by 17% to US$40.9m, but the firm has billed this as an impressive result given the introduction of UK point of consumption and EU VAT during the period cost it US$19.5m. It also meant that profit before tax at the group decreased by 41% to US$20.0m.

Sport revenue was up 81 per cent, which the firm said reflected the quality of the improved 888’s sport product and increasing brand traction. It explained: “This was aided by the launch of Sport into Spain in the second half of 2014 as well as a constantly improving range of markets and live bets for our customers to enjoy.

“Sport continues to offer a major growth opportunity for 888 both in terms of revenue and customer acquisition with the 888sport brand increasingly recognised by customers as a premier sports betting destination.”

Executive Chairman Brian Mattingley commented on the results: “I am delighted to report that 888 has again delivered a very encouraging performance in the first half of 2015 driven by our quality brands, best-in-class technology and CRM expertise. Operational progress has continued with strong increases in active players and first time depositors despite the external headwinds of a 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 impressively by 9 per cent year on year driven primarily by sustained strong growth in Casino and exceptional momentum in Sport, which recorded a revenue increase of 81%. 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.”

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