Per Widerström, 888 CEO

888 rebrands to Evoke Plc as VCP strategy moves forward

888 Holdings has formally changed its business identity to Evoke Plc, as approved by the shareholders of the LSE gambling group.

At yesterday’s AGM, shareholders unanimously voted 99.7% in favour of the name change to Evoke Plc.

The directive to change the LSE gambling group’s identity was proposed in March alongside the firm’s full-year 2023 results.

Evoke Plc was proposed by the board to reflect the firm’s reorganisation and its enlarged portfolio of global gaming brands including William Hill and Mr Green.

SBC News 888 rebrands to Evoke Plc as VCP strategy moves forward

Changing 888’s identity to Evoke, the board fulfils a mandate of the firm’s Value Creation Plan (VCP), the strategy aims to “reset the group’s operating model” towards sustainable profits.

Led by new CEO Per Widerström, who took charge of leadership in October, the VCP strategy aims to remove inefficiencies and improve accountability of financial performance.

Planned objectives see Evoke’s new leadership target securing £30m in annual cost savings.

Under the VCP, Evoke “expects revenues to return to year-on-year growth from Q2 2024 onwards, with full year 2024 revenue growth expected to be consistent with the mid-term target of 5-9% annual growth.”

Meanwhile, Performance-led targets see Evoke aim to recapture market share growth in the UK, Italy, Spain, and Denmark.

Initial proceedings of the VCP strategy saw Evoke announce that it had terminated its US-facing SI sportsbook with Authentic Brands Group, agreeing to terms of a $50m closure of the business.

Q1 trading saw Evoke declare a positive outlook as group revenues stood at £431m, above the guidance range of £420-430m.

Yet concerns remain on the performance of William Hill’s retail unit, which detailed continued revenue declines of -7%, attributed to reorganisation and reduction of its UK estates.

Evoke concluded Q1 trading by announcing that it had refinanced £400m of senior secured debt notes, a transaction supporting the VCP goals to deleverage the firm’s debt ratio to 3.5x by the end of 2026 trading.

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