Revenue growth drives 888’s ‘record year’
Betting and gaming giant 888 has said 2021 was a “record year” for the company, as revenue surged to $980.1m.
In the year ended 31 December, the group’s gross profit went up 15 per cent to $647m, while profit before tax rocketed from $26.7m to $81.3m, bringing with it a 500 per cent increase in basic earnings per share.
“It was another record year from a financial perspective, and we have truly transformed the scale of the business over the past two years,” said chief executive Itai Pazner.
“This step-change in scale has come from a clear market focus on regulated markets, which now make up three quarters of revenue, and where we are seeing really positive market share trends.”
Revenue from core markets such as the UK, Italy and Spain went up 18 per cent, while growth markets like Canada, Romania and Ireland saw a 26 per cent surge.
888 has also expanded on both sides of the Atlantic, launching 888sport in Germany on a local licence while it obtained one in the US state of Virginia and in Canada’s Ontario.
The group’s adjusted EBITDA margin was flat year-over-year but lower by 1.5 percentage points because 888 pressed the accelerator on the US expansion.
Bolstered by its long-term partnership with Sports Illustrated (SI), 888 launched its betting platform SI Sportsbook in Colorado, while it brought its World Series of Poker in Pennsylvania.
“Alongside the strong organic growth and operational progress, 2021 was a busy year for strategic expansion, including the long-term strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated and launch of SI Sportsbook, the announcement in September of our proposed acquisition of William Hill, and the sale of our bingo business as we look to increase focus on our core B2C strategy,” Pazner continued.
“Given this strong financial and operational performance, the board remains confident that, with 888’s advanced technology, products and diversification across markets, the group is well-positioned to deliver long-term sustainable growth for all its stakeholders into the future.”
Commenting on the results, Edison Group’s director Russell Pointon said investors will focus on the company’s strategic development over the next year.
“Investor focus will fall onto the strategic development of the company in the upcoming twelve months, including the acquisition of William Hill which is expected to complete in Q2,” he said.
“This will almost triple the size of the group and will likely be a cornerstone of the group’s future performance, with management anticipating attractive returns.
“Investors will also keep a close eye on the sale of 888’s Bingo Business for up to $50m, as well as the impact of increased investment into the in-house studio Section8.”