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888 STILL IN TALKS WITH LADBROKES
Written On 3/31/11 By Lenny Wasman :
Steep decline in 2010 performance as pre-tax profit drops to $15.1 million
Acquisition negotiations between 888.com and the UK land and online gambling giant Ladbrokes are still ongoing, according to 888's newly released results for 2010.
The decline in performance experienced by 888 last year will concern investors, with EBITDA down 37 percent to $28.6 million despite revenue growth of 6 percent to $262.1 million.
Management cited falling poker revenues in H1 and higher marketing spend as contributory factors.
B2C revenue was up 13.5 percent to $221.7 million (2009: $195.4 million).
B2B Revenue was down 21.2 percent to $40.4 million (2009: $51.3 million), but up 4 percent on a pro-forma basis.
Pretax profits were down at $15.1 million from $34.6 million.
As at 31st December 2010, 888 had 8.7 million casino, poker and sport real money registered customer accounts, representing an increase of 23 percent since 31st December 2009.
Agreement has been reached with Wink Bingo vendors on the extended payment of the acquisition earn-out.
Negotiations with Ladbrokes have been ongoing since December, but the company reported little in the way of concrete progress, advising only that a further announcement would be made 'when appropriate.'
Reuters news service reports that 888 is 61 percent owned by the founding Israel-based Shaked and Yitshak families and any takeover would need their support.
Commenting on the year past, chief executive Gigi Levy said: "Following a challenging start to the year 888 finished 2010 strongly. 888 has begun the year with strong current trading and continues to make good progress across all segments of the business. "888 has begun the year with strong current trading and continues to make good progress across all segments of the business. We have an exciting base on which to build in 2011, with a high proportion of sustainable locally regulated earnings and a well diversified business, product line and geographic revenue stream. We expect that soon to come further improvements in our product offering will lead to increased success in driving players to our sites and retaining them going forward. This, alongside our expanding licensee base within Dragonfish, puts us in a strong position for the future."
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