Tuesday March 24,2015 : STRONG ONLINE CASINO PEFORMANCE UNDERPINS A GOOD YEAR FOR 888
Growth prospects for sports betting venture look good…and investors get a little extra.
The European online gambling group 888 Holdings has posted another set of impressive annual results for the year ended December 2014, highlighting the following key financial developments:
* Revenue increased 14 percent to US$455 million (2013: US$401 million);
* B2C Revenue increased 11 percent to US$391 million (2013: US$352 million);
* B2B Revenue increased 32 percent to US$64 million (2013: US$48 million);
* Adjusted EBITDA increased 33 percent to US$101 million (2013: US$76 million);
* Adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 22.1 percent (2013: 18.9 percent);
* Profit before tax increased 28 percent to US$68 million (2013: US$53 million);
* Cash generated from operating activities increased 24 percent to US$112 million (2013: US$90 million);
* Corporate cash net of customer liabilities increased 58 percent to US$96 million (2013 US$60 million);
* Final dividend at 4.5 cents per ordinary share per policy (2013: 4.0 cents), and due to strong performance the Board is recommending an additional one-off dividend of 7 cents per share (2013: 7 cents), bringing the total dividend per share for the year to 15 cents per share (2013: 14 cents)
* Adjusted earnings per share up 16 percent to 19.2 cents per share (2013: 16.6 cents);
* As at 31 December 2014, 888 had 17.9 million online casino, poker and sport betting real money registered customer accounts, representing an increase of 15 percent from 31 December 2013.
Operational highlights flagged by the company included:
* Mobile driving growth across product verticals and now represents 33 percent of UK revenue;
* Continued outstanding performance in online casino vertical;
* 888Poker boasts No. 2 position in global poker rankings despite negative industry trends;
* Spectacular growth from 888Sport including strong FIFA World Cup;
* Excellent progress in Spain including the launch of sport betting in H2;
* Encouraging trends in Italy following launch of mobile in Q4;
* B2B growth from Dragonfish including the addition of 13 new Bingo skins;
The company also reported on redecent developments, revealing that it successfully deployed a shared poker network across the states of Delaware and Nevada in March 2015, creating significant competitive edge for 888 and its operating partners
Chief executive Brian Mattingley said Monday:
"2014 was another record-breaking year for 888 during which we again delivered strong growth in revenue and profitability. This outstanding result reflects the fundamental strength of our business and the continued execution of our focused strategy. This is underpinned by our strong brands, exceptional technology and industry-leading marketing systems.
"Our core Casino product delivered another outstanding performance reflecting our strength and heritage in this vertical, while 888Poker cemented its position at number two in the PokerScout global rankings at the year end.
"The outstanding 115 percent revenue growth from 888Sport was an undoubted highlight of 2014 and we continue to see very exciting growth opportunities in this vertical.
"Trading during the first quarter of the year has been in line with our expectations with significant increases in new customer recruitment as well as increases in deposit level and bet volumes. Average daily revenue during the quarter to date was 6 percent lower than the previous year, and on a constant currency basis and excluding the impact of VAT, which from 2015 is deducted from revenue generated in certain jurisdictions, the performance was 7 percent ahead.
"Whilst the business faces external challenges in the form of Point of Consumption Tax in the UK, VAT in certain jurisdictions and adverse foreign exchange movement from a strong US Dollar, I am confident that the group is well placed to take advantage of opportunities that regulatory change opens up to companies such as 888."
In a separate announcement, 888 drew attention to its generous dividend policy, announcing that its board of directors has recommended the payment of a final dividend comprising 4.5 cents per share plus an additional one-off 7.0 cents per share, taking into account the strong performance of the business in 2014.
Subject to shareholder approval of the final dividend at the Annual General Meeting, to be held on 13 May 2015, the board of directors has approved a record date of 17 April 2015