July 12,2012 :  UPBEAT TRADING UPDATE FROM 888 HOLDINGS
 
Strong trading in H2-2011 has carried over into the first half of 2012
 
The 888 Holdings plc online gambling group has published an update on its performance during the full year ending 31 December 2012, commenting that strong trading in the second half of 2011 has continued into the first half of 2012, driven by the on-going good performance of online casino and poker operations, the latter further boosted through achieving significant market share in Spain, where it is currently number two.
 
The delay in the introduction of the new regulatory regime in Spain, introduced in June 2012, resulted in a delay in marketing spend in the country, originally planned for the first half, the company reported.
 
In Germany, the introduction of federal taxation on sports betting has had negligible effect, given the size of the 888's sport betting business in the country.
 
The second quarter of the year saw a return to historical seasonal revenue patterns, but with increased profitability compared to Q1-2011.
 
Given the strong trading, a bullish Management expects EBITDA for the first half of 2012 to significantly exceed current expectations.
 
"In the second half of the year, margins will be slightly impacted by investment in marketing in order to secure a leading position in Spain, investment in infrastructure ahead of delivering announced deals in the United States and the unknown impact of the Olympic Games in London," a spokesman said Thursday.
 
"This means that, while H2 is expected to show slightly lower margins than the strong first half, EBITDA for the full year will be materially ahead of current expectations."