888 have had an amazing year so far, bucking trends all over the place. The record-breaking company still has more to prove though, it would seem. The company has managed to go against downward pointing industry trends, having had a massive surge in revenue over the first half of the year. Revenue increased by a substantial 13% in the six months until June of this year, increasing to $225 million (£135.7 million).
This was driven in part by business to consumer revenue which has grown by 9%, now totalling almost $193 million. However the biggest increase has come from the dramatic swell in business to business revenue which grew by a massive 40% to $32.3 million.
Despite this, pre-tax profit at the company actually fell by 4% to $34 million, due to higher than anticipated losses in a joint US poker venture with Avenue Capital, as well as a foreign exchange hit, throwing a spanner in the works. However it’s not all just about figures and money in relation to 888’s massive upward movements this year.
Operationally, the mobile versions of 888 have been developed and continue to grow, alongside sports revenue which has doubled in size, and a poker business which has completely gone against a downward spiralling industry trend. On top of this, it’s also predicted that the company will continue to stay ahead of things during the next quarter. The third quarter has already started well it seems, with average daily revenue up 15% on last year thus far.
Bingo seems to be doing well too, with non-executive chairman Richard Klisby positive about the prospects of every aspect of the company. “We have delivered growth across all key product verticals, with Casino the standout performer delivering another period of double-digit growth. We are delighted by the turnaround of our improved Bingo business and 888sport has delivered an outstanding performance by more than doubling revenue year-on-year reflecting the strength of our re-launched offer,” he says. Unfortunately though, it’s not all rosy at 888, with a familiar face set to step down next year.
The company’s chief Executive Brian Mattingley will resign his position as CEO, only to fill retiring Richard Klisby’s shoes. However Mattingley remains in high spirits about the new role which takes effect after the company’s 2015 AGM.
There is one big issue which may have impact on the company, in relation to both online and mobile bingo and casino gaming next year. The Point of Consumption tax is due to be implemented in the UK in December. This tax is basically a duty on remote gambling activity undertaken by a UK person. It means that gambling organisations who operate outside of the UK will see their profits from UK consumers subject to a 15% tax rate.
Mattingley is understandably concerned about this, and the effects it will have on company profit. “This new duty will undoubtedly have an impact on the UK market,” he admits, “although it will take time as the market evolves and adjusts to a new regulatory environment to fu’ly understand what this will be.”
Players at 888 Ladies and any other 888 holdings brand can still play bingo at will though – there’s not thought to be any direct effect on players and users of these websites as a result of the new law. So it’s keep calm and carry on for players at least!