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888 Holdings plc released an interim management statement this week, again showcasing impressive full year numbers in which the company can take pride, but rather more depressed Q4 results.
Q4 2008 KPIs were less satisfactory, reflecting the troubled economic times:
Trading in January 2009 has begun positively compared to December 2008, especially in Casino, Poker, Bingo and Live Dealer, 888.com management reports. Specifically, new customer recruitment increased more than 20 percent, Net Gaming Revenue by 10 percent and deposits by 4 percent in each case compared to December (which was the weakest month of the quarter).
Management advises that 888's B2B strategy is progressing well with one deal already signed in January focusing on continental Europe. Further B2B deals are being negotiated.
Poker was released in 11 new languages including Japanese, Greek, Russian and eastern European languages; 888sport was launched in one additional language; third party games integration continues and has now reached a total of 22 integrated games, and the popular PayPal payment method was integrated into 888's already wide choice of payment methods.
The group's financial position remains robust with approximately $99 million cash equivalents (of which approximately $33 million represent liabilities to customers) and no debt, leaving the group in an strong position to exploit M&A opportunities when they become available.
Gigi Levy, Chief Executive Officer, said: "888 demonstrated tremendous progress during 2008 with 21 percent Total Operating Income growth despite a disappointing Q4.
"The prolonged and deepening economic downturn and volatile adverse foreign exchange movements meant unprecedented challenging trading conditions following the end of the summer holiday season. Players played less and we recognised lower revenue denominated in $ however this was partly mitigated by tighter cost control and cost savings given the group's high proportion of costs which are denominated in non $ currencies. We are therefore confident that we will meet or exceed full year clean EBITDA market expectations.
"During the year we have continued the transformation of the group from a pure B2C-focused organisation to a world class B2B end to end gaming solution provider - a milestone of which was June's Sportech deal. Our pipeline for 2009 is promising and we expect to continue our progress across all business lines."
Source: InfoPowa News
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