European online casino and poker growth helps 888 hold the line despite losses in the United States
Thursday 31st May 2007
At its annual shareholder meeting, 888 Holdings plc announced an ‘encouraging’ start to 2007 after releasing new games and recruiting more customers.
This despite its share price dropping 7 pence to 115.5 pence per share last month following ended acquisition talks with Ladbrokes and the company’s decision last year to pull out of the American market.
Chairman Richard Kilsby told shareholders that these new games would sustain its momentum as it moves into the traditionally quieter second quarter.
'Trading is in line with expectations and we continue to look forward to the future with confidence,' said Kilsby.
The company was among several London-listed gaming groups to close or sell their American businesses after the United States effectively banned Internet gaming in October by passing the UIGEA.
However, 888 fared better than many of its rivals because it had already built up a substantial non-American business and profits increased 55 percent last year as these customers played more online casino and poker games. The company said that it now gets 45 percent of its sales from the UK and 36 percent from the rest of Europe.
888 also raised its research spending to a record $19 million and introduced a new casino game almost every month in the last quarter of 2006 to help rebuild its business. This year has been no different and it has most recently added games including Crazy Blackjack.