888, one of the world's most popular online gaming entertainment and solutions providers, announces updated guidance for the full year ending 31 December 2012.
Strong trading in the second half of 2011 has continued throughout the first half of 2012, driven by the ongoing good performance of Casino and Poker, the latter of which has been further boosted through obtaining significant market share in Spain. A confirmation of 888's ability to build share in new markets, the Poker offer is currently number two in the Spanish market. The delay in the introduction of the new regulatory regime in Spain, introduced in June, resulted in a delay in marketing spend in the country, originally planned for the first half. In Germany, the introduction of federal taxation on sports betting has had negligible effect, given the size of the Group's Sport business in the country.
The second quarter of the year saw a return to historical seasonal revenue patterns. However, profitability increased compared to Q1.
Given the strong trading, 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 dealsin the United States and the unknown impact of the Olympic Games in London.
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.
*Excluding the one-off payment made in respect of back dated Spanish gaming duty announced on 28 May 2012
Contacts and enquiries
Brian Mattingley, Chief Executive Officer
+350 200 49800
Aviad Kobrine, Chief Financial Officer
+350 200 49800
Ann-marie Wilkinson/Andrew Benbow
+44 (0)20 7920 2344
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