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18 Mar 2021 | 07:57

888 Holdings lifts dividend despite profit fall

(Sharecast News) - UK online gambling company 888 Holdings lifted its dividend despite a sharp fall in annual pre-tax profits on the back of higher costs. Pre-tax profit for the year to December 31 fell 41.1% to $26.7m while revenue increased 52% to $849.7m. Adjusted core earnings rose to $155.6m compared with $92.1m a year earlier as online gambling surged during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The company said it acquired about 1.5m new members in 2020 across its business-to-customer brands, which includes casino, poker, sport and bingo, a 42% year-on-year rise.

It also flagged an annualised hit of $70m - $100m from regulatory and compliance changes to its revenue, but said it was confident of posting revenue growth in 2021 and would pay a total dividend 18 cents a share, up from 6 cents last time.

"We are pleased with our continued progress in the US, and with three new states set to launch in 2021, we are poised to see the scale benefits of our investments here. We enter 2021 with strong momentum, with a record level of customers, and with a positive reaction to our suite of new products and innovations," said chief executive Itai Pazner.
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