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888 Holdings Plc Announces Q3 2023 Trading Update

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888, one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies with internationally renowned brands including William Hill, 888 and Mr Green, announced an update confirming its trading during the three months ended 30 September 2023 (Q3 2023).

Highlights

  • Group: performance in line with 28th September 2023 trading update with revenue of £405.0m, down 10% year on year. Trends and drivers of year-over-year performance are consistent with that update with significant and ongoing improvements being made to the sustainability and quality of the mix of the business impacting performance in the short-term.
  • UK&I Online: continued strong customer engagement with average monthly actives +17%. Revenue -10% driven by ongoing impact of safer gambling changes and refined marketing approach, coupled with lower-than-expected betting net win margin from customer friendly sports results in September, particularly UK football.
  • Retail: strong underlying performance driven by improved product offering through investment in SSBTs and gaming cabinets, partly offset by customer friendly sports results meaning revenue was +1% year-over-year.
  • International: average monthly actives -2% and revenue -19% with an ongoing significant impact from compliance changes in dotcom markets, particularly the Middle East, with a slower recovery in revenue and customer activity than initially anticipated.
  • Synergy delivery on track and significant cost savings being delivered that have helped to partly mitigate the impact of regulatory and compliance changes.
  • Section8 in-house games successfully integrated into William Hill online and the initial integration of William Hill’s proprietary global trading platform into 888’s in-house platform, with certain sports now being traded across the group from one trading engine.
  • Prioritising the safety and wellbeing of the Group’s more than 500 colleagues in Israel and their families following the outbreak of war post Period end. Activated business continuity plans, which are working well with no significant impact on business operations expected.
  • No change to expectations of Q4 revenue being down mid-single digit and FY23 Adjusted EBITDA Margin of 18-19%.

Per Widerström, CEO of 888, said: “I am very excited to have joined the 888 Group as the new CEO. I have already been struck by the strength of the Group’s assets and its clear potential, as well as the ambition of our team.

“I am happy to note that despite the regulatory challenges the Group has faced this year, the hard work by the team is already showing signs of results meaning that we head towards the end of the year with positive momentum, and well placed to grow in the coming years.

“This is a business with a very strong foundation for profitable growth. But there are clearly also several areas for improvement which we will focus on to unlock our full potential and drive value creation. I am looking forward to working closely with our fantastic people in the Group, the talented executive team and the Board to ensure we are in the best possible position to deliver our plans and maximise value creation.”

Industry News

DAZN Appoints Brice Daumin as CEO of French and Swiss Operations

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DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, announced the appointment of Brice Daumin as CEO of its French and Swiss operations. Daumin will oversee DAZN’s growth strategy in France, using his experience and knowledge of the French market garnered over 25 plus years in the French media and telecoms industries.

The move further underlines DAZN’s commitment to France after its launch in August 2023. DAZN brings its French subscribers the best of combat sports including a weekly schedule of top-quality boxing, MMA with the Professional Fighters League and PFL Europe featuring world-class fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Cédric Doumbé, huge PPV boxing line-ups featuring Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, such as “Day of Reckoning”. DAZN also brings its customers top-tier football including Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

DAZN has also delivered a distribution strategy, striking deals with prominent telco and cable operators, to ensure as many French sports fans can access DAZN’s compelling catalogue of premium live sports content, magazine programming, archive and other sports entertainment products. Daumin will report directly to Alice Mascia, whose group responsibilities include her roles as Group Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of DACH.

Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group, said: “DAZN’s global sports offering expanded into France last year and we’re excited to announce that Brice Daumin is joining our team to help us grow in this evolving market. With his extensive in-market experience across our strategic imperatives – customer focus, commercial development, and distribution – Brice will play a key role in our long-term development in France. This is a clear statement of DAZN’s commitment to France and our ambition to continue growing in this exciting sports entertainment market.”

Brice Daumin, CEO of DAZN France, said: “This was an easy decision for me to make. DAZN has already demonstrated its offer right across Europe, with its operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Working with the biggest rights holder, in local markets and on a global level, DAZN delivers a fantastic service in a way that works for fans and rights holders. The opportunities for further growth in France are clear, especially when you look at the expanding range of sports entertainment products DAZN is creating – e-commerce, ticketing, social experiences and gaming. The French sports fan is ready for a new experience, one that DAZN will deliver.”

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Industry News

Betsson Acquires Gaming Operator and Game Developer in the Netherlands

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Betsson announced that the Group has acquired Holland Gaming Technology Ltd, a gaming operator with a license in the Netherlands, and Holland Power Gaming B.V., a game studio that develops casino games for Holland Gaming Technology Ltd. The total consideration amounts to EUR 27.5 million on a cash- and debt-free basis and is financed with own liquid assets.

Holland Gaming Technology Ltd is a gaming operator, which holds a gaming license for casino games in the Netherlands and offers games through the websites www.goldruncasino.nl and www.goldruncasino .com.

Holland Power Gaming B.V. is a game development company in the Netherlands that supplies casino games exclusively for Holland Gaming Technology Ltd.

The total consideration amounts to EUR 27.5 million, out of which EUR 16 million is paid upfront at closing, and deferred payments of EUR 9 million and EUR 2.5 million will be paid in six months and twelve months respectively.

The acquisition will over time contribute to a higher share of revenue from locally regulated markets and is in line with Betsson’s strategic ambition to deliver profitable growth through geographic expansion.

The acquisition is subject to post-closing approval by the Dutch gambling regulator KSA.

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Industry News

IGT Earns Gold Medal from Leading Sustainability Rating Agency EcoVadis

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International Game Technology PLC announced that it has earned a gold medal sustainability rating from EcoVadis, a leading provider of business sustainability ratings. This gold medal rating positions IGT among the top five percent of global companies assessed by EcoVadis for its comprehensive sustainable business practices. IGT scored particularly well in the areas of environment, ethics and sustainable procurement.

IGT’s sustainability programme was assessed under the EcoVadis criteria using 21 benchmarks within the categories of environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement. EcoVadis methodically evaluates environmental, social and ethical performance using these international sustainability standards for more than 85,000 companies worldwide.

“Receiving a gold medal from EcoVadis validates IGT’s long-time commitment to continuously improving our ESG results and the effectiveness of our Sustainable Play initiatives. IGT will leverage the gold medal honor from EcoVadis as inspiration for enhanced sustainability innovation and performance, as we help contribute to a more sustainable future for our business and stakeholders,” said Wendy Montgomery, IGT SVP Marketing, Communications and Sustainability.

EcoVadis’ business sustainability ratings are based on international sustainability standards such as the Ten Principles of the UN Global Company, the International Labour Organisation conventions, the Global Reporting Initiative standards and the ISO 26000 standard. The ratings provide an evidenced-based analysis on performance and an actional roadmap for continuous improvement.

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