888, the online poker firm and owner of William Hill, has announced that it expects its annual revenue decline to be at the higher end of its forecast. As a result, the company’s shares have dropped by 4%. In the first half of the year, 888 reported a 7% decrease in revenue, amounting to £881.6bn (€1,026bn). This figure fell short of the forecast made by JPM analysts, who had predicted revenue of approximately £899m.
Despite the decline in revenue, 888 has maintained its profit outlook and stated that it will achieve cost synergies from its acquisition of William Hill’s non-US assets in 2022, a year earlier than originally planned. Executive chairman Jonathan Mendelsohn commented, “We now expect to realise the full £150m of synergies in 2024.”
888, which owns various brands including 888casino, 888poker, and 888sport, attributed the decrease in UK revenue to efforts to enhance player safety. Additionally, the company has experienced a slower-than-anticipated recovery in its Middle East business. In January, 888 had to suspend its VIP operations in the region due to an internal investigation into compliance with market regulations. The company expects the suspension to result in a revenue impact of £25m to £30m.
Last month, 888 appointed a new chief executive, disregarding the demands of its second-largest shareholder, FS Gaming, to appoint its own candidates to top positions. This move prompted the UK’s Gambling Commission to launch a review of 888’s licenses in the country.