Released 12 August 2022

RNS

888 Holdings Plc

(“888” or “the Group”)

Half year results for the six months ending 30 June 2022

Continued strategic progress and combination with William Hill on 1 July – now a global leader

888 (LSE: 888), one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, announces its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2022 (the “Period”). The acquisition of the international (non-US) business of William Hill completed on 1 July 2022, and as such, the reported interim results, and commentary thereon, reflects 888 only.  

Strategic and operational highlights

During the first half of 2022, the Group made strong progress against its three key strategic pillars: strategic M&A, market focus, and investing in our sustainable competitive advantages. 

Strategically attractive M&A 

  • Acquisition of William Hill completed on 1 July 2022, creating one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups o Transformational acquisition, positioning the group as a top-three operator in the UK and Spain, increasing the mix of regulated and taxed revenues to 85%, and providing a platform for strong future growth
    • Excellent progress with first phases of integration, including the appointment of a new executive leadership team
    • Formation of an integration office to closely monitor the execution of the integration plan
  • Completion of sale of Bingo in July 2022 o Strategic sale of B2C and B2B bingo operations for total proceeds of £37 million, enabling the group to increase its focus on its core betting and gaming platform

Market Focus

  • Expansion into attractive regulated growth markets o Launched SI Sportsbook in Virginia, and secured market access in Michigan, with launch planned for H2 2022 o Launched 888.ca under a local licence in Ontario, Canada, with positive trends since launch including successfully migrating and reactivating the vast majority of the existing customer base onto the locally regulated offering
  • Strategic investment in 888AFRICA, creating a long-term growth platform for regulated African markets

Reinforcing sustainable competitive advantages

  • Product and content leadership o Sportsbook improvements with the launch of a new betslip that is faster and easier to use, as well as successfully migrating Spain to the in-house platform, providing Spanish players with our unique product features such as Betfeed
    • Further expansion of exclusive gaming content supported by investment to double the capacity of Section8, our in-house games studio, as well as the launch of the world’s first live slot game, Safari Riches Live, in partnership with Playtech
    • Launch of Perfect10 on SI Sportsbook, a new free-to-play sports predictor game made for US sports
  • World class brands and marketing o Significantly strengthened the Group’s brand portfolio with the additions of the iconic William Hill brand as well as the popular Mr. Green brand
    • Launch of Made to Play master brand strategy, uniting all 888 products behind a strong brand vision, supporting effective and efficient marketing
    • Development of further integration between SI Sportsbook and SI.com, giving US sports fans a unique contentrich betting experience
  • Customer Excellence and Safety o 6% increase in customer satisfaction, supported by the roll-out of Amanda, our new AI-powered virtual assistant 
    • Rollout of Control Centre to Italy, providing even more of our global players with more transparent insight into their play through intuitively presented, real time data, and easy access to a range of safer gambling tools
    • 38% year-over-year increase globally in the number of players with limits in place, with over 47% of UK actives in Q2 2022 having limits to help ensure a safe and entertaining betting and gaming environment

Financial summary

Results are now presented in Pound Sterling, with the Group having previously reported in US Dollars. The reported results reflect 888 only given the completion of the William Hill acquisition on 1 July was after the period end. Pro forma1 results as presented in this statement and on the presentation available on our website reflect the results as if 888 had owned William Hill for each of the periods below, and exclude the reported results of the 888 Bingo business, the sale of which completed on 7 July 2022. Further historical pro forma1 information for prior periods is available as part of the investor presentation on the Group’s website.

 

 

Reported

 

 

Pro forma1

 

£m

H1 2022

H1 2021

 

YoY%

H1 2022

H1 2021

 

YoY%

 

Revenue

332.1

380.9

 

-13%

 

943.2

952.5

 

-1%

Adjusted EBITDA

50.0

70.3

-29%

142.3

112.7

+26%

Profit before tax

14.4

41.9

-66%

 

 

 

Adjusted profit before tax

33.0

54.2

-39%

 

 

 

Earnings per share

2.9

9.9

-71%

 

 

 

Adjusted earnings per share (p)

 

7.5

 

13.2

 

-43%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Pro forma information presented in the financial summary (including the associated narrative) is not part of the review of interim financial information performed by the Independent Auditor.

Reported financial highlights

  • Group revenue -13% to £332.1 million, with the majority of the business seeing relatively stable revenues, offset by declines in the UK (-25%) reflecting the implementation of more stringent safer gambling policies, and the closure of the Netherlands. Excluding the UK and Netherlands, revenue was up +2% year over year
  • Adjusted EBITDA of £50.0 million (2021: £70.3 million), with the Adjusted EBITDA Margin lower due to continued investment in the US to support SI Sportsbook state launches, together with additional compliance related costs
  • Adjusted basic earnings per share of 7.5p (2021: 13.2p), basic earnings per share 2.9p (2021: 9.9p) with the year over year decline reflecting the Adjusted EBITDA decreased described above, together with an increased share count following the capital raise in April 2022 to part fund the acquisition of William Hill

Pro forma1 financial highlights

  • Group revenue -1%, with the normalisation of retail revenues substantially offsetting a -21% decline in online
  • Pro forma1 adjusted EBITDA of £142.3 million (2021: £112.7 million) with the year over year improvement driven by retail reopening
  • Strong progress with integration plans, and commitment to at least £100 million of pre-tax cost synergies by 2025
  • New operating model under development, positioning the Group to deliver strong revenue growth in the mediumterm, with a unified technology platform, supported by a portfolio of leading brands and a high quality leadership team

Outlook 

  • The business is on a stable trend, with Q2 2022 pro forma1 revenue growth of 1% compared to Q1 2022, including sequential growth in UK Online revenue across both 888 and William Hill brands
  • Revenue in the second half of 2022 is expected to be in line with revenue in the first half of 2022
  • Long-term debt structure, with £1.8 billion in gross debt, with maturities ranging from 5-6 years. Cash interest costs are currently expected to be approximately £65 million in H2 2022, and £130-140 million in the full year 2023 based on current market conditions and the forward curve

Capital Markets Day in November

  • The Group plans to host a Capital Markets Day in November 2022, which will outline additional details on the strategy and operating model of the enlarged group, together with an update on integration plans and progress

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, commented:

"The combination with William Hill, which we completed soon after the period end, transformed the Group and creates very strong foundations to support our ambitious growth plans. This combination of two exceptional and complementary businesses creates one of the world's leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, leading front-end and back-end technology, increased diversification across products, markets and channels, and a world class team.

The Group’s financial performance in the period primarily reflects market conditions in the UK. However, we believe the proactive actions we have taken to increase player protections and drive higher standards of player safety have put the Group in an even stronger position for the future.

In the second half of 2022, our main focus is on integration, delivering on our synergy plans, and driving higher profitability across the business. This focus on integration, execution and de-leverage will unlock the huge potential from the enlarged business. These actions will position us to take advantage of significant growth opportunities ahead of us, as we leverage our leading technologies to create a best-in-class global betting and gaming platform, and our portfolio of world class brands, to grow market share and profitability in some of the most attractive markets in the world.”

Sell side analyst and investor presentation

Itai Pazner, Chief Executive Officer, and Yariv Dafna, Chief Financial Officer, will host a presentation for sell-side analysts and investors today at 12.00PM (BST). 

Live audio webcast link:  https://stream.brrmedia.co.uk/broadcast/62e7880204182f363ba98176  

To participate in Q&A please contact 888@hudsonsandler.com or call +44 (0)207 796 4133 for further details.

A replay will be available on our website shortly after: https://corporate.888.com/investor-centre/  

This announcement contains inside information.

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Enquiries and further information:

888 Holdings Plc

+44(0) 800 029 3050

Itai Pazner, Chief Executive Officer

Yariv Dafna, Chief Financial Officer

Vaughan Lewis, Chief Strategy Officer 

 

 

Investor Relations

James Finney, Director of IR

 

Media 

 

ir@888holdings.com

 

 

888@hudsonsandler.com

Hudson Sandler 

Alex Brennan / Charlotte Cobb / Andy Richards

+44(0) 207 796 4133

 

About 888 Holdings Plc:

888 Holdings plc (and together with its subsidiaries, "888" or the "Group") is one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies. In 2022, the Group acquired the international (non-US) business of William Hill to create a global industry leader. Headquartered in Gibraltar, and listed in London, the Group operates from 15 offices around the world and employs over 12,000 people globally. 

The Group’s mission is to lead the gambling world in creating the best betting and gaming experiences, bringing unrivalled moments of excitement to people’s day-to-day lives. It achieves this by developing state-of-the-art technology and content-rich products that provide fun, fair, and safe betting and gaming entertainment to customers around the world. 

The Group owns and operates internationally renowned brands including 888casino, 888sport, 888poker, William Hill and Mr Green. In addition, the Group operates the SI Sportsbook brand in the US in partnership with Authentic Brands Group. Find out more at: http://corporate.888.com/ http://williamhillgroup.com/

 

Important Notices 

This announcement may contain certain forward-looking statements, beliefs or opinions, with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of 888. These statements, which contain the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “intend”, “estimate”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “seek”, “continue”, “aim”, “target”, “projected”, “plan”, “goal”, “achieve” and words of similar meaning, reflect 888’s beliefs and expectations and are based on numerous assumptions regarding 888’s present and future business strategies and the environment 888 will operate in and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially. No representation is made that any of these statements or forecasts will come to pass or that any forecast results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve inherent known and unknown risks, uncertainties and contingencies because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future and may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of 888 to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond 888’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as future market conditions, currency fluctuations, the behaviour of other market participants, the actions of regulators and other factors such as 888’s ability to continue to obtain financing to meet its liquidity needs, changes in the political, social and regulatory framework in which 888 operates or in economic or technological trends or conditions. Past performance of 888 cannot be relied on as a guide to future performance. As a result, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The list above is not exhaustive and there are other factors that may cause 888’s actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this announcement. Forwardlooking statements speak only as of their date and 888, its respective parent and subsidiary undertakings, the subsidiary undertakings of such parent undertakings, and any of such person’s respective directors, officers, employees, agents, affiliates or advisers expressly disclaim any obligation to supplement, amend, update or revise any of the forwardlooking statements made herein, except where it would be required to do so under applicable law. No statement in this announcement is intended as a profit forecast or a profit estimate and no statement in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that the financial performance of 888 for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published for 888.