888 Holdings has provided an update on its financial health, closing in on its purchase of William Hill’s non-US assets. The results show considerable gains, despite a slower fourth quarter for the gaming company in 2021.
888 Holdings is putting together the final pieces of the puzzle that will allow it to complete the purchase of William Hill’s assets outside the US. It has already had to delay the process, as it jumped the regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles, but is closer to the finish line.
One of those hurdles involved providing its current financial status, which has now been crossed off the list. After crunching the numbers, 888 looks back at 2021 as an excellent year, boosted by an increase in sales of 14%.
The improvement was possible due to the expansion of the company’s operations on several fronts. However, the results could have been even better. The operator had to overcome an increasingly difficult German gaming market.
Expansion in regulated markets supported 74% of 888’s overall earnings last year, 1% more than a year earlier. This was driven, according to the company’s update, primarily by improvements seen in Italy, Portugal, Romania, and the UK.
Mixed Results and Mixed Future Activity for 888
The bottom line could have been better. 888 points out that it suffered a 16% drop in revenue in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier. The final total for the period was $214 million. This was significantly lower than the $255 million from the fourth quarter of 2020.
The new iGaming market in Germany, introduced through the approval of the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty, cut into 888’s revenue possibilities. The company states that “taxation challenges” in the country were responsible for the fourth-quarter drop.
Coupled with an exit from the Netherlands and its new – and controversial – iGaming market, a weaker performance was the only alternative.
What’s Next for 888
The results reflect the company’s desire to concentrate on its core iGaming operations. Sports betting only improved by 4% against the online casino segment, which added 24%. B2C revenue from all activity for 2021, as a result, added 15% compared to a year earlier. The final total was $934 million.
Looking forward, improvements in Germany as 888 launches 888Sport through a new license will likely arrive. Once the completion of the William Hill purchase deal wraps up, 888 will be able to count on revenue from that operator as well. With $3 billion riding on the success of the acquisition, 888 has a lot at stake.
US operations will give 888 another boost. It already has a foot-in-the-door in the market and a Sports Illustrated-branded sportsbook in Colorado. Plans are in the works to further that latter partnership, giving the company greater strength in the US gaming industry.
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