Online gaming operator 888 Holdings said Tuesday that it remains confident of meeting management expectations for its full year 2014 results, with adjusted EBITDA expected to climb 25 per cent to approximately $95m.

In a short pre-close trading update to the London Stock Exchange this morning, 888 said that since the announcement of its third quarter results in November, the group has continued to perform in line with management's expectations.

“888 remains confident of meeting management expectations for full year adjusted EBITDA,” said the company.

Analyst Ivor Jones of Numis Securities continues to forecast 2014 EBITDA of $95m for 888, which would be an increase of 25 per cent versus the previous year, with earnings per share climbing 19 per cent to 19.4 cents.

Jones expects 888 to face significant headwinds in 2015 however, and has forecast a decline in EBITDA to $69m as a result of the proposed introduction of point of consumption duty by the UK which the analyst believes will lead to intensified competition in 888's core market with an “unpredictable impact” on its fortunes.

“The company faces uncertainty in 2015,” said Jones. “However, we believe that it is well placed to confront the challenges. The fact that 888's financial performance continues to meet expectations, demonstrates the benefits of its operational excellence, in our view.

“Despite the uncertainty we believe these strengths are undervalued and we reiterate our Buy rating and 175p price target.”

Shares in 888 Holdings plc (Co. Data) (LSE:888) were trading up marginally by 0.73 per cent to 137.75 pence per share in London earlier Tuesday, having dropped 4.54 per cent in trading Monday.


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