888 Confident of Growth Ahead of Harrah’s Launch

10th November 2009 8:29 am GMT

888 Holdings plc has reported a total operating income of US$60.9 million for the third quarter of 2009, a fall of 10% versus the same period last year following a 15% decline in income from the company's consumer facing business, which outstripped continued growth in B2B.

888's online poker offering recorded its sixth consecutive quarter without growth, posting a total operating income of $12.5 million, a fall of 28% year-on-year but unchanged against the previous quarter despite seasonal influences.

Operating income from the casino segment also declined versus Q3 2008, down 15.5% to $29.4 million, but improved quarter-on-quarter for the second consecutive period.

888 earned casino income of $471 per active player from an active casino player base of 62,400, while poker income amounted to $93 per active player with 133,800 active poker players during the period.

The company's emerging offering segment meanwhile recorded it first drop in income in seven quarters to $6.4 million, up 45% year-on-year but down 4% versus the previous quarter.

In the B2B division, Dragonfish's total operating income climbed to $12.7 million for the quarter, a 15.5% improvement on Q3 2008 and up 2.5% on the previous quarter.

"We are pleased with the results achieved during the third quarter. Our B2C business showed resilience during the historical seasonally weak summer period and Dragonfish has continued its impressive growth. With Harrah's set to launch in coming days and a strong pipeline, we remain confident of reaching our targets," said 888 CEO, Gigi Levy.

"Whilst Poker remains challenging the B2C business showed resilience during the third quarter. The fourth quarter started well and given that our various business initiatives are progressing as planned we expect to grow the business further during the year."

For the nine month period ended September 30th, Group total operating income fell 12% year-on-year to $179 million following a 20% fall in casino income to $85 million and a 34% fall in poker income to $39 million. In the emerging offering segment however, nine month income climbed 99% year-on-year to $18 million while the company's B2B division recorded a 32% rise in income to $37 million.

Shares in 888 Holdings plc (Co. Profile) (LSE:888) are trading at 97.15 pence per share in London this morning, down 0.87%.

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