888 shares surge following positive earnings forecast

Gambling firm jumps 12 per cent in Friday trading


Gambling firm 888 saw its share price surge in Friday trading, after forecasting earnings significantly stronger than analysts expected.

The Covid-19 crisis has challenged online gambling firms, with lucrative markets such as live football and tennis postponed by the lockdown measures imposed by governments.

888 was no exception, at the height of March’s market sell-off, the firm’s share price plunged to 70 pence. However, with the return of sports events, a booming poker division and an increase in users, the company has recovered.

By the close of Friday trading, the company stood up 12.19 per cent at 169 pence.

Attributing its success to a structural shift in focus towards online services, 888 revealed that the company’s average daily revenue was 34 per cent higher thus far in 2020 when compared with last year.

The return of horse racing has also helped firms like 888, Bet 365 and William Hill to recover from the lack of action in the Spring. The Premier League and Bundesliga’s decision to play out the season unlike the Scottish Premier League and Ligue 1, will also have been welcomed by these firms.

Reacting to the recent forecast, 888 CEO Itai Pazner stated: “We are pleased with 888's trading during the year-to-date which has resulted in the board now anticipating that adjusted Ebitda for 2020 will be significantly ahead of its prior expectations.”

Before adding: “This performance builds on 888's strong customer acquisition during 2019 and our continued focus during recent years on entertaining a greater number of recreational customers. 888 is well positioned to continue to benefit from a potential long-term shift towards online services that we have seen accelerate across several consumer industries during the COVID-19 pandemic."

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