888 reports record revenues in 2021

Online betting and gaming company 888 Holdings, which is in the process of completing the £2.2 billion acquisition of William Hill International, reported a record year in 2021 in a trading update on Tuesday.

Revenue grew by 14 per cent to $972 million (approx £712.5m) last year, 888 said, thanks to strong performances in the UK, Italy, Romania and Portugal, although that was partially offset by a decline in Germany.

However, revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021 fell by 16 per cent to $214m, which 888 blamed on a strong comparative period and also issues such as its withdrawal from the Netherlands where a new regulatory regime was launched last autumn.

888 also said there had been "positive initial progress" following the launch of SI Sportsbook in the US state Colorado, the company's strategic partnership with media firm Sports Illustrated.

Chief executive Itai Pazner said: "2021 was a year of outstanding strategic progress for 888 as we announced the transformational acquisition of William Hill International, and reached an agreement to sell our bingo business to increase our focus on our B2C and US growth plans, as we continue to execute our plan to build a global online betting and gaming leader.

"In addition, we successfully launched SI Sportsbook in the US shortly after signing a long-term brand partnership and began operating 888sport under a new licence in Germany, all using our in-house sports platform.

"I am pleased to report another year of record revenues alongside these important strategic milestones, delivering double-digit revenue growth despite a very tough comparative period."

888 has said it expects to complete the purchase of William Hill's European business from US casino giant Caesars Entertainment in the second quarter of this year.

The two companies agreed a deal in September which will give 888 a retail presence for the first time through the acquisition of William Hill's 1,400-strong betting shop estate.

888's share price ended the day down 2p at 266.4p.