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Zona de Azar UK – 888 Down 8% in 2023 Due to Cost of Safer Gambling Measures

UK.- January 22, 2024 888, owner of William Hill, 888 and Mr Green, saw its full year revenue for 2023 fall by eight per cent to £1,711m driven primarily by a proactive mix shift away from dotcom markets, which impacted revenues by approximately £80m during FY23.

Revenue was further impacted by customer mix changes in the UK as a result of additional safer gambling measures, alongside the change in the Group’s marketing approach to focus more on sustainable revenue and profitability. Together, these changes have created a higher quality and more sustainable business mix, including approximately 95 per cent of FY23 revenue being generated from regulated and taxed markets. today announces a post-close trading update for the three and 12 months ending December 31 2023.

Fourth quarter revenue came in at £424m, five per cent higher than Q3 2023 and down seven per cent year-over-year, with actives up five per cent year-over-year, with ongoing growth in the customer base setting the foundation for sustainable future revenue growth.

Revenue in the UK and Ireland was down by eight per cent to £658m, primarily driven by the impact of safer gambling changes and a refined marketing approach, with strong customer engagement (average monthly actives +11 per cent) more than offset by the -18 per cent reduction in average revenue per customer. Synergy delivery and focus on efficient marketing means Adjusted EBITDA for UK&I Online will be significantly higher year over year, despite the reduction in revenue.

Retail revenue was up three per cent to £535m with strong underlying performance driven by improved product offering through investment in SSBTs and gaming cabinets, more than offsetting a three per cent reduction in the estate size during the year.

International revenue was down16 per cent to £517m with significant impact from compliance changes in dotcom markets. Core markets of Italy and Spain both grew by double digits.

New CEO Per Widerström said: “In FY23 the Group made important strategic and operational progress in the face of some significant regulatory and compliance headwinds. I am pleased to say that the business has enhanced its foundations for sustainable and profitable growth including significantly strengthening compliance, refining its approach to marketing investment, and increasing its focus on recreational customers.

“I have joined the business at both an exciting and important time. There are clear opportunities to unlock our significant potential, but as a business we know that going forward we must be more proactive in adapting to changes in regulation and technology. We are now taking rapid actions to position the Group for future success, reducing our overhead costs and freeing up funds to invest in growth based upon our new strategy and value creation plan. The financial performance of the Group must improve, and the actions we are taking will build a leaner, more agile, and more effective organisation structure, as well as establishing a more effective management of the customer and product life cycle. These plans support material value creation and significantly higher profits over the coming years.”

“I have been working hard with the Board, our strengthened executive team, and the talented people across the business to refine our strategic framework, which is being translated into a value creation plan, and am confident that we are poised to deliver deleveraging and strong shareholder returns in the coming years. I am looking forward to outlining our 2024-2026 plan alongside our full year results in late March.”

Over the course of the last three months, the group has significantly strengthened its management team, including the following key appointments to the executive management team:

As announced on September 13, 2023, Sean Wilkins has been appointed to the role of CFO, and will take up his appointment on February 1, 2024. Vaughan Lewis will continue his role as Chief Strategy Officer, having also been acting as interim CFO since October 2023.

Rik Barker has been appointed as Chief Information Technology Officer, and will take up his role on February 5, 2024. Rik has nearly 30 years’ experience in cutting edge technology, and has previously been CIO for Flutter UK&I and Chief Technology Officer for Sky Betting & Gaming.

Ian Gallagher was appointed as Chief Product Officer in December 2023. Ian has 15 years’ experience in betting and gaming product development, and was previously Product Director for Flutter UK&I.

Fredrik Ekdahl was appointed as Group General Counsel in October 2023. Fredrik has over 30 years legal experience, with nearly 20 years of betting and gaming industry experience having previously held senior roles at PokerStars and Expekt.

Jeffrey Haas was appointed as Chief Growth Officer in January 2024. Jeffrey has more than 20 years’ experience in gaming and fintech startups and scale-ups, held senior roles for DraftKings, and PokerStars, and has served as a strategic innovation advisor, executive and board member to VC-backed companies.

Edited by @pererarte


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