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Lockdowns, Euro 2020 boost UK betting firm 888's profit

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FILE PHOTO: 888 Holdings logo are seen through magnifier near Sports Illustrated logo in illustration taken
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(Reuters) - British online betting group 888 Holdings posted record revenue and earnings for the first half on Wednesday, benefiting from a surge in volumes during lockdowns earlier in the year and strong wagering during the Euro soccer tournament.

The company reported a 39% jump in adjusted core profit to $97.4 million for the six months to June, while its revenue also rose 39% to $528.4 million. 888 added that it expects annual results to be slightly ahead of prior expectations.

Betting companies have enjoyed a robust year-and-a-half as stuck-at-home people sought out betting among other indoor activities to keep themselves entertained. 888 had said it witnessed more bets being placed on England-Italy final during the Euro tournament than on any other sporting event.

But, the company said revenues over the past two months rose by mid-single digit percentage compared with last year as the reopening of retail and leisure venues from lockdowns caused the slowdown in the rate of growth.

"The Board remains mindful of the tougher comparables in the upcoming fourth quarter, a period that enjoyed an exceptionally strong performance in both betting and gaming revenues during 2020," 888 said.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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