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William Hill owner 888's revenue falls, but still beats expectations

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Revenue fell at William Hill owner 888 in the first three months of the year, amid a slowdown at its betting shops.

But the gambling firm, soon to be renamed Evoke, still did better than expected as the £431 million in revenue came in slightly ahead of the top end of its guidance.

Betting shop revenue was down 7%, while UK online sports revenue dipped by 1%, which 888 said was due to putting on more promotional offers during the Cheltenham Festival. UK casino gaming and international markets performed better.

After cutting costs last year, 888 said today it will spend the money it saved on advertising in “profitable markets” in 2024.

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The business hopes to return to  year-on-year revenue growth this quarter, as prior-year comparative figures become easier to beat. Revenue in the second quarter of last year was affected by new safer gambling rules, and changes made after the business launched an internal probe into its money laundering checks n the Middle East.

CEO Per Widerstrom said: “I am pleased to report that Q1 2024 revenue was slightly ahead of our guidance, with strong player volumes converting into improved revenue run rates. Having lapped various regulatory and compliance changes during the quarter, and with increased marketing investment supported by an exciting product pipeline, we remain confident in a return to growth from Q2 2024.

“I was delighted to outline our multi-year value creation plan alongside our full year results in March, and am pleased to report a strong quarter of progress against these plans. We are moving decisively and at pace to position our company for long-term success, and I look forward to providing further updates about our progress in the coming months."

The shares rose by 2.1p to 81.9p this morning. That still leaves them down 10% this year.