UK Giant 888’s Extraordinary Year Yields Extraordinary Dividends

Published March 23, 2017 by Lee R

UK Giant 888’s Extraordinary Year Yields Extraordinary Dividends

Shareholders at 888 continue to enjoy the benefits of sound management and organic growth.

British online gaming giant 888 Holdings exemplary performance for the year has earned special dividends for shareholders once again.

Driving 2016 Growth

The fruitful full year 82% pre-tax profit increase that produced dividends for the fifth year running was attributed to the strong performance in verticals of sportsbetting and casino.

Final Dividends

The group, which operates 888 casino, poker, sport and bingo brands, specified a final dividend recommendation of 5.1 cents per share.  The additional payouts are worth 19.4 cents per share for the year, which includes August’s interim dividend of 3.8 cents.

Organic Growth Exemplified

Of note is the fact that 2016 growth took place without any significant merger activity, in a period which many historians and analysts are already calling the Year of the Merger.

Revenue Performance

Despite a slate of mergers forged among competitors, unabated 888 revenue growth for 2016 included a 21 percent rise in the casino division and a 49 percent jump in the sports unit. Total group revenue rose 13 % to $520.8 million, while pre-tax profits came in at $59.2 million, almost $27 million higher than a year earlier. 

Stock Market Responds

The news drove company share values up to an eleven year high of 7.6 percent in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange before closing at 5.9%.

Looking for Merger Signs

Intrigue will continue to swirl about the form an 888 merger might take in 2017. After failing to come to an agreement with William Hill in 2016, the group has nonetheless demonstrated a willingness to consolidate.

CEO Illuminates Strategy

Commenting on the results, Itai Frieberger, Chief Executive of 888 says:

“888’s further expansion in the UK, Spain and Italy is a strong demonstration of the Group’s ability to drive excellent growth.”

Expert Observation

In rating 888 stock a “buy,” analysts at Investec cited 888’s size and superior technology along with its growing Sport product vertical as the grounds for speculation in 2017 that 888 will be “either a consolidator or key potential take-out target.”

Outlook

Regardless of what pundits and analysts say, and no matter what mergers competitors forge, it is clear that 888 is remaining most faithful to its shareholders in effectively managing growth, which can only increase the value of the company as well as its merger appeal.

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