888 Reports Positive Financial Start to 2006
By Andrew B
Internet gaming group 888 has announced a good start to 2006, with first-quarter net revenues up 42 percent year-on-year.

Net gaming revenue rose to $84 million (45 million pounds) in the three months to March 31.

Poker revenues were a major contributory factor to this success. Revenue increased 95 percent year-on-year to $39 million, while casino revenues rose 15 percent to $45 million.

An 888 spokesperson, speaking ahead of their annual general meeting said, “888 had a positive start to the current year, with an improvement in net margins.

“Growth in the U.S. continues, yet we are growing faster out of the U.S., gradually reducing our dependence on the territory in line with the company's long term strategy.”

In the first quarter, 888's revenue per active casino player was $554, up 32 percent on the fourth quarter of 2005. First-quarter revenue per active poker player was $162, up 4 percent on the fourth quarter of 2005.

888 shares closed at 234-1/2 pence on Tuesday, valuing the group at around 790 million pounds.

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