|888, one of the world’s most popular online gaming companies, today provides the following trading update for the fourth quarter of 2005 and cumulative results for the year ended 31 December 2005.|
Key financials for the three months ended 31 December 2005:
• Net Gaming Revenue rose to US$77 million, an increase of 56% above Q4 2004.
• Net Gaming Revenue from casino increased to US$41 million, an increase of 19% above Q4 2004.
• Net Gaming Revenue from poker rose to US$36 million, an increase of 138% above Q4 2004.
• Number of active* members increased to 330,962, a 75% increase above Q4 2004.
• Casino active members increased to 97,661, a 48% increase above Q4 2004.
• Poker active members increased to 233,301, an 89% increase above Q4 2004.
• Monthly poker rake (rake from ring games plus net tournament fees) in December 2005 was 108% higher than December 2004.
• In Q4 2005, quarterly net gaming revenue per active casino member at $419 compared to $458 in Q3 2005 (a slight decline as a result of promotion efforts aimed at reviving dormant members). In poker we continue to experience strong performance with quarterly net gaming revenue per active member up 21% from $129 in Q3 2005 to $156 in Q4 2005.
• As at 31 December 2005, 888 had 23.2 million registered member accounts out of which 5.5 million are real money registered member accounts, representing an increase in real money member accounts of 49% since 31 December 2004.
Key cumulative financials for the 12 months ended 31 December 2005:
• Net Gaming Revenue during year rose to US$271 million, an increase of 52% above 2004.
• Net Gaming Revenue from casino during the year rose to US$161 million, an increase of 16% above 2004.
• Net Gaming Revenue from poker during the year rose to US$110 million, an increase of 179% above 2004.
Overall trading for the year has been in line with Board expectations.
Our new financial year has started well and trading in January 2006 has been strong in both the casino and poker businesses with a continued increase in new real money member sign-ups, first time depositors and deposit levels.
In January 2006, 888 launched the latest version of its Casino offering, version 7.5, with new video-slot machines, new graphics and promotion features, that all enhance the members’ playing experience. In addition, Pacific Poker was released in three new languages, German, Italian and Swedish.
We introduced a new e-wallet focusing on Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and France, thereby expanding further our geographical presence in non-US markets. 888 plans to roll-out a further two new languages, a new Jackpot feature for Pacific Poker and one additional language for the casino in the first quarter of 2006.
On 15 January 2006, 888 announced that it had signed a multi-million pound five year deal with the World Snooker to become the new title sponsor of the World Snooker Championship, held at the legendary Crucible Theatre. This event will now be known as the 888.com World Snooker Championship. As part of this 888 will also be an associate sponsor of the Masters, Grand Prix and UK Championship snooker events. The 888.com World Snooker Championship will enjoy extensive global exposure through full coverage of the event on the BBC in the UK, Euro-Sport in Europe and wide exposure across Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The Board is encouraged by the positive start to the new financial year and is confident of the Company's prospects for 2006.
The Company will announce preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2005 on 16th March 2006.
Contacts and enquiries
John Anderson Chief Executive Officer +350 49800
Aviad Kobrine Chief Financial Officer +350 49800
Ann-Marie Wilkinson/Nick Lambert +44 (0)20 7861 3232
Notes to Editors
888.com is headquartered and licensed in Gibraltar with further offices in Tel Aviv, Antigua and London. It has over 23 million registered member accounts in over 150 countries worldwide and play and customer support is available in up to 11 languages - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In October 2005 888’s shares were admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
888.com offers traditional casino products such as blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, keno, slot machines, video, and a variety of poker games. Its main poker offering is provided through the Pacific Poker brand which offers ring games and tournaments.
Other offerings include a betting exchange (for non US members only), other skill games such as checkers, backgammon and arcade games (888.tv) as well as free poker school and other casino games through 888.info
The Group has its own R&D arm that is based in Israel and develops proprietary software for exclusive use by 888.com. This enables the Group to continually evolve and develop the software and systems to give customers a state of the art gaming experience. It also provides a full back office management system that is owned and controlled directly by 888. This ensures the company is not reliant on third parties for its software.
888 have been at the forefront of moves to ensure that the industry is subject to a high level of regulation. It was instrumental in the foundation of the eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) initiative. This has established a set of best practice regulations and enforces them through a combination of independent monitoring and inspection. Through the establishment of eCOGRA, 888 has helped to create a regulatory framework that delivers safe, honest and player-sensitive online gambling.