888 Ladies Bingo parent company, 888 Holdings has their corporate wallet out to make a purchase and the big questions is, will there be an online bingo site in their acquisition plans? The company has just released their second quarter trading update and the corporate line is that things really couldn’t look much better. On closer analysis however there is a drop in figures if compared to the same period in 2008, but 888 are not allowing this to impinge on their plans for the future.
888 have not allowed themselves to be disheartened by losing out on the recent Cashcade purchase – which included the current ‘must play’ online bingo site, Foxy Bingo – to rival Party Gaming. Instead 888 Holdings have carried on with gritty determination to purchase further online gaming sites to continue to strengthen their market share, and adding further online bingo brands to compliment 888 Ladies is seen as a natural way forward. 888 Holdings were reported to have dismissed the possibility of buying Cashcade because the price was too high. Cashcade which includes Foxy Bingo and the relatively new but popular free online bingo site Cheeky Bingo was eventually sold to Party Gaming for in excess of £100m as readers of our previous report will be aware. An article featured on Reuters website states the company is looking to purchase bolt-on’s to their current brands and they anticipate they will be able to achieve at least one times a full year’s EBITDA to fund any purchases, which would make an estimated $52.5 million available to fund prospective Aquisitions. The Reuters article also quotes the company as stating that they are in final talks with one company with a sale completion imminent.
The Chief Executive Officer for 888 Holdings Mr Gigi Levy said in the Interim Management Statement “We are extremely pleased to report very good sequential quarter on quarter progress in Q2 2009 both in our B2C and B2B lines of business. Trading was stronger in Casino and Emerging Offering with Poker remaining softer, in line with wider industry trends. We are particularly encouraged with increased active customer levels in both B2C Casino and Poker. We enter the seasonally quieter summer period with delivery of our strategy on track and we remain committed to investing in the business in spite of the macro-economic environment. We are confident of delivering further growth during 2009 based on additional planned B2C activities and a set of newly launched B2B partnerships which we expect to start generating revenues in the coming months.”
888 Holdings report cash standing at £100m and records no debt, bingo and sports betting as the company’s new emerging markets are showing income up 40% at $7m. The new Trading figures are causing the City to look favourably on 888 Holdings with shares up 3.4% to 85p, Party Gaming however are showing a slight drop of 0.2% to 255.5p.