888 To Change Name To Evoke, Focus On Core Markets

March 26, 2024
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888 Holdings has proposed changing its name to evoke Plc amid plans to focus on key markets of the UK, Denmark, Italy and Spain, as it reviews its US online gambling operations.
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888 Holdings has proposed changing its name to evoke Plc amid plans to focus on key markets of the UK, Denmark, Italy and Spain, as it reviews its US online gambling operations.

The name change, if approved by stockholders, would reflect the company’s “multi-brand operating model and its vision and mission to make life more interesting”, the company said today (March 26).

888 said its 2023 revenue also rose 38 percent to £1.7bn, while post-tax losses narrowed to £56.4m from a loss of £120.6m a year ago.

But adjusted profit after tax fell 25 percent to £48.1m.

888, operator of William Hill and Mr Green brands, recently announced a plan to end its agreement with Authentic Brands, owner of the Sports Illustrated brand, as part of its review of its disappointing US operations.

Its shakeup has come with the appointment of Per Widerström as chief executive in October.

The company also said it is targeting profitable revenue growth of 5 percent to 9 percent a year. First-quarter 2024 revenue should be £420m to £430m.

The decision to focus on core markets comes as part of plans to invest in markets where “the group will generate strong returns while maximising cash flow from all markets”.

The company has been shifting away from dot.com markets and has been instituting safer gambling changes in the UK as the industry there comes under regulatory pressure.

Earlier this week, the UK Gambling Commission said it was ending its licence review of 888 as it had received assurances the company was not pursuing a proposal to appoint former GVC CEO Kenny Alexander and other executives to run the company.

GVC, now called Entain, has agreed to pay £585m plus costs to avoid prosecution for its activities in Turkey under Alexander’s regime.

Separately, Flutter Entertainment, parent of FanDuel and Sky Bet brands, said its revenue rose 25 percent to $11.8bn (£9.32bn) in 2023.

Net losses rose to $1.2bn from $370m after the company took non-cash charges, including a $725m impairment charge for its PokerStars brand, Flutter said.

Adjusted EBITDA rose 45 percent to almost $1.9bn, the company said.

Flutter shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in January.

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