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888 Reports Q3 Results

888 Holdings reported Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Boosted by continued growth from business-to-customer (B2C) operations, revenues spiked 42% to $86 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. It marks the third consecutive quarter that 888 has posted record revenues.

Player numbers reached all-time highs, with the number of real-money accounts for poker, casino and sport crossing the 10 million mark, an increase of 24% from last year. This is expected to grow even further, as 888 enters soon-to-be regulated markets.

Deputy Chairman Brian Mattingley said: “Our compelling offering and successful marketing campaigns have helped to build on our outstanding first nine month performance and drive player numbers to record levels.”

The operator will apply for licences in Denmark and Spain, but Mattingley said that it was “a bit premature to talk about Germany at the moment considering the situation with the 15 Länder.” A licence application in Schleswig-Holstein remains a possibility, though.

Mattingley also told analysts there are no immediate plans to appoint a new chief executive to replace Gigi Levy, who stepped down in April, explaining: “We’re taking our time to consider our options and will update the market when we have secured the right candidate.”

888 management expects the company to beat analysts’ estimates for the full-year. “Trading has continued to be strong into the fourth quarter, and we expect that clean EBITDA for the financial year ending December 31 will be significantly ahead of current market expectations,” Mattingley said.

Analysts are expecting full-year EBITDA of $33.5 million on average, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Highlighting the “clear tailwinds supporting the business,” equity analyst James Hollins of Evolution Securities upgraded his firm’s pirce target by 10% to 55p.

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