- Online gambling group 888 on Tuesday reined in dividends despite an uptick in annual profits as revenues were held back by slump in poker growth.

For the 12 months ended 31 December, adjusted profit before tax rose 11% to $86.7m and revenue decreased by 2% to $529.9m.

B2C Casino revenue increased by 8% to $317.6m and B2C Sport revenue increased by 6% to $80.3m, but a slump in poker and bingo revenue offset growth.

B2C Poker revenue decreased by 37% to $49.0m and B2C Bingo revenue decreased by 17% to $32.4m as heightened regulatory scrutiny in the UK weighed down performance.

A final dividend of 6.0 cents per share was declared and an additional one-off 2 cents per share, taking the total dividends for the year to 12.2 cents per share, down from 15.5 cents a year earlier.

The lower dividend for the year reflected 'the performance of the group, recent acquisitions as well as regulatory developments and the importance of retaining adequate cash to fund potential investment activities,' the company said.

'The positive momentum at the end of 2018 has continued into the first quarter of 2019 with average daily revenue in 2019 to date up 10% compared to Q4 2018 reflecting improvements across major KPIs. In the UK, we are encouraged by the improving trends we began to witness in the latter stages of 2018 and the Board is pleased to report that these have continued during the first quarter of the current financial year,' the company said.

'Average daily revenue at constant currency in our UK B2C business up by more than 10% year-on-year in Q1 so far. Overall Group trading during the financial year to date is 5%* higher at constant currency year on-year'

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