StockMarketWire.com - Online gambling group 888 booked a 14% rise in first-half profit and guided for a 'slight' annual earnings beat, as the pandemic fails to dissuade people from having a punt at home.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June increased to $57.9 million, up from $50.9 million year-on-year, as revenue climbed 29% to $528.4 million.

Adjusted pre-tax profit jumped 49% to $75.2 million.

888 declared an interim dividend of 4.5c per share, up 41% on the 3.2c it declared year-on-year.

The company said it had seen strong market-share trends in key geographies, notching over 80% growth Italy, where it achieved customer growth of 11%.

In the UK, it enjoyed revenue growth of 50% 'reflecting strong acquisition trends and customer activity across all product verticals'.

As for the full year, 888 said it was confident its revenue and adjusted earnings would be 'slightly ahead' of its previous expectations, despite a slowing rate of revenue growth.

Revenues throughout July and August had increased by a mid-single digit percentage, with the slowing rate reflecting the impact of retail and leisure venues reopening across international markets.

Slowing also was pinned on the previously disclosed expected impact of regulatory and compliance changes. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com