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Emily D. Swoboda

New Segments, New Regions for 888 in '08

12 February 2008

While discussing the company's fourth-quarter trading update today, 888's CEO hinted at the company's strategy for future growth.

Gigi Levy said during a conference call with analysts and investors that the company has fulfilled all of its product endeavors. Levy suggested moreover that with the launch of its sports book -- set for the end of Q1 2008 -- the company has closed all of its product gaps.

"In terms of simply buying a new product, we don't find anything that we're really missing," Levy said.

Instead, he said that with the integration product that the company has built, he was confident that 888 could accommodate any game that emerges.

"Even if we don't develop it internally, we can integrate it immediately," Levy said.

More broadly, the company's strategy is going to consist of either tapping into new regions where it has fewer customers, or tapping into new segments of the I-gaming industry where it would like to be more present.

For instance, the company recently launched -- a new concept geared toward women -- offering bingo and casino games. Levy said it has already showed to be a successful product with hundreds of customers recruited daily following a successful television campaign.

The launch of 888Ladies added to the company's 55 percent increase in net revenues to $35 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2007, compared to $22 million during Q4 2006.

With regard to M&A prospects, Levy said that, currently, there are opportunities for 888 to acquire small companies at decent prices that may not be in a position to expand beyond their current size in a competitive market.

Net gaming revenue for the full year increased 36 percent to $213 million against $157 million the previous year, while casino revenue increased 33 percent to $118 million (2006: $89 million) and poker increased 18 percent to $81 million (2006: $68 million) for the period.

Concerning the company's negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department, Levy would not give any updates other than to say that discussions are ongoing.

On the LSE, 888 experienced another strong day of trading. Shares were up 8p, or 6.08 percent, to 139.50.

New Segments, New Regions for 888 in '08 is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda