ONGOING economic uncertainty has seen plenty of significant stock market moves in the first half of 2020.

One business that appears to be thriving though, is gaming brand 888Holdings, who have reported a “significant increase” in 2020 revenue.

Shares were trading at 174.94 at 10:11 on Friday 3rd July, up 146% compared to their lowest point in the calendar year thus far.

Per a June report, the company believe that adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would be ahead of previous expectations. Chief Executive Itai Pazner highlighted strong customer acquisition during 2019 which helped contribute to average daily revenues that were up 34% year-on-year.

Casino leads the way for 888’s recovery after March dip

On 14th March, 888Holdings closed at 70.7p per share. The Premier League had just announced the suspension of its current season throwing the sporting and gaming landscape into uncharted territory. La Liga followed suit on 23rd March. Euro 2020, which would have been a flagship event for many operators in the industry, was also postponed for a full year.

It’s been a turbulent few months for many businesses, but the firm have bounced back in eye-catching fashion. 888’s operations remain heavily focused in the B2C marketplace, up to 90% by its own estimates.

Gibraltar

60% of that is in the casino space which may have insulated it from being as dependent upon the sporting calendar, especially with the convenience that the online gaming marketplace is able to offer customers from the safety of their homes. This aligns well with the Spanish government’s plans to move towards a cashless society through measures including raising the contactless payment limit. This type of transaction is already commonplace within the online gaming world such as sites and apps operated by 888.

Brands such as 888Casino and 888Games which rank highly in ratings that help with online casinos likely positioned them for a swift and decisive recovery from the initial turbulence. Founded in 1997, 888 are one of the most established internet casino brands in the industry. Their headquarters have been in Gibraltar since 2003 when the operation relocated from Antigua.

A lack of high street presence also means there are fewer overheads in terms of bricks and mortar bookmakers, compared to the likes of William Hill, who operate both online and across hundreds of physical locations.

Automotive brands including Aston Martin continue to struggle.
There have been striking moves across the FTSE 250 since the initial impact of the COVID-19 crisis began. Unsurprisingly, the automotive industry has been hit hard with a significant downturn in demand, especially those at the top end of the market such as Aston Martin. Overall, new car sales in the UK fell 89% when new figures were published in May.

There is also the uncertainty around Brexit to contend with as businesses look to wrestle with a global supply chain and sales pipeline. Aston Martin had already been enduring a difficult time after a disappointing IPO in October 2018 when the company was valued at around $6 billion.

Things have gone badly since then though. The company’s shares have lost around 85% of their value in the past year, with the Coronavirus pandemic only adding to the tough market conditions for the luxury car manufacturer who posted pre-tax losses of £119 million in the first quarter of 2020.

January saw a group of investors led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll – who has since taken the role as Chairman – inject around £500m into the company. The turbulent market conditions have seen the business requiring another injection of capital too, this time in the region of £245 million. Their shares were trading at 45p at the time of writing.

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