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LONDON -- Online casino operator 888 Holdings (LSE: 888.L) has reinstated its dividend after swinging back into a profit for the first six months of the year.
888 Holdings, which runs virtual poker and bingo games on the Internet, said it made a pre-tax profit of $18.4 million in the first half compared to a loss of $22.1 million last year. Sales rose 21% to $22.8 million driven by a 72% jump in poker revenues to $41 million.
The company said: "This has been an excellent first half of the year. The tremendous increase in customer numbers caused by the improvements in our product offering has led to these record results, with the highest revenues in the history of 888."
888 Holdings added: "On the back of this performance, the Board has decided to reinstate the interim dividend, while we retain the cash necessary to continue growing the company."
The company is pinning its strategy for growth on Spain. It said: "The second half of the year will see increased investment in Spain, where we will attempt to build on our impressive market share, and also in the United States, where we are preparing for regulatory changes."
888 Holdings is penciled in for full-year profits of $38 million, which values the 282 million-pound company at around 12 times earnings. The forecast yield based on this morning's share price of 83 pence is around 1%.
888 Holdings has been a disappointing investment over the last six years. Investors have suffered a capital loss of some 34% even after dividends have been included.
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