by Adam Dworak

888 Sets Course for Growth with Strategic Overhaul and Rebranding to Evoke plc

888 Holdings, a distinguished player in the global betting and gaming industry known for its flagship brands William Hill, 888, and Mr Green, has disclosed its audited financial outcomes for the year concluded on 31 December 2023.

The announcement comes with a detailed overview of a transformative strategy encapsulated in the newly unveiled Value Creation Plan (VCP), positioning the company for a robust growth trajectory.

Financial Performance and Strategic Shifts

The company reported a revenue of £1,711m for FY23, reflecting a strategic shift towards a higher quality revenue mix. This adjustment was influenced by a deliberate transition from dotcom markets and the implementation of additional safer gambling measures in the UK, alongside a revamped marketing strategy aimed at bolstering sustainable revenue and profitability.

The adjusted EBITDA margin stood at 18.0% for FY23, in alignment with the anticipated range and marking an improvement from the previous year’s 16.8%. The company also reported a stable liquidity position with a slight reduction in net debt, maintaining a balanced adjusted net debt/EBITDA ratio year over year.

Introducing the Value Creation Plan

Under the leadership of the newly appointed CEO, Per Widerström, 888 Holdings has embarked on a strategic overhaul, evidenced by the comprehensive VCP. This plan is fortified by the induction of new executive members, bringing fresh expertise to steer the company towards its long-term objectives.

The VCP outlines a clear vision for the company’s future, focusing on operational excellence and a strategic reset of the group’s operating model to eliminate inefficiencies. This includes a redefinition of market priorities into Core and Optimize Markets, ensuring focused investments and enhanced profitability.

Rebranding to Reflect a New Vision

In a significant move, 888 Holdings proposed a rebranding to Evoke plc, a change that awaits shareholder approval. This rebranding initiative mirrors the company’s multi-brand operational strength and its commitment to delivering premier betting and gaming experiences.

Future Outlook and Targets

With the VCP at the helm, 888 Holdings sets ambitious targets for medium-term growth, emphasizing revenue enhancement, operational efficiency, and strategic deleveraging. The company’s positive outlook for FY24 is backed by a consistent growth in active players, particularly in the UK and international segments.

CEO’s Vision for the Future

Per Widerström expressed his enthusiasm for the strategic direction and the reinvigorated corporate identity. “Today marks the beginning of an exciting new dawn for this business,” stated Widerström. He emphasized the swift and decisive actions taken to sculpt a clear pathway to success, underpinned by a robust strategic framework and a highly capable executive team.

Our Comment on the Article

The strategic pivot of 888 Holdings to Evoke plc signifies a bold step towards redefining its market presence and operational efficiency. The introduction of the Value Creation Plan, coupled with the strategic leadership of Per Widerström, positions the company on a promising path of sustainable growth and profitability.

With a clear vision, strong technological infrastructure, and a distinguished portfolio of brands, Evoke plc is poised to make significant strides in the dynamic landscape of the betting and gaming industry.

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