British bookmaker 888 Holdings profit slumps as inflation bites

Aug 12 (Reuters) - British bookmaker 888 Holdings Plc (888.L) reported a fall in its first-half interim profit on Friday, dented by tightened UK online gambling safety measures and the cost-of-living crisis.

The London-listed company said its profit for the six-month period ended June 30 slumped 66% to 14.4 million pounds ($17.57 million), compared with 41.9 million pounds last year.

"In the second half of 2022, our main focus is on integration (William Hill), delivering on our synergy plans, and driving higher profitability across the business," Chief Executive Officer Itai Pazner said in a statement.

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In the past couple of months, betting companies have benefited from people spending more time online to play games and bet on sports as several waves of COVID-19 infections led governments to impose restrictions on travel.

The company, which completed its acquisition of William Hill's international assets from U.S.-based owner Caesars Entertainment in July, said revenue in the second half is expected to be in line with its performance in the first six months of 2022.

Total revenue for the reported period dropped 13% to 332.1 million pounds.

($1 = 0.8201 pounds)

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Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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