August 27, 2009 / 6:19 AM / in 9 years

888 first-half profit down 43 percent

LONDON (Reuters) - Online gaming firm 888 (888.L) reported a 43 percent in first half profit but said it expected its casino, bingo and sports betting web sites to return to growth in the fourth quarter.

The company on Thursday reported a pretax profit of $14.9 million (9.2 million pounds) on revenue 10 percent lower at $117.9 million for the six months to the end of June.

Casino income was $55.9 million, down 20 percent on the same period last year, while the emerging offering, which includes bingo and sports betting, had income of $11.4 million, up almost a third.

“We have reason to believe that subject to no further significant economic deterioration, we will see the typical seasonal patterns return, namely a broadly flat third quarter and growth in the fourth quarter,” the company said in a statement.

Shares in 888 closed at 94.35 pence on Wednesday, valuing the company at around 320 million pounds.

Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by David Jones

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