888.com Sees Strong Early 4th Quarter Growth

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LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Online gaming firm 888 (888.L) said trading was more buoyant across all its businesses so far in the fourth quarter, supported by a UK television campaign for its poker and bingo brands and sees annual profit in line.

The group said on Wednesday it had 8.2 million casino, poker and sport real money accounts as of Sept 30, up 21 percent on the previous year.

888's average daily revenue increased 6 percent in October, boosted by poker that rose 16 percent, as players returned to gaming after the seasonally weak third quarter and upped their deposit levels.

"The fourth quarter has started well and given that our various business initiatives are progressing as planned we expect to grow the business further during the year," Chief Executive Gigi Levy said in a statement.

Operating income in the third quarter was flat at $61 million, the same level as a year ago and unchanged on the previous quarter.

The company, which calls itself the largest online gaming venue, said it had been awarded a licence by France to operate poker betting websites.

Shares in 888, which have lost more than half their value since last year, closed at 43.5 pence valuing the company at 156.3 million pounds ($251.1 million)

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