Gambling firm 888 has revealed revenues were “slightly ahead” of expectations for the start of 2024 amid efforts to return to growth.

The group, which also runs the William Hill brand, reported revenues of £431 million for the three months to March 31.

It previously forecast a range of £420 million to £430 million.

Per Widerstrom, who was appointed as chief executive officer last year after a turbulent period for the business, described it as a “strong quarter of progress”.

The company, which last month unveiled a new strategy which will see its name change to Evoke plc, has been cutting costs in a bid to return to profit and put its US consumer betting business up for review.

888 said revenues for the latest quarter were slightly higher than the previous quarter.

It added that it expects to return to year-on-year growth from the second quarter of 2024 as positive momentum continues.

In the UK, the group said it saw an increase in the number of active customers but revenues dipped 1% as growth in gaming revenues was more than offset by lower sports revenues, linked to events such as the Cheltenham Festival.

Its retail business, which includes William Hill shops, reported a 7% decline for the quarter.

Mr Widerstrom said: “I am pleased to report that Q1 2024 revenue was slightly ahead of our guidance, with strong player volumes converting into improved revenue run rates.

“Having lapped various regulatory and compliance changes during the quarter, and with increased marketing investment supported by an exciting product pipeline, we remain confident in a return to growth from Q2 2024.

“We are moving decisively and at pace to position our company for long-term success and I look forward to providing further updates about our progress in the coming months.”