Online gambling firm 888 Holdings Plc has posted a 7% rise in profits for 2006, despite the loss of business which resulted from the recent US ban on online gambling.

888 Holdings lost just over half its sales and was forced to cut 25% of its workforce after shutting down its US operations when Congress banned internet gambling.

Though 888 has clearly been hit by the US ban, it has managed to increase its non-US business – revenue from non-US operations increased 28% to $157m (£80m). 

The company said it has focused on expanding into other regions and introducing new products and services to compensate for the loss of US revenue.

888 secured an online betting licence in Italy in December, and launched casino sites in Spanish and German last month.

In addition, the company has launched casino games for mobiles ‘informally’, though chief executive Gigi Levy did not name the mobile firms involved.