Online turnaround boosts William Hill’s net revenue

William Hill: online gross win margin up 8.4 per cent in second half of year

PICTURE: David Dew Online turnaround boosts Hills net revenue
By Andrew Dietz 7:37AM 14 NOV 2016

WILLIAM HILL have reported a six per cent net revenue growth for the second half of the year to date with early signs of improved performance in their previously struggling online division.

With greater emphasis placed on football and enhancements made to the mobile sportsbook, online amounts wagered increased six per cent with gross win margin up 8.4 per cent after favourable football results.

Although there was no change to total net revenue in retail, the firm's international business prospered after significant net revenue growth in Australia and the US.

Interim chief executive Philip Bowcock said: "In this period we have continued to focus on online's turnaround, identifying efficiencies and international growth.

"Online has returned to wagering growth in the UK following significant enhancements to our mobile sportsbook in Q2 and we are making good progress on the gaming and user experience improvements in H2, further helped by the Grand Parade team we acquired in August. We will complete the heavy lifting on online’s changes in Q1.

"Our international businesses are all performing well, with double-digit wagering and net revenue growth in each of our key markets of Australia, the US and Italy and Spain."

Bowcock added: "Looking forward, we remain on track to deliver 2016 operating profit at the top end of our guided range. With our significantly improved products and user experience, we are confident that this is the right time to invest further in our online business."

New appointments

William Hill have also appointed three new non-executive directors to its board, including John O'Reilly, who initiated an upturn in Coral's online business.

Joining O'Reilly, also a previous board member at Ladbrokes, is Mark Brooker, former chief operating officer at Betfair and Robin Terrell, who moves from Tesco.

Company chairman Gareth Davis said: "These appointments significantly enhance the board's digital, multi-channel and gambling industry experience. John's, Robin's and Mark's collective expertise will strengthen the business as we implement our strategy of digital and international diversification."

Reaction to results

Regarding the trading update, analyst Gavin Kelleher, of Goodbody, said: "Overall this is a relatively solid update from William Hill. Retail is broadly in line, and online in both Europe and Australia have shown some small moves in the right direction.

"The cost efficiencies should be well received, and leave the group with scope to reinvest or give it some mitigation against any regulatory headwinds.

"While there is no news on a CEO, the board appointments should be welcomed. The update should be well received in the short term, but regulatory concerns could continue to weigh on the story."

In early morning trading, William Hill's share price had risen 3.21 per cent to 292.70p.

    Read More at Racing Post

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