William Hill revenues grow thanks to strong US & online performance

William Hill PLC has this week released a trading update showing continued growth into 2018. Online revenues rose 12% while the revenues for the sportsbook were also up by 12%.

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Online & US divisions helped to offset a poor retail performance. © Pexels.

The figures represent the 17 weeks up to 24 April 2018 and are relative to the same period in 2017.

Group net revenue grew by 3% thanks largely to strong performances in the online and US domains, but the retail operation performed underwhelmingly.

Mobile continues to grow at the bookmaker, with amounts wagered increasing by 39% and bets made on mobile now constituting 64% of all wagers in the period.

An extremely strong performance in the US saw a 31% wagering growth and positive sports result which helped to offset the retail performance. The bookmaker stated it will be paying close attention to the Supreme Court’s verdict on legalising sports betting in other US states, to be prepared in the case of opportunities.

Commenting on the results, Philip Bowcock, William Hill CEO, said:

William Hill has had a positive start to 2018, making further progress against our strategic priorities to grow UK market share, drive international revenues and deliver key transformation projects. Continued momentum in Online and strong growth in the US have driven a good performance during the period. In the UK, an unprecedented run of bookmaker-friendly sporting results led to unusual wagering and gaming trends, which we expect to normalise over time. The sale of our Australia business has further strengthened our balance sheet. While we await the outcome of the UK Triennial Review and the Supreme Court’s decision on US sports betting legislation, we remain focused on continuing to deliver a great customer experience, particularly ahead of this summer’s World Cup.Philip Bowcock, William Hill CEO

Poor retail performance

The strength of the US and online performances helped to offset a poor retail performance by the operator.

The number of shops decreased by around 1% and net revenue for retail outlets was down 4%. Sportsbook takings were down 9% and there was no change in gaming revenue.

The operator has said that reduced recycling and a large number of UK and Irish horse races being cancelled negatively impacted wagering.

However, volumes of the group’s self-service betting terminals (SSBTs) grew and accounted for around 14% of the total sportsbook wagers in retail. William Hill plans to expand the product range on SSBTs by adding boxing, golf, and rugby league.

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