William Hill chief plots online growth as Australian rebranding plans are unveiled

William Hill chief plots online growth as Australian rebranding plans are unveiled

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Totally Gaming

James Henderson, the chief executive of William Hill, underlined the UK bookmaker’s increasing reliance on online betting earlier today as he reflected on a year-on-year leap in revenue and operating growth in 2014. 

Speaking in a trading update, Henderson said that the William Hill online division is “very well positioned” as the new Point of Consumption Tax regime cranks into gear in the UK, and he expects the bookmaker to report further growth throughout the next year.

William Hill noted in the update that net revenue generated from its online business in 2014 was 18 per-cent more than in the previous year. However, the bookmaker’s share price on the London Stock Exchange had fallen by nearly five per cent by 4.20pm.

The company had to release its latest trading statement 11 hours earlier than planned after an administrative error led to the results accidentally emailed to analysts, with the figures showing a seven-per-cent fall in profits in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Overall, the bookmaker was able to post an eight-per-cent increase in total net revenue for the year, while group operating profit at the company is also expected to jump to about £371m (€487.6m/$564.5m million). 

“Online is very well positioned as the new Point of Consumption Tax regime starts and we continue to diversify successfully, with 18 per cent of our revenues now coming from outside the UK,” Henderson said.

“Overall it's been a good performance in 2014 for the Group, driven by both the continued development of our UK-facing operations and our international diversification, together with a successful World Cup.”

The company also used the update to confirm plans to rebrand its various operations in Australia, where revenue rocketed by 41 per cent in 2014.

The firm confirmed that its SportingBet, Centrebet and Tomwaterhouse.com services would be rebranded under the William Hill name before the end of February.

“William Hill Australia's potential has been significantly improved as a result of our management changes, the restructuring of our operations, increased marketing effectiveness, enhanced user experience and the ongoing expansion of the product range,” Henderson said.

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