William Hill to review Australia business despite 'transformation'

William Hill to review Australia business despite 'transformation'

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The bookmaker expects to record £290 million profits for 2017

William Hill has highlighted strong progress through its ongoing ‘transformation programme’, as the company expects to declare £290 million in corporate profits for its full-year 2017 results.

Publishing a 52-week unaudited trading statement (period ending 26 December), William Hill detailed its continued corporate recovery under the leadership of new CEO Philip Bowcock.

The FTSE bookmaker benefited from a strong 2017 closing period, which saw a number of favourable football results recorded during the Christmas period.

Strong betting results have been supported by William Hill’s continued digital recovery and operational efficiencies, which has seen the bookmaker report ‘stronger operating margins combined with UK and US market growth’.

“We have delivered a strong result in 2017, reflecting our focus on rejuvenating digital assets, growing the US and building an attractive omni-channel proposition,” said Bowcock. “At the same time, we are continuously improving how we enable customers to gamble responsibly.

“We are excited about the opportunities ahead in 2018 – a World Cup year – with our competitive position reasserted in the UK and with the potential for sports betting to open up in the US.”

Nevertheless, William Hill detailed growing concerns in relation to its Australian betting division, which has been placed under strategic review.

Updating stakeholders, William Hill detailed a slowdown of its Australian assets, due to recent government consumer protection measures banning wagering on credit cards.

Furthermore, the betting market may become a tougher business terrain as a number of Australian states push for individual betting taxes and legislation for betting stakeholders.

Totally Gaming says: The Australian strategic review marks a change in stance for William Hill, who were reported to be exploring M&A opportunities during Q4 2017, when the bookmaker was believed to be in talks to merge its Australian business with CrownBet, a subsidiary of Crown Resorts.

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