William Hill shows early 2018 progress ahead of crucial summer

William Hill shows early 2018 progress ahead of crucial summer

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The firm’s trading statement covered the 17-week period to 24 April

William Hill Plc has this morning published its 17-week trading update (period to 24 April), detailing a positive momentum and corporate outlook for 2018.

Updating the market, the company recorded a 3% uplift in group net revenues during a strong digital trading period which included a 12% increase in online sportsbook net revenues, as the bookmaker sustained favourable sports results in early 2018.

Supporting its online sportsbook operations, William Hill Gaming reported an 8% increase in net revenues, as the company detailed more effective cross-sell opportunities between its sportsbook-to-casino verticals.

In the trading update, William Hill emphasised the strong momentum of its US sports betting division, which saw 45% increase in net revenues, detailing strong activity across its Las Vegas properties.

The FTSE bookmaker detailed to investors that it continues to assess US opportunities ahead of the Supreme Court’s judgement on repealing PASPA federal laws.

Despite its online and US growth, William Hill retail could not escape UK market realities, detailing a tough opening to 2018 trading. With betting shops and UK racing venues closed due to adverse UK weather conditions, William Hill retail reported 4% decline in revenue performance.

William Hill Group CEO Philip Bowcock said that the firm was prepared for a crucial period of summer World Cup trading, in which the firm will deliver several sportsbook enhancements supported by heightened marketing coverage.

Bowcock 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,” he added. “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.”

Totally Gaming says: The company’s strong online and US revenues combined to offset a retail decline felt industry-wide across Q1, a trading period in which extreme weather conditions significantly impacted a shop's ability to profit from horseracing fixtures.

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