William Hill claims local lockdowns could cost company £2m

By Peter Lynch

William Hill has revealed a 9% drop in third-quarter revenue in its latest trading update, stating that local lockdowns could cost the company £2m ($2.6m). 

The group reported "good progress across all divisions," but stated that £2m could be lost through retail amid the latest coronavirus measures implemented by the UK government. 

A statement from the operator's trading update read: “With respect to further local lockdowns we estimate that, on average, the closure of 100 shops for four weeks would reduce EBITDA by c.£2m, excluding the benefit from any job support schemes for which the Group may be eligible.  

“At the current time, c.10% of our retail estate is located in regions where the local COVID-19 alert level is classified as ‘very high’ as defined by the latest Government disclosure.” 

The UK has recently seen a number of new restrictions introduced as COVID-19 cases rise. This week it was announced Greater Manchester would enter a Tier 3 lockdown which will see betting shops close Friday. Lockdowns have, however, traditionally witnessed a boost in online performance across the industry. 

Despite the decline in revenue and the worries regarding new lockdown measures, William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson expressed his delight at the company’s performance in recent months. 

“We are very pleased with the trading performance of the group, which has been borne out of the commitment, resilience and hard work of our teams across the business,” he said. 

“I could not be prouder of them. 

“We have moved the company forward with our relentless focus on our customers, enhancing the competitiveness of our product, and maintaining player safety as one of our highest priorities.   

“We have reinvigorated the leadership team and they, in turn, have empowered their teams to deliver on our plans.” 

 


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