William Hill boosts net revenue with online performance

By Dhanum Nursigadoo
FTSE-listed bookmaker William Hill reported a 6% net revenue increase for the second half of the year, partially due to the online department performing well after having had a difficult year. The boost has led the operator to announce that it expects 2016 operating profits to reach £260-280m.

Improvements made to the mobile sportsbook and an increased emphasis on football betting led to online wagers up 6% with gross win margin up 8.4% due to profitable football results. Net revenue growth follows positive customer reactions during the period, with average player wagers up 17%.

William Hill governance reported a potential £30m in operating efficiencies which it will begin to implement in 2017 along with a £15m marketing drive to aid digital revenue growth. This comes after, despite no chance in net retail revenue, international business surging in Australia and the US with net revenue growth.

Interim chief executive Philip Bowcock commented: "Online has returned to wagering growth in the UK following significant enhancements to our mobile sportsbook in Q2 and we are making good progress on the gaming and user experience improvements in H2, further helped by the Grand Parade team we acquired in August.

"Our international businesses are all performing well, with double-digit wagering and net revenue growth in each of our key markets of Australia, the US and Italy and Spain."

William Hill also appointed three new non-executive directors to its board, notably John O'Reilly, who aided an increase in Coral's online performance.

Joining O'Reilly is Mark Brooker, former chief operating officer at Betfair and former Ladbrokes board member, as well as Robin Terrell, who joins from Tesco.

Chairman Gareth Davis said: "These appointments significantly enhance the board's digital, multi-channel and gambling industry experience. John's, Robin's and Mark's collective expertise will strengthen the business as we implement our strategy of digital and international diversification."


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