William Hill enjoys strong online and US growth

By Robert Simmons

Issuing its trading update for the 17 weeks up to 24 April, international bookmaker William Hill has reported strong growth in its online and US divisions.

US revenues were the biggest rise during the period, increasing by 45% year-on-year while total net online revenue grew by 12% during the first 17 weeks of 2018.

William Hill’s online revenues were strengthened by what it called ‘very strong football and horseracing results in the early part of 2018’ together with favourable results in both the Cheltenham and Grand National horseracing events.

The company have confirmed that the strong US financial performance was due to a 17% growth in bets being placed. The first 17 weeks of the year play host to a number of important US sporting events, most notably the Superbowl, Masters Tournament and the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.

Total net revenues from William Hill’s retail operations dropped by 4% year-on-year, primarily due to a 13% drop in bets during the period, however its gross win margin rose by 18.8%.

Revenues from William Hill’s discontinued Australian operations, which were sold to CrownBet in March for $234.3m, dropped by 22% year-on-year during the period.

Speaking about the company’s performance up to this point, William Hill CEO, Philip Bowcock, commented: “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 has driven a good performance during the period. 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.”


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