William Hill’s profit plummets by 47% for H1 due to FOBT restrictions

By Nathan Joyes

William Hill has reported an adjusted loss of £45.5m ($55.1m) before tax for H1 2019, a 47% drop year-on-year.

This comes despite revenue increasing 1% to £811.7m.

Adjusted operating profit was down 33% to £76.2m, which was impacted by the £2 stake limit (from the previous £100) on fixed-odds betting terminals in betting shops and the operator’s expansion into the US.

William Hill has taken the decision to close 700 shops in the UK as a direct result.

Online UK net revenue fell 1%, due to weaker sports results and enhanced customer due diligence, according to the operator.

William Hill has continued to expand its US footprint, with live sports betting available in eight states and two more to go live imminently.

The operator has said it is currently on track to launch a proprietary sports betting platform in the US, in time for the NFL season.

Philip Bowcock, William Hill CEO, believes US growth will only benefit the operator in Q3 and beyond.

He said: “We are making good progress against the five-year strategy we outlined last year, delivering strong revenue growth in the US and other international markets and positioning William Hill well for future growth.

“We took the decision to announce a consultation process over the proposed closure of around 700 shops to protect the long-term future of the business following the introduction of the £2 stake limit.”


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