Thursday October 3,2013 : WILLIAM HILL DIGITAL GAMBLING PROFITS DECLINE IN Q3-2013
One of the group's strongest divisions experienced a 28 percent dip.
UK's biggest gambling group, William Hill plc, which recently expanded in both the United States and Australia on the back of excellent online and mobile gambling results has suffered a 28 percent decline in digital division profits despite a boost from mobile operations.
The group posted growth in key areas, led largely by Sportsbook operations, but retail (land) operations underperformed.
Sportsbook wagers grew 42 percent in the 13 weeks ended October 1
The betting firm has reported 42 percent growth in Sportsbook wagers in the 13 weeks ending 1 October, with football Sportsbook wagering especially brisk – up 49 percent; and mobile wagering on Sportsbook up 115 percent.
Net revenue for mobile gaming went up 126 percent, with mobile making up 18 percent of gaming net revenue. Retail football staking increased 27 percent in the quarter, although the company reported quiet July retail trading.
Group operating profit was down around GBP 24 million, or 31 percent, in the period, and chief executive officer Ralph Topping was upfront in saying that there's no certainty that the shortfall will be made up by the end of the year.
William Hill's expansion into Australia appeared to go well, with growth in William Hill Australia strong, and the acquisition of online betting firm Tom Waterhouse extending presence and customer base for the group.
Commenting on the results, Topping said:
“Online sportsbook staking growth goes from strength to strength, with growth in football wagering accelerating at the start of the new season driven by increased products, successful marketing and a strong focus on our prices and offers ahead of a World Cup year in 2014.
“Our intensive attention to the development of mobile online continues to yield results, generating 41 percent of wagering in sportsbook.
"During this quarter, results were not as favourable as in the comparable period, with outcomes – particularly in football – going the punters' way. Consequently, gross win margins are below the prior year in both major channels, and below normalised expectations in Sportsbook.
"Additionally, we saw a disappointing Retail performance in July. However, football wagering in Retail has grown in Q3 and the rollout of our new Eclipse gaming machine has begun."