IMPROVED OUTLOOK FOR WILLIAM HILL PLC
Online and land betting group expects full-year operating profits to come in at the top end of forecasts after strong growth outside of the UK.
In a trading update Monday William Hill plc advised that it expects full-year operating profits to come in at the top end of its previous guidance after a strong international performance thus far in H2-2016.
The group had previously forecast that operating profits for the year to December would be between GBP 260 million and GBP 280 million.
The improvement stems mainly from double-digit wagering and net revenue growth in Australia, the US, Italy and Spain over the 17 weeks to 25 October, the company revealed.
Interim CEO Philip Bowcock said:
“Our international businesses are all performing well. In a tough market, the Australian business is benefiting from our in-house technology, which allows us to bring customers innovative new products more frequently than our competitors.”
The groups previously troubled online division also saw improvements and a reversal of the misfortunes encountered earlier, returning the division to growth with UK sportsbook amounts wagered up 4 percent year-on-year.
Management claims it has identified opportunities to make around GBP 30 million in savings early next year, and says the savings will be used to drive faster digital growth, benefiting future performance.
In a separate announcement Monday morning, William Hill chairman Gareth Davis confirmed the appointment of three industry veterans to the board as non-executive directors, naming former Coral Interactive managing director John O’Reilly, who will join at the start of January, along with Tesco plc ex-chief customer officer Robin Terrell. Mark Broomer – former chief operating officer at William Hill’s rival Betfair – will join in April 2017.
"These appointments significantly enhance the Boards digital, multi-channel and gambling industry experience,” said Davis.