Another good performance from online gambling operations
The British online and land gambling group William Hill plc reported this week that its first-half net profit rose 9.9 percent to GBP 64.5 million as net revenue grew 2.8 percent to GBP 529.9 million.
The firm said growth from its online sportsbook and other Web-based gambling more than offset a slight dip in revenue from its land retail stores, where its gross-win margin slipped from a year earlier.
"We are on track to deliver against the board's expectations for the full year but we remain cautious moving into 2011 given the ongoing consumer uncertainty," said CEO Ralph Topping.
Key points in he results statement included:
* Online net revenues up 24 percent to GBP 124.2 million
* Retail (land) net revenues down 1 percent at GBP 389.8 million
* Growth in net revenue and EBITA mainly driven by machines and William Hill Online
* Strong revenue and profit growth from William Hill Online
* Pre-tax profit of GBP 105.7 million
* Outstanding football World Cup offset by poor horseracing results
* Telephone business being restructured to improve contribution
* New chairman and group finance director appointed
Chied executive officer Ralph Topping said: "This is a positive first half performance, driven by William Hill Online and, in particular, a very strong sportsbook. We had our best ever World Cup, far exceeding expectations.
“Despite turnover decline in OTC, overall retail turnover and gross win were up, driven by an exceptionally good performance from machines. We have also completed the restructuring of the balance sheet, continued to invest to great effect in our people and have increased our focus on marketing and advertising.
"Looking ahead, we are on track to deliver against the Board's expectations for the full year but we remain cautious moving into 2011 given the ongoing consumer uncertainty particularly affecting retail OTC.
“We are confident that our strategy of expanding William Hill Online both in the UK and internationally whilst continuing to manage Retail tightly will strengthen our competitive position as the economic backdrop improves."