Friday July 27,2012 : GOOD HALF-YEAR RESULTS FROM WILLIAM HILL PLC
Online operations help Brit gambling group to achieve double-digit revenue and profit growth
William Hill plc investors will be pleased with the company's H1-2012 half-year results released today which improve on the comparative period last year, with online activities making a substantial contribution.
Key points in the report on operations for the 26 weeks ended June 28 are:
* Group net revenue up 11 percent to GBP 627.8 million and operating profit up 14 percent to GBP 167.8 million with innovation and investment driving market share gains by William Hill Online.
* Good Retail performance drove 5 percent net revenue growth in both over-the-counter (OTC) betting and gaming machines, and operating profit increased by 6 percent
* Online Net Revenue up 30 percent to GBP198.4 million
* Outstanding William Hill Online performance with Sportsbook turnover 33 percent ahead of H1 2011, overall net revenue up 30 percent and operating profit increased by 23 percent
* Mobile Sportsbook turnover soared 390 percent, 28 percent of total Sportsbook betting in June was via mobile channels.
* Overall profit after tax up 15 percent to GBP 117.9 million
* Basic adjusted earnings per share and dividend up by 17 percent
* Nevada licences awarded to William Hill and William Hill US formed through completion of three previously announced US land-based acquisitions
* International expansion continued with the award of an online licence in Spain, the launch of a Spanish regulated site and the expansion of the group's Italian regulated site.
* Continued strong cash flow from operations reduced net debt for covenant purposes by GBP 61 million to GBP 355 million compared with December 2011
Ralph Topping, chief executive of William Hill, commented: "We have seen a strong performance in our multi-channel UK business in the first half, with a good performance from both OTC and machines in Retail, and with our focus on innovation and investment continuing to deliver outstanding growth at William Hill Online.
"Mobile remains a top priority and continues to outperform our expectations. The William Hill Sportsbook app, which has been top-ranked since its launch in the Apple App Store in mid-February, has delivered more than 40,000 new customers. Our rapidly growing mobile business increased to 22 percent of our Online sports betting turnover and 11 percent of gaming net revenue in the first half.
"We have made good progress in the period on our strategy in expanding internationally, including being awarded an online licence in Spain. It was also very pleasing to be awarded the Nevada licences in June and to complete the acquisition of the three land-based sports betting businesses. Though their contribution to the Group today is small, they represent an important strategic step for William Hill as we look to build our international business.
"With further innovation to come, the group is in good shape and the Board remains confident of its expectations for the full year."