William Hill wins Battle of the Brands
Bookmaker William Hill has once again bucked the general economic trend of doom and gloom by announcing a 23% increase in online net revenues for the first half of 2011.
The results have surpassed all expectations, particularly as the same period in 2010 enjoyed the benefits of the South Africa FIFA World Cup, which was in itself a massive revenue generator for the gambling giant. The year on year rise for the first 26 weeks ending 30th June was from £124.2m to £152.7m, and contributed to the company recording a pre-tax profit of £126.9m.
Despite being excellent news for the shareholders, the news was especially welcome in light of William Hill’s closest rivals Ladbrokes’ disappointing figures, which were released just days ago. The company’s net revenue was £85.7m, due to a lower than expected performance in the casino market.
The key to William Hill’s continued success, according to Chief Executive Ralph Topping, “is the outstanding sportsbook growth and innovations in our in-play and mobile offerings”. This growth is set to increase as the company develops its new mobile offering with Mobenga. £3.7 million in net revenue was generated by William Hill’s mobile offering, which is a revenue growth of 600% for the same period in 2010 and an equivalent of 7% of total Sportsbook revenue.
William Hill continues to explore markets in addition to the online sector and recently entered into the newly regulated Italian casino and cash poker market. The company will now look to increase its marketing spend and has admitted that Italian expenditure is expected to drive the marketing net revenue ratio up to 26%.