William Hill Enjoys Strong First Half with Online Improvements
Bookmakers William Hill has said that its customer numbers have started to increase again in the first half of this year.
The bookie made good progress in its three strategic priorities and saw wagering growth across all four divisions. In the 26 weeks ending June 27th net revenue was up to £837 million from £814 million the year before.
Within the UK both the online and retail offering are growing at or above the market rate. Online saw a 13% year-on-year increase in the amounts bet on the sportsbook and a 9% rise in gaming net revenue. Retail saw the amount bet increase by 2% and gaming net revenue increase 3%.
There was also net revenue growth in the US and Australia.
However, unfavourable football results meant that first-half pre-tax profit fell by 11% as the bookmaker had to payout on wins for well-backed teams. On the other hand, there was good progress in its plans to deliver £40 million of savings and the group is confident it can deliver a good outcome for the year and beyond.
The good news comes a few months after the company named a new chief executive and a finance boss. The stronger online business shows a clear recovery from a year ago when the previous chief executive was fired for not making enough progress. One of the company’s most popular innovations is the ability to ask for odds on Twitter.
After the news was announced shares in William Hill rose as much as 11%. They had been down as much as 13% so far this year.