William Hill reports strong growth in online operations

The Gibraltar-based online division of UK gambling group William Hill plc has again made a significant contribution to group success, recording strong growth in Q4/2010, according to a statement from the company.

The group reported a continuation of the positive net revenue trend seen in previous quarters last year, driven primarily by online operations and gaming machines in the shops.

William Hill Online delivered a strong performance, reporting total online net revenue year-on-year growth of 24%. Internet sports betting was especially successful, with turnover up 57%, including an impressive 114% rise in in-play turnover.

Online operations delivered a Q4 operating profit up 22% year-on-year, £5.9 million going to Playtech as Will Hill's internet partner. Over the year, operating profit topped £26.3 million.

Retail turnover grew around 8% year-on-year, driven by a strong machines performance following the roll-out of the 'Storm' cabinets. OTC gross win margin was at the top end of the normal trading range at 17.9%. This was despite bad weather in the UK and Europe.

Retail net revenue grew by 3% year-on-year, with machines gross win growth of 13%. Telephone betting delivered an operating profit in the second half, making a profit over the fully year likely.

OTC gross win margins in the quarter reached 19% and were above expectations.

The update reveals that the gambling group anticipates achieving net revenue growth of 7% for the year as a whole, delivering pre-exceptional earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of around £275 million (2009: £258.6 million).

Chief executive Ralph Topping said: "This is a strong performance and I am delighted that, in particular, our online business and the gaming machines in our shops continued to see encouraging revenue growth during Q4.

"Our continuing technological developments in what is a fast changing industry have underpinned growth and the doubling of our turnover from in-play this year demonstrates that customers are welcoming these innovations."

Source: InfoPowa News

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