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William Hill Fourth Quarter Results Show Big Growth In Revenues

UK based betting giant William Hill has released its fourth quarter 2013 financial results, noting a 14% jump in revenue thanks in no small part to the group's mobile operations.

Key highlights for the period ending December 31st, 2013 were:

  • The company's forecast for 2013 FY operating profit is £334 million, which should meet analyst predictions.

  • William Hill’s sportsbook app has been downloaded by more than 1.3 million iOS users and generates £23 million in turnover every week.

  • With 8.6 million customers William Hill is now the UK’s largest bookmaker.

  • Strong underlying net revenue growth in sports betting, with above average gross win margins in Retail and strong wagering growth from the company's online sports book.

  • Good progress on enhancing the company's digital (online and mobile) offering in Australia.

  • Online gaming net revenue growth rates improved by 14% year-on-year.

  • Sportsbook amounts wagered continued to grow strongly, up 38%.

  • Gross win margin of 8.1% was well up on the 6.3% achieved in Q3-2013 but not as good as Q4-2012, which recorded a margin of 8.4%.

  • Overall net revenue up 30%.

  • Mobile performance well up, with sports betting stakes up 92% year-on-year and a gross win margin of 9.7%. Mobile gaming net revenue was 199% higher than in 2012 and increased to 23% of Online's total gaming net revenue.

  • In Retail, net revenue grew 13%, with gaming machine net revenue up 24% and gross win per machine per week at £920 - slightly up on 2012's £918.

  • The United States operations of the William Hill group enjoyed a strong quarter fourth quarter, ending Hill's first full year of ownership with amounts wagered up 34% for the year and a 47% rise in quarter 4 and net revenue increasing by over 150% year-on-year with an 8.3 gross win margin.

  • Group net debt stood at around £800 million at 31 December 2013.

Commenting on the results, William Hill CEO Ralph Topping said, "Q4 proved a strong end to the year as we enjoyed continued momentum in Sportsbook with 38% more wagered in Q4 on a 13 week basis than last year. This demonstrates our competitive strength in Online ahead of the expected introduction of the (United Kingdom) Point of Consumption tax in December 2014."

"We made good progress on key initiatives in the quarter: improving our mobile gaming offer, rolling out the Eclipse gaming machine to over a third of our estate and continuing to enhance Australia's digital capabilities. It is also pleasing to see a turnaround in the profitability of our US business in our first full year of ownership."

Topping also commented on the company's online sportsbetting in the new year, noting that the site is up 48% over the first two weeks of last year. Conversely, the company also announced that it lost £13 million last week in sportsbetting, as a higher number of football favorites won.

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