British bookmakers have endured a torrid time in recent months, but William Hill looks set to buck that trend after last week announcing its third quarter figures are stronger than expected and should now post 2014 operating profit of between £341 million and £366 million.
The third quarter was a strong one for William Hill who revealed Group net revenue is up 23% and operating profit an impressive 89%. Although the sports betting amounts wagered in its retail arm fell by 1%, its net revenue climbed 9% on the back of excellent FIFA World Cup results.
It is William Hill’s online arm that is performing amazingly well, with sports betting amounts wagered up 18% in Q3 (up 33% year-on-year), net revenue increasing by some 55% (24% year-to-date) and operating profits soaring by 126% (31% year-to-date).
In a statement to investors and the London Stock Exchange, William Hill’s Chief Executive Officer, James Henderson, said:
“The Group performed strongly in Q3 driven by both favourable sporting results and the continued development of our UK and international businesses. The period saw good gaming growth in both major channels and sports net revenue growth significantly boosted by a favourable year-on-year swing in win margin. Positive sporting results in the quarter, including a strong end to the World Cup, have moved us close to or ahead of normalised gross win margins on a year-to-date basis
“Looking beyond the effect of these sporting results, the underlying performance across the Group is good. Online gaming continues to benefit from our investment in mobile and Sportsbook turnover growth remains healthy, with in-play turnover growth a particular feature, up 35% in Q3. In Retail, net revenue growth of 9% reflects a favourable sports margin, the benefit of the World Cup and a strengthening of machine gross win growth rates, despite the impact of 82 shop closures during the quarter.”
William Hill’s international operations are also performing well, with Australia flourishing. William Hill is now the number one for sports betting in Italy with 14% market share and now have 20% market share in Spain.