Sportsbook and Machines Boost William Hill’ Profits
A 41% increase in William Hill Online’ sportsbook net revenues helped William Hill’ overall operating profit grow by 9% to GB£ 147.7 million in the 26 weeks to 28 June 2011 compared to the previous year.
In the retail division (betting shops) over the counter gross win (OTC) fell by 2% to GB£224.0 million. But this was offset by a 10% rise in machine gross win, which reached GB£ 210.1 million for the 26 week period. Over the betting shops’ gross win was up 4% to GB£ 434.1 million, with operating profit of GB£ 104.0 million (2010: GB£ 102.6 million).
Over the counter gross win margin fell from 17.4% to 16.8% on amounts wagered of GB£ 1,335.8 million.
Compared to the World Cup year of 2010, new accounts for William Hill Online fell 10% from 493,400 to 443,200 in the comparable 26 week period. But unique active players rose by 6% from 957,900 to 1,019,400.
Operating profit in William Hill Online rose by an impressive 24% to GB£ 55.9 million, on revenue increase of 23%. But operating costs also rose in line with revenue growth. Total costs rose by 23%, within which marketing costs increased by 24% to GB£ 39.2 million and staff costs by 30% to GB£16.6 million.
Topping believes the biggest threat to his business now is complacency.
“We can’t afford complacency at William Hill. The moment we take a breather is the moment we are back among the field. We haven’t won anything yet. There is a lot more to do.
In Retail, we’ve got one competitor tying itself up in knots, of the Gordian variety, one tied up in debt and one tying itself to another. And in Online some of those big names aren’t even competing yet, while others are sweating over how exposed their revenues are or whether their operating model is going to get approved outside the UK.
We’ve never had a better opportunity to advance ahead of competitors.”