William Hill, one of the UK’s leading providers of gaming and sports betting opportunities, has certainly been experiencing some rocky financial times over the past few months. To compound the issue, the provider has recently announced its fiscal results for the year ended December 27, 2016, showing a suboptimal 1% rise in revenues from its 2015 takings.
William Hill’s operating profits for the year in review peaked at £261.5 million (CA$462 million) – a notable loss of 10% over the previous year’s results. This figure also stands at the lower end of the firm’s projected guidance of £260 million to £280 million for the year. The group’s profits were impacted negatively by unpropitious sports results in the first two quarters of 2016, including millions of Pounds in unexpected losses at the Cheltenham Festival racing event. The William Hill’s online operations also performed more weakly than expected.
The operator’s UK-facing retail division, however, performed at its best in 2016. This arm of the group’s overall operations generated a massive £893.9 million in net revenues during the year in review, although little growth was seen over 2015’s results. Retail revenues totalled 56% of William Hill’s overall takings. The next best-performing division for the firm was its online vertical. Net online gaming and betting revenues totalled £544.8 million, showing a 3% decrease over the previous year. Online offerings brought in 34% of the group’s 2016 takings, with its mobile offerings showing impressive growth.
Online and mobile products produced 70% of William Hill’s sports betting revenues and 53% of its online gaming income. The group noted that the addition of several new products has also boosted growth in this area.
However, despite William Hill’s rocky performance in the UK last year, the group’s Australian arm saw a 16% revenue increase, and its US division enjoyed a 31% year on year boost with a total of £43.7 million generated. Canadian players have also flocked to William Hill casino, as it’s a popular offshore choice of many, thanks to its quality offering and good reputation. The company noted in its annual report that it aims to focus on increasing its market share and expanding internationally at the same time.
This may steady its performance in the face of its uncertain future in the UK due to government probes into local fixed-odds betting machines, a large revenue generator for the firm. The fact that William Hill is also accessible to Canadian players and in many other countries across the globe also bodes well for its future. William Hill also ended their challenging year without a CEO, although it has now been announced that Philip Bowcock will act as Chief Executive in the interim. Although there is some conjecture about Bowcock’s placement, the group’s search for a new CEO is rumoured to be very close to conclusion.