William Hill Exceed Their Expectations for 2019
This is quite an achievement for the company, as it faced lots of regulatory pressure during 2019, not only in its domestic but also in international markets.
An Excellent Year for the Gambling Giant
Over the last 7 years, William Hill’s digital division wasn’t as competitive as its executives hoped, while regulatory pressure kept on building up. And although 2019 was a year of great challenges, the bookmaker can be satisfied with the results, as they finally showed a sign of progress.
According to the company, the expected operating profit for the twelve-month period that ended on December 31, 2019, is expected to be somewhere between C$244 million and C$252 million, which is far beyond what analysts predicted at the start of the year. The initial estimates expected that the company’s annual profit would be around C$221 million.
Favourable sporting results were cited as the main factor behind the better performance in 2019. Commenting on the estimates, William Hill stated good progress had been made during the last year, while at the same time it pointed out it would continue to deliver its long term strategy.
To ultimate goal of this strategy is to become the leader of the digital market, whilst continuing to promote responsible gambling.
William Hill also announced that full-year results would be posted in late February.
Regulatory Pressure Offset by Strong Sports Betting Performance
William Hill proudly revealed that the performance in its domestic retail business exceeded expectations, despite the regulatory pressure from the British government, which reduced the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to just £2 (around C$3.5).
This lead to the closure of 700 retail shops in its domestic market. However, despite these setbacks, the company’s retail arm managed to record annual operating profit which exceeded the estimated range of C$85-C$120 million.
The growth was in line with the initial forecasts, for a third consecutive quarter. William Hill did admit there had been certain shortcomings in its online gaming revenue, although they were offset by a solid gross win margin that had come from sports betting.
When it comes to international online operations in 2019, the expected net revenue should be flat. The company’s sports betting revenue from international operations wasn’t particularly strong, although its gaming offering did have good performance. The reason was the acquisition of the Swedish online company Mr Green, completed earlier in 2019.
William Hill continued to develop its business operations on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, with its sports betting generating strong growth in 2019, especially in the last three-month period of the year. William Hill has expanded its presence across the continent, including the US and the Bahamas.
Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill Group Chief Executive Officer, said the company had delivered a strong performance during 2019, while the progress would allow them to continue to deliver on its long-term plans.