STRONG HALF-YEAR RESULTS FROM WILLIAM HILL BOOSTED BY INTERNET OPS
05th August, 2011 at 05:07:52
Solid gains in 26 weeks to end June 2011
The UK online and land gambling group William Hill
plc has produced a strong set of H1-2011 results, with online operations performing particularly well.
Financial highlights of the results include:
* Net revenue overall up 7% to £567.8 million (H1-2010 £529.9 million)
* Online revenues up 23% to £152.7 million (H1-2010 £124.2 million)
* Retail net revenues up 2% to £398.8 million (H1-2010 £389.8 million)
* Operating profit at £147.7 million, an increase of 9% over the same period last year.
* Pre-tax profit rising 23% to £126.9 million (H1-2010 £103 million)
* Profit after tax up 33% to £102.7 million (H1-2010 £77.4 million
* Earnings per share up 31 percent.
Management noted that the strong performance by the company was at the top end of market expectations, with online sports book performance delivering robust growth, and in-play betting producing a doubling of amounts wagered. Innovations in the group's mobile betting activities had generated a 600% growth in revenues in this sector.
In retail (land) operations, slips and stakes growth was allied to strong gaming machine growth with gross win per machine per week currently over £ 900 across an estate of more than 2,350 shops.
Advances have also been made on the international scene with impending US acquisitions and the launch of a regulated website in Italy.
Good cash generation had enabled management to reduce net debt (for covenant purposes) by £39.3 million since 2010 year-end
Investors will be pleased with a 16% increase in dividend.
Chief executive officer Ralph Topping said the results represented a strong performance in challenging economic conditions.
"The comparator period also included part of a World Cup that delivered a record result for us last year," he said. "I am pleased with both our online performance, which has been driven by outstanding sports book growth and innovations in our in-play and mobile offerings, and the strength of our retail business, which continues to benefit from the popularity of machines and the resilience of over-the-counter betting.
"We have also made progress on our international growth strategy, both in Europe and through the three impending land-based sports-betting acquisitions we are currently pursuing in the US.
"Looking ahead, although the economic environment continues to be challenging, our offering is very strong and competitive. Our multi-channel business targets the widest possible audience, and our positioning on pricing and trading, together with our extensive product range and effective use of new technologies, including mobile, combine to present customers with a highly attractive experience. We are performing well and, given our market-leading position, international developments and a pipeline of innovations, we look to the second half of the year and beyond with confidence."
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