Bengtsson posts solid start as William Hill’s new leader

The governance of FTSE bookmaker William Hill Plc has expressed confidence in the firm’s performance and future prospects, as group trading maintains full-year expectations.

Publishing William Hill ‘unaudited’ results for the 17-week period up to 29 October 2019, it confirmed that group net revenues were 1% up on 2018 comparatives.

Absorbing the assets of Mr Green, William Hill online net revenues grew by 26% with its gaming unit recording a 51% net revenue increase.

However, sportsbook net revenue recorded just a minor 1% increase, while – adjusting for Mr Green performance – William Hill pro-forma online net revenues would report a 1% increase.

The FTSE bookmaker continues to invest in its online division to improve its customer experience and platform infrastructure. William Hill details that Q4 trading will see the company launch new sportsbook products for Italy and Spain.

Commenting on his first trading update as William Hill Group CEO, Ulrik Bengtsson said: “During my first months as CEO I have been focused on how we can improve our competitiveness whilst ensuring we continue to deliver on our strategic ambitions and I am pleased to confirm we remain on track to meet our full-year expectations.”

At a retail level, William Hill continues to execute its ‘remodelling strategy’ to mitigate the impacts of the UK Triennial Review’s FOBTs reduction.

Recording a like-for-like 16% decline in retail revenues, William Hill maintains that the division’s performance is in-line with expectations, absorbing a -39% decline in in-store gaming revenues.

The Trading period saw William Hill governance close 700 shops with governance acting decisively to ‘do it once and do it right’.

“We have remodelled the UK retail estate, while the UK Online business has benefited from a series of customer-facing improvements evidenced in the stabilising market share in the last two quarters,” added Bengtsson. “In addition, we expect our International Online business to benefit from a number of important product improvements that will be delivered over the coming quarters.”

William Hill US division continues to make strong progress by recording net revenue up 60%, as the FTSE firm continues its US growth momentum by launching new premises in the regulated states of Indiana and Iowa. This sees William Hill expand its active portfolio to 10 US states, claiming 26% of market share.

Bengtsson concluded: “We undoubtedly have great people and a shared vision at William Hill. Our job now is to push on and do even better in terms of customer focus and execution.

“In the US our business has gone from strength to strength. We have excellent market access, a valuable partnership with Eldorado and we are excited about the potential that is presented by the combination with Caesars.”

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