William Hill foots £30m retail loss for rollercoaster 2020

William Hill Plc has reported a strong Q4 trading period after closing a transformative year for the heritage FTSE betting group.

 Updating investors, William Hill reported that group net revenues during Q4 increased by 9%, driven by a strong sportsbook comeback and the firm’s enhanced product offering and geographical expansion.

 Positive Q4 trading has helped William Hill soften 2020 Covid headwinds, which have forced its retail division to trade at a restricted capacity. The severe restrictions involved means that William Hill is anticipating that total group full-year net revenues will decrease by 16% to £1.32 billion.

Forced to close its entire 1,414 retail estates for the winter period, William Hill’s retail division will, therefore, absorb full-year losses of circa £30 million.

Retail aside, William Hill noted positive underlying metrics for its wider group performance as its digital division delivered a 12% full-year increase in international revenues and 5% revenue increase for its UK online channel.

Meanwhile, William Hill US also recorded a 32% increase in year revenues despite severe restrictions to casino access across all US states.  

Updating the market on its merger with US partner Caesars Entertainment, William Hill highlighted positive developments with US regulators and gaming authorities, with the merger expected to be executed in the ‘early in the second quarter of 2021, but possibly as early as March 2021’.

“2020 was a year like no other,” said Group CEO Ulrik Bengtsson. “It tested our agility and flexibility and we delivered, keeping our customers and team safe, whilst materially improving our competitive position through product enhancements and geographical expansion.

“The offer received for the Group recognises the substantial progress we have made as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead of us. I remain immensely proud of the William Hill team which has been relentless in its focus on delivering a great product and service to our customers, with player safety at its heart. 

“Customer, Team, Execution have been our guiding lights through this unusual year, and they will remain so as we look forward through 2021.”

 

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