Tough December sees William Hill issue further adjustment on 2016 profits

Philip Bowcock,

A tough December has seen FTSE 250 operator William Hill Plc issue a second profit warning for its full-year 2016 guidance following a set of ‘customer friendly’ results in its football and racing markets.

Publishing a trading update, William Hill governance detailed to investors that closing its full-year 2016 performance, the firm’s earning guidance would be ‘at the bottom end’ of its £260-280 million range.

The bookmaker states that it had recorded a tough set of ‘unfavourable’ results during December’s congested football schedule, with Premier League favourites largely winning their respective matches.

William Hill’s 2016 struggles have been well documented as the operator has been impacted by the decline of its digital verticals. William Hill governance has moved to fix its digital issues by announcing three tech-led advisory appointments to its board last November.

As yet, the operator remains without a permanent leader following the departure of former CEO James Henderson last July.

Commenting on the trading update Philip Bowcock, Interim CEO, of William Hill Plc stated

“Importantly, the improvements we saw in wagering in Online and Australia in the second half have continued in recent weeks. However, all four divisions saw customer-friendly results at the back end of the year, which translated into profits being c£20m below our prior expectations. With key underlying trends continuing to be positive, the recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017.”

Issuing a trading note, Industry analyst Regulus Partners detailed that William Hill’s negative December sporting results would likely be replicated throughout the industry.

“A £ 20 million swing implies group [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] for December has been almost wiped out, an effect likely to have been repeated across the industry” Regulus Partners commented on results.

William Hill governance will present its full-year 2016 results on  Friday, 24 February 2017.

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