Saving to Spend – William Hill commits to digital turnaround

Philip Bowcock – William Hill

Publishing its corporate trading update (17-week period 29 June to 25 October) FTSE-listed bookmaker William Hill has declared that it expects its 2016 full-year operating profits to be ‘at the top end of previous £260-280 million guidance’.

Updating investors, William Hill governance detailed that it has found a potential £30 million in ‘opportunities’ for group-wide operating efficiencies which governance will move to implement in 2017.

The bookmaker which continues its digital performance turnaround, declared that it would further contribute circa £15 million towards its marketing spend with a view to ‘drive faster digital net revenue growth’.

William Hill Interim Chief Executive, Philip Bowcock commented on the trading update

“In this period we have continued to focus on Online’s turnaround, identifying efficiencies and international growth.

“Online has returned to wagering growth in the UK following significant enhancements to our mobile Sportsbook in Q2 and we are making good progress on the gaming and user experience improvements in H2, further helped by the Grand Parade team we acquired in August. We will complete the heavy lifting on Online changes in Q1”.

The bookmaker would further state that it had recorded ‘positive customer key performance indicators’ during the period, with average sportsbook player wagering up 17%.

However, the bookmaker continues to address its issues with ‘unprofitable activity, as new accounts and player actives are down’.

William Hill governance noted that the company would focus on improving its gaming offering and all-round user experience addressing issues of customer retention, user journey, player engagement, product optimization and improved marketing efficiencies.

Detailing period highlights, William Hill governance noted the improved performance of its international divisions which had recorded ‘double-digit wagering and net revenue growth’ for the regions of Australia, Spain, the US and Italy. Closing its period trading update, Bowcock would further add

“Looking forward, we remain on track to deliver 2016 operating profit at the top end of our guided range. With our significantly improved products and user experience, we are confident that this is the right time to invest further in our Online business. Therefore, the marketing efficiencies we are announcing today will be reinvested in driving faster digital growth to benefit future performance.”

William Hill Trading Update  (overview 17-week period 29 June to 25 October) 


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