Closing a ‘pivotal 2018’ for William Hill operations, Group Chief Executive Philip Bowcock states that the firm’s reformed executive team has ‘real clarity and purpose’ on its objectives and guidance for 2019, entering a period which will define the legacy bookmaker’s future business entity.
“This business has seen a lot of change over its 85-year history, but arguably, never before with such far-reaching consequences, delivered in such a short window of time.” Bowcock details to investors.
“We now know a lot more, since we have regulatory clarity. We know what the challenges and opportunities look like, so we can be very clear in our strategy, which was presented last November”.
Bowcock stands-by the FTSE bookmaker’s transformation strategy outlined at last November’s ‘Capital Markets Day’, in which William Hill governance will prioritise three critical components leading its ‘five-year growth plan’; 1. Driving digital growth at a global level – 2. Growing a rapid scale US business – 3. Remodelling its entire UK retail division.
Whilst the FTSE bookmaker reporting 2018 losses of £700 million, will have dominated industry headlines, Bowcock reaffirms progress in William Hill’s long-term operating agenda, which may not be evident to outside observers.
William Hill’s CEO underlines that the bookmaker has delivered on its successful digital transformation initiatives which have re-shaped the entire business, ‘bringing the company back to revenue growth’.
Completing a year of tough directives William Hill has been able to “reshape its customer base for long-term sustainability, dealing with the impact of enhanced customer due-diligence measures, and further helping deliver strong acquisition rates among mass market customers”.
During the course of 2018, William Hill has laid the foundations to develop a global enterprise platform, which will now be enhanced by the established European digital assets of MRG Group.
Furthermore, Bowcock adds that William Hill maintains a ‘retail operating team which is the best in the industry’, and will be able to navigate FOBTs wagering complexities, whilst assisting the fast growth of its US business.
“We are on a journey to materially change the shape of William Hill. Up to 2018, this business was retail led and UK centric, this is rapidly changing, and we have taken some key investment decisions which will accelerate further changes.”
“Targeting leading US markets, we have invested in the building a proprietary technology system/stack for our US operations. This combined with the acquisition of Mr Green will deliver us a platform for global growth in 2019”.