William Hill Maintains Momentum In 2015

Trading update reveals company FY performance will meet expectations

Online and land gambling group William Hill plc has issued a trading update covering the twelve month period to end December 2015, reporting that revenue eased but the company will still make expectations.

The update advised that:

* Unaudited FY net revenue was GBP1.59 billion, a percentage point lower than the same period in 2014;

* Retail operations continued to be the main income contributor, producing revenue of GBP 899.5 million, which was down two percentage points on the previous year;

* Online operations continued to flourish, generating revenue of GBP 550.7 million – up 4 percent y-o-y despite increased costs;

* Australian operations disappointed, delivering revenues 20 percent lower year-on-year at GBP97.9 million, but the last quarter of the year was better;

* Sport betting was up slightly with margin a slightly improved margin of 7.8 percent;

* Crispin Nieboer will take over temporarily as head of online following the departure later this year of incumbent Andrew Lee;

* Kevin O'Connor, formerly chief information officer at S&P Capital and prior to that at rival Paddy Power, is joining William Hill as group chief information officer;

* Q4-2015 operations delivered a strong performance, reporting net revenues from online core markets in the UK, Spain and Italy that were up 14 percent to around GBP116 million;

* The in-house developed Trafalgar online betting platform experienced "some disruption" but the problems are being addressed and Management remains optimistic that the project has the potential to drive growth, particularly as the division gains felxibility and increases its ability to differentiate;

William Hill chief executive James Henderson reported:

"I am pleased that we have delivered results in line with the market's operating profit expectations for 2015. Online has seen some disruption around the implementation of Project Trafalgar but we are rapidly addressing that. Retail has delivered another resilient performance, our US business continues to grow strongly and I am encouraged by the performance of the William Hill brand as the growth engine of the Australian business.

"Technology remains a key pillar of our strategy and the leadership changes announced today are about building a team who will deliver product innovations and continue to ensure technology is a major competitive advantage for William Hill. This will allow us to further build on our brand and scale, and be best placed to compete.

"Looking forward, 2016 is an exciting year for us. With EURO2016 ahead, we will capitalise on the investments we have made on Trafalgar, the SSBTs and the William Hill brand in Australia to bring customers a differentiated and more personalised William Hill experience."

In related news, the Evening Standard newspaper reported Thursday that head of online operations Andrew Lee has been placed on "gardening leave" after the difficult debut of William Hill's new betting app under the bookie's Project Trafalgar roll-out.

The company has developed its own online platform to end its reliance on providers such as Playtech, but the October launch was blighted with problems such as the app logging itself out and difficulties cashing out, the newspaper claimed.

As InfoPowa went to press Thursday afternoon unconfirmed rumours were circulating that another senior William Hill technical manager, CTO Finbarr Joy has resigned.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa