William Hill hit by revenue drop after ‘tough’ start for online
William Hill has cited a ‘tough’ period for its online business as one of the main reasons behind a year-on-year decline in overall revenue during the 17 weeks through to April 26.
Group revenue for the period was down 3% on the corresponding period last year, with the bookmaker’s online arm being hit particular hard by a 11% year-on-year decline in revenue.
In March, William Hill said a weaker-than-expected performance by its online arm in the opening months of the year could impact its full-year profits.
Online gaming revenue was down 4% in the 17-week period, while sportsbook dropped by 17% due to losses at the Cheltenham Festival UK horse-racing event, as well as customer-friendly European football results and a continued decline in non-core markets.
In an effort to boost its online business, William Hill has appointed Crispin Nieboer as managing director of online. Nieboer has been serving in the position on an interim basis since January this year, with a focus on enhancing products, customer acquisition and yield, as well as international launches.
Despite the decline in online, William Hill did note a slight increase in revenue from its retail business, which climbed by 2% in the 17-week period.
William Hill’s US business was the main reason behind this growth, with revenue up 46% year-on-year, although revenue from its Australian arm was down 22%, with wagers up in both markets.
James Henderson, chief executive of William Hill, said: “It has been a tough start to the year in online, which is being impacted by both regulatory change and a gross win margin below normalised levels for the period due to a disappointing Cheltenham festival and unfavourable European football results.
“Trends in recent weeks remain in line with the guidance we gave in March.
“In retail, it is pleasing to see gaming growth improve again and we are on track with the roll-out of our self-service betting terminal before Euro 2016, allowing us to bring the best of online to our shops ahead of a big summer of sport.
“Australia is showing benefits of our improved offering and strengthening brand in the market, and the US continues to be strong.”
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