William Hill has cited strong progress throughout 2019 as it delivers profits ahead of expectation across key markets during a year of transition.
Detailed during a trading statement for the year ending December 31, 2019, the group states that full-year adjusted operating profit is expected to be in the range of £143m – £148m, ahead of market and management expectations and driven by favourable sporting results through the year end.
William Hill’s UK business is said to have grown in line with the market for the third consecutive year, with a shortfall in gaming revenue offset by a strong sporting win margin.
On an international basis performance was mixed, with revenue expected to be broadly flat on a pro forma basis during the fourth quarter. Sportsbook revenue was weak, with the firm boosted by a good performance in gaming that was driven by Mr Green.
Looking at US performance, the group continued to generate strong growth during Q4, driven by wagering growth and disciplined investment. “We now expect to be breakeven for the US business overall in 2019, compared to the guided range of $0m to -$20m,” it was said.
Furthermore, the company’s retail segment, having executed the remodelling strategy, generated operating profit above the guided range of £50-70m, pushed along by favourable sporting results as gaming also performed ahead of expectations.
Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO of William Hill, commented: “The group has delivered a strong operating performance, ahead of our expectations and against a challenging regulatory backdrop. We made good progress on a number of fronts, including our retail business, online and in the US, enabling us to deliver on our long term strategic ambitions. We look forward to building on these efforts in 2020 with a strong focus on customer, team and execution.”
During the year the group also noted progress towards delivering on a long term ambition to become a digitally led and internationally diversified business of scale while continuing to embed a culture of responsible gambling.
The group’s 2019 final results will be announced on Wednesday 26 February 2020.