Extraordinary 2020 Sees William Hill Revenues Fall
In its latest trading update, William Hill (LON: WMH) reported a 16% year-on-year fall in net revenues for the entirety of 2020. In the update, William Hill described 2020 as an “extraordinary” year due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The group’s net revenue fell to £1.32 billion for the year ending 29 December.Throughout the year numerous national lockdowns had a significant effect on William Hill’s retail business with betting shops being forced to close for large periods and the suspension of live sport in the UK in March also caused a drop in betting activity.
England’s two national lockdowns and the introduction of a regional tier system saw retail net revenue fall 30% on a like-for-like basis, with all 1,414 of William Hill’s betting shops affected by coronavirus restrictions, resulting in a £30 million loss for the year.
However, this was somewhat offset by strong performance in the online sector with online international net revenue up 12% on a pro-forma basis following the operator’s successful integration of Mr. Green, and online net revenue from the UK grew 5%.
There was extremely strong online growth in the US, with net revenue up 32% for the year. 2020 saw William Hill US go live in five more states, leading to a 121% increase in net revenue in the fourth quarter compared to the previous year.
Furthermore, the return of a full sporting calendar in the final quarter of 2020 helped William Hill’s total net revenue increase by 9% when compared to the same period in 2019.
William Hill also mentioned that its proposed acquisition by Caesars Entertainment for £2.9 billion is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year and possibly as early as March, as long as the remaining US regulatory approvals are met.
2020 was a year like no other. It tested our agility and flexibility and we delivered, keeping our customers and team safe, whilst materially improving our competitive position through product enhancements and geographical expansion.