William Hill Remains Confident Despite Drop in Revenues
In its full year report, William Hill (LON: WMH) described 2020 as a challenging but transformative period. The gambling operator saw net revenue of £1.32 billion in 2020, a 16% drop from the year before.
The year brought numerous challenges for the company. Not only was there major disruption due to the cancellation of live sporting events and the closure of land-based operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it was also the first full year operating with reduced stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT).
The report detailed year-on-year net revenue falling from £717 million to £354.2 million, which resulted in an adjusted operating loss of £29.5 million, despite the company reducing costs by 35%, partially through a store closure scheme.
However, the company remains committed to its retail operations. In the report, it described retail as having “a key role in sustaining the value of the William Hill brand and delivering a single view of our UK customer.” Furthermore, the company is moving towards an omni-channel offering, which will bring the retail and online sectors together under one leadership in the UK.
Despite the struggles with retail, the online business, which represents 61% of the company’s revenue, remained strong and saw 9% net growth to £802 million.
Furthermore, William Hill’s international operations saw a 16% increase in net revenue with the company expanding into new territories. Together with UK product launches, it saw the division enjoy record net revenues of £503.2 million.
Last year also saw William Hill successfully integrate Mr Green, which increased its online reach in Europe. It also expanded its US operations into five new states, which saw net revenue rise by 32% to £167.3 million.
Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO, said: “We began the year well and finished the year even stronger, highlighting the traction generated by our strategic focus on customer, team, execution.”