William Hill share price: first quarter results reported
William Hill Plc (LON:WMH) today updated investors with its financial results for the first quarter of 2015. Following are the highlights of William Hill’s press release.
**Highlights from William Hill Q1 2015 trading update:**
Group net revenue up 1%. Operating profit down £16m (-19%) following additional £20m cost from Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) and increased rate of Machines Games Duty (MGD)
Sports betting revenues impacted by largest ever loss-making week in January
Continued strong growth in mobile gaming, up 48%, to 37% of gaming net revenue
William Hill brand launched in Australia: migration of Sportingbet customers successfully completed
William Hill US continues to deliver strong wagering growth
Gaming machine ‘£50 journey’ implemented as planned by 2 April 2015
James Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, commented:
“After a weak January, we saw improved wagering trends over the remainder of the quarter. Online wagering grew 20% in February and March, and 29% for the Cheltenham festival. Gross win margins were below our expected trading range for what is typically a stronger quarter, impacted by – amongst other things – our largest ever loss-making week in Week 3.
“In Retail, the underlying revenue trend remained resilient and we are on track to complete the Eclipse gaming machine roll-out in Q2. Operating profit benefited from the changes we made to the staffing model in April 2014 as well as from the reduction in costs driven by shop closures.
“As expected, Group operating profit was impacted by a £20m increase in gambling duties following the introduction of POCT in December 2014 and the increase in the MGD rate in March 2015. However, we are well positioned to benefit as the UK online market evolves following the introduction of POCT, with our ongoing technology investments expected to benefit both product and customer experience and with a substantial marketing commitment.
“Our international strategy continues to progress. In Australia, the migration of Sportingbet customers to williamhill.com.au has been successfully completed, with over 95% of Sportingbet VIP clients transacting on the site since launch and with both first time deposits and unique actives showing post-migration increases against Sportingbet last year. William Hill US continues to perform strongly, with wagering on a local currency basis 30% ahead of last year.
“Looking forward, as the end of the football season draws closer, we have not as yet made up the shortfall arising from the £14m loss in Week 3 given the relatively weak first quarter sports betting margin. Outwith sporting results, we are making good progress on our key projects for the year, including in-house development of our responsive design front-end through Project Trafalgar, an enhanced bonus engine to further increase the competitiveness of our proprietary Vegas casino platform and the completion of our Eclipse machine roll-out in Retail.”
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As of 07:21 BST, Thursday, 23 April, William Hill plc share price is 372.30p.