Sportsbook Drives William Hill’s ‘Strong’ Fourth Quarter Performance

UK bookmaker William Hill has cited the success of its online sportsbook operations as the main cause of a “strong” performance in the final quarter of 2013.

The firm said it its UK online total net revenue grew by 14% in the 13 weeks to December 31, 2013 – an increase that was greatly impacted by the rise in online sportsbook activity in the fourth quarter. A 30% increase in online sportsbook net revenue during the period was greatly helped by a 38% rise in sportsbook amounts wagered by punters.

Mobile activity was also a key factor behind this growth, with sportsbook mobile stakes 92% higher than the corresponding same period in 2012.

While online gaming net revenue only increased slightly by 2%, mobile gaming net revenue was up 199% compared to 2012 and increased to 23% of online total gaming net revenue.

Meanwhile, William Hill reported that its retail operations also increased by 13% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Growth in the retail was helped significantly by a rise in gaming machine net revenue, which increased by 24% in comparison with the same period in 2012.

Elsewhere, William Hill reported that its US business also enjoyed a strong final quarter of what was its first year in operation. The firm said that US net revenue was up by more than 150% in the fourth quarter, while the amounts wagered also grew by 13%.

William Hill reported that the most recent results meant that it completed 2013 with a full-year group net revenue increase of 16%. Of this total figure, retail net revenue was up by 8% and online net revenue grew by 10%.

“Q4 proved a strong end to the year as we enjoyed continued momentum in Sportsbook with 38% more wagered in Q4 on a 13 week basis than last year,” William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping said.

“This demonstrates our competitive strength in online ahead of the expected introduction of the Point of Consumption tax in December 2014. It is also pleasing to see a turnaround in the profitability of our US business in our first full year of ownership.”

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