Coronavirus-related slump in annual profit for William Hill


British online and retail sportsbetting giant William Hill has released its financial results for 2020 showing that its aggregated net revenues decreased by 16% year-on-year to just over £1.3 billion ($1.8 billion) primarily owing to the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The London-listed behemoth used an official press release (pdf) to detail that its financials were hit due to the coronavirus-related disruption of last year’s sporting calendar as well as the associated temporary shuttering of its land-based venues across the United Kingdom. The firm explained that this state of affairs had also not been helped by the earlier implementation of legislation that reduced its domestic estate of fixed-odds betting terminals and led to the permanent closure of some 700 shops.

Coronavirus calamity:

William Hill pronounced that all of this had left it with an adjusted operating loss for 2020 of £29.5 million ($41.2 million) despite a 35% reduction in costs that was largely managed via store closures. The company moreover stated that retail net revenues fell by around 30% with aggregated like-for-like receipts coming in almost 51% down at £354.2 million ($494.4 million) to give it an adjusted profit that was 91% lower at about £9.1 million ($12.6 million).

Virtual victory:

However, the operator declared that net 2020 revenues from its multiple online channels, which now account for roughly 61% of its business, had actually risen by 9% year-on-year to £802.8 million ($1.1 billion) including approximately £503.2 million ($702.1 million) from its domestic iGaming and sportsbetting sites during the second half of the twelve-month period. It furthermore detailed that its pre-tax annual profit had increased by some 35.6% to £51 million ($71.1 million) after taking £134 million ($187 million) in adjustments and exceptional items in 2019 to more than offset a retail non-cash impairment of £125.7 million ($175.2 million).

International interest:

Ulrik Bengtsson serves as the Chief Executive Officer for William Hill and he used the press release to highlight the successful integration of the Mr Green iGaming brand into his firm’s online portfolio and its continued growth in the United States where 2020 net revenues swelled by 32% year-on-year to £167.3 million ($233 million) thanks to openings in five additional jurisdictions.

Read a statement from Bengtsson…

We began the year well and finished the year even stronger, highlighting the traction generated by our strategic focus on customer, team and execution. In what was an extraordinary year, I am immensely proud of how the group has responded and the resilience we have seen in our performance.”

Future forecast:

William Hill recently announced the signing of a deal that is to see American casino operator Caesars Entertainment Incorporated pay approximately £2.6 billion ($3.7 billion) so as to purchase the London-headquartered bookmaker. Bengtsson proclaimed that this arrangement should be completed before the end of June with its new owner then set ‘to seek suitable partners or owners for the non-United States business.’




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