Fresh from paying off a dead man and acting as the all-seeing eye as far as the horserace levy is concerned, gambling industry veteran William Hill today issued a trading update ahead of full year results being announced later this year.
As a group they had strong growth from William Hill Online (WHO) and remote gaming machines in shops to thank for a healthy set of figures. The group expects pre-exceptional EBITDA of £274m for 2010, which compares favourably to the figure of £235.6m for 2009. Net revenue is also expected to grow by 7% on the previous 12 months.
In terms of WHO in particular, they’re expecting year-on-year growth to be around 24%. This was underpinned by strong sports book performance that saw turnover up by about 57%, including a huge leap in in-play turnover of approximately 114%.
Online gaming net revenue grew by around 5% thanks to the good performance of bingo offsetting their move out of the French market, whereas WHO’s operating profit was 22% up on the 2009 figure.
Chief Executive of William Hill, Ralph Topping, commented: “This is a strong performance and I am delighted that, in particular, our Online business and the gaming machines in our shops continued to see encouraging revenue growth during Q4.
“Our continuing technological developments in what is a fast changing industry have underpinned growth and the doubling of our turnover from in-play this year demonstrates that customers are welcoming these innovations.”
For many years the staple part of their business, retail turnover also grew 8% for Q4 and 4% for December, despite the unprecedented amount of snow and lack of sporting action in the final month of the year.