BUSINESS

Hills lauds it over mobile

TAGs: William Hill, William Hill Online

Ralph ToppingWilliam Hill saw a slight increase in net revenue as the online wing continued to perform exceptionally well. Net revenue for the firm rose 6% to £1.1billion with operating profit sitting stagnant at £275.7million. This paled into insignificance when compared with William Hill Online’s (WHO) results. Online net revenue increased 27% to £321.3m with all sectors contributing to the cause. In-play and mobile were very much the key sectors of growth as the latter increased sportsbook bets by around 500%. The former saw an increase of 75% with pre-match betting (up 38%) and football betting (up 54%) also experiencing impressive increases.

Chief executive Ralph Topping commented on why the online side of the business is doing so well, stating: “In the last year, we have built on the momentum and success of 2010 by further expanding our Online offering through new mobile and text-betting channels and are continuing to invest in innovations to enhance the customer experience across all channels.”

It seems an age away we were talking about whether WHO had a future after the unrest experienced in their operations overseas. Hills confirmed that “Tel Aviv and Sofia are now functioning normally” and it will be music to the ears of those holding shares in the firm.

Hills started off as an over-the-counter firm and this is still the largest part of the firm – contributing some £789.7m to the coffers. Unfortunately the advances in online technology are being felt as retail showed a decline of 4% in operating profit even as net revenue increased by a percentage point. Topping’s year ahead already looks to be a fruitful one as the seven weeks from 28th December 2011 to 14thFebruary 2012 have seen net revenue increase 13%. This is succeeded by online net revenue scaling the heights with a 30% increase and sportsbook net revenue trumping them all with a rise of 64%.

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