BUSINESS

Hills post impressive Q1 figures; Lads call out Irish; Blue Sq new consumer comms partner

TAGs: Blue Square, Ladbrokes, William Hill

hills lads blue sqWilliam Hill reported strong Q1 results with performance from their online joint venture continuing to impress. Online net revenue increased 33 percent compared with the previous year as sportsbook net revenue experienced a 58 percent ascent. Amounts wagered with the company’s sportsbook were up 31 percent with mobile wagers increasing 370 percent. Mobile also accounted for 19 percent of sportsbook wagers with Ralph Topping, group chief executive, explaining the availability having a lot to do with it.

“Our investments in marketing and innovations continue to deliver benefits, with our Sportsbook exceeding £50m in turnover in a single week for the first time during the quarter and mobile turnover reaching almost £11m in a single week,” Topping said. “Our mobile performance is now benefitting from our Sportsbook app being available in the Apple App Store, giving us access to thousands of new customers who have never bet with William Hill before, highlighting the growth potential of these new channels and their importance to our multi-channel offering.”

Regarding the group as a whole, net revenue increased by 12 percent with retail up 5 percent. It all contributed to an operating profit of 19 percent and meant being a on the face of Hills’ very own Captain Birds Eye. Actually…not so fast. Topping reserved some ire for the UK government and their decision to consider a point of consumption (POC) tax, with the group stating there’s “no demonstrable need for the proposed POC regulation based on consumer protection”.

Ladbrokes celebrated yesterday’s results by calling out the Irish government on gambling industry reform. Joe Lewins, MD of the company’s Irish business, called for “urgent reforms”.

“The 1931 legislation governing the sector isn’t fit to meet the challenges of emerging 21st century technologies, and this is leaving the sector unable to compete on a level playing field,” said Lewins. “If these concerns are not urgently addressed, the sector will continue to struggle and this will have a negative impact on much-needed exchequer revenue and employment.”

Blue Square has concluded its search for a new consumer communications partner by signing a deal with Hill+Knowlton Strategies. The firm will help create brand awareness by handling both reactive and proactive comms; and developing brand building initiatives. Robert May, Brand Director of Blue Square, said: “The team brings a wealth of sports experience and creative ideas to help drive the Blue Square brand forward.”

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