BUSINESS

Hills results release includes departure of online CEO

TAGs: henry birch, Playtech, Sportingbet, William Hill

williamhilllogoUK bookie William Hill has reported results for the third quarter of 2012 with impressive rises in profit across all areas of the business, especially online where the CEO has announced he’ll be stepping down. Group operating profit for the period mentioned is up 26 percent with the online joint venture with Playtech providing an increase of 42 percent in operating profit. Both these figures were because of respective rises of 9 percent and 18 percent in net revenue.

William Hill Online (WHO) saw sportsbook turnover increase by 27 percent with net revenue rising by 43 percent. As we’re starting to find out, the Olympics and Paralympics weren’t hugely kind to European-facing sportsbooks and WHO explained the “profit contribution” of the two “was not material”. Mobile sportsbook turnover continued to impress with a rise of 331 percent and net revenue was up 553 percent. Topping also announced they’d be making good on their intentions to purchase Playtech’s stake in WHO.

“We are also announcing today that we intend to commence the valuation process relating to the minority share in William Hill Online prior to making a decision on this by the end of the first quarter of 2013,” Topping added.

Packaged up with these results was the news that WHO have said goodbye to CEO Henry Birch as Andrew Lee replaces him with immediate effect. Lee, formerly Head of Mobile, becomes the Managing Director and will take WHO forwards as a result. Jürgen Reutter fills Lee’s position as Head of Mobile, and Jamie Hart has been given the newly created role entitled Director of Customer Experience and Innovation.

Jumping over the counter into the betting shops themselves you’d have seen similarly bad performance during the Olympics month with the tumbleweed blowing around Hills retail outlets and meaning wagers were down 6 percent. Net revenue for retail outlets was up 3 percent, something that was driven by an increase in OTC gross win. Machines weren’t as lucrative as usual with a rise in net revenue of 2 percent and it was something blamed on the poor performance of shops during August.

In the next few months most of the talk surrounding Hills will be their ability to throw around money at the respective deals for Playtech’s part of WHO and most of Sportingbet. These deals, combined with the foothold they’re trying to cement in Nevada, will give the company more of a worldwide feel and position them for further growth once other markets open up.

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