William Hill PLC - Trading Statement
For the year ended 1 January 2008, a 53 week period, the Board currently expects full year earnings before interest, tax and exceptional items to be around £285m*.
In overall terms the Retail business (approximately 82% of total Group gross win) has performed strongly and the Telephone channel (approximately 5% of total Group gross win) has delivered a stable performance. The performance of the Internet business (approximately 12% of total Group gross win) has continued to be disappointing reflecting the legacy technology issues relating to the sportsbook as well as the competitive market environment.
In light of the ongoing technology issues impacting the Internet sportsbook the Board instigated an independent review in November 2007. Following this review the Board has decided to terminate the NextGen technology programme and to implement an externally developed third party technology solution. This is expected to be implemented by the end of the year. This decision will result in an exceptional non-cash impairment charge in relation to the existing NextGen technology programme of approximately £22m* in the 2007 results and restructuring charges of approximately £4m* in 2008.
We are in discussions with Turf TV and the Board remains confident in the outlook for the Retail business but anticipates that the performance of the Internet channel will remain challenged until the new technology solution is implemented.
The CEO search is progressing and the Board will update the market when appropriate.
The Group expects to release its preliminary announcement of the 2007 full year results on 27th February 2008.
* Subject to audit
|Charles Scott, Executive Chairman||Tel: 020 8918 3910|
|Simon Lane, Group Finance Director||Tel: 020 8918 3942|
|Nilay Patel, Corporate Finance Manager||Tel: 020 8918 3736|
|Fiona Antcliffe/ Deborah Spencer, Brunswick||Tel: 020 7404 5959|