Corporate By William Hill PLC

2018 Final Results

William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces its final results for the 53 weeks ended 1 January 2019 (the period or 2018). Comparatives relate to the 52 weeks ended 26 December 2017.

 

Statutory results

Adjusted results

 

53 weeks to
1 Jan 19 
£m

52 weeks to
26 Dec 17 
£m

Change
%

53 weeks to
1 Jan 19 
£m

52 weeks to
26 Dec 17 
£m

Change

%

Net revenue

1,621.3

1,592.8

+2%

1,621.3

1,592.8

+2%

Existing operations adjusted operating profit1

-

-

-

266.8

273.8

-3%

US Expansion operations2

-

-

-

(33.2)

-

-

Adjusted operating profit3

-

-

-

233.6

273.8

-15%

(Loss)/profit before interest and tax

(687.9)

177.4

-

-

-

-

(Loss)/profit before tax

(721.9)

146.5

-

200.2

237.8

-15%

Discontinued operations -Australia4

3.8

(225.6)

-

4.5

13.0

-65%

(Loss)/earnings per share (p)5

(83.6)

16.6

-

20.6

26.1

-21%

Dividend per share (p)

12.0

13.2

-9%

 

 

 

Financial Results

  • Group net revenue up 2% to £1,621.3m
  • Adjusted operating profit from existing operations1 down 3% to £266.8m, in line with expectations
  • Exceptional charge and adjustments of £922.1m including, as previously reported, £882.8m non-cash impairment to Retail following Triennial Review decision leading to statutory loss before tax of £721.9m
  • Operating cash flow before movements in working capital up 9% to £275.0m
  • Balance sheet remains strong with net debt for covenant purposes6 of £308.1m, 1.0x EBITDA at period-end
  • Full-year dividend of 12.0p per share, in line with policy to pay out approximately 50% of underlying earnings, based on adjusted EPS before US Expansion costs in 2018

Good progress against strategic priorities

  • Driving digital growth in the UK and internationally
    • Good underlying Online performance: actives +25%, underlying net revenue +6% and operating profit up 11% before c£17m impact of enhanced customer due diligence measures
    • Acquisition of Mr Green for c£242m completed in January 2019, building international base and capabilities
  • Growing a business of scale in the US
    • US Existing business delivering continued strong momentum with 42% net revenue and 91% adjusted operating profit growth (in local currency)
    • US Expansion business now live in six states, access secured to 17 states in total
    • 34% market share by revenue across all seven regulated states in these early stages
  • Remodelling Retail
    • Resilient performance with net revenue down 2% with challenging trading backdrop on the UK high street
    • Ready for implementation of new £2 stake limit on B2 gaming products in April 2019 and reshaping of Retail estate
  • Nobody harmed by gambling
    • Voluntary whistle-to-whistle TV advertising ban agreed during pre-watershed UK live sport

Philip Bowcock, Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, commented:

“2018 was a busy and decisive year for us. Key regulatory decisions in the UK and US gave us much needed clarity to set a new five-year strategy and a goal to double profits by 2023. We have three businesses at different stages, with Online growing in the UK and diversifying internationally, Retail being remodelled in response to the new £2 stake limit, and rapid expansion in the US sports betting market. Underpinning this, we have taken a clear leadership stance around safer gambling with our Nobody Harmed ambition.

“Against this backdrop, we delivered a good underlying performance in Online, strong growth in the US Existing business and a resilient Retail outturn in the face of difficult high street conditions.

“We have started delivering on our strategy with the expansion of our US business, being first out of the blocks in all states that have regulated sports betting, and with the acquisition of Mr Green, which will support the build-out of our international digital business. We have also put our weight behind reducing the amount of TV gambling advertising seen by under 18s through a voluntary whistle-to-whistle advertising ban before the watershed.

“We know the next few years will require careful navigating and investment, but with a clear strategy and diverse, experienced leadership teams in place we are ready to capitalise on the opportunities available to us.”

Notes:

  1. Existing operations adjusted operating profit is defined as profit before interest and tax, excluding exceptional items and other defined adjustments, and excluding US Expansion operations in states we have entered since the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA). Further detail on the US Expansion operations and adjusted measures is provided in notes 2 and 3 to the financial statements within our 2018 Annual
  2. Adjusted operating profit from US Expansion operations includes new states we have entered and the expansion in Delaware following state legislative changes since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA.
  3. Adjusted operating profit is defined as profit from continuing operations before interest and tax, excluding exceptional items and other defined adjustments. Further detail on adjusted measures is provided in note 3 to the financial statements within our 2018 Annual Report.
  4. Results for the period up to 23 April 2018 when the disposal of the Australian business completed.
  5. Basic EPS is based on an average of 857.0 million shares for 2018 and an average of 856.9 million shares for 2017. Adjusted EPS is based upon adjusted profits after tax.
  6. Net debt for covenant purposes and EBITDA for covenant purposes are non-statutory measures. The basis of calculation is as described in note 24 to the financial statements within our 2018 Annual Report.
  7. Definitions are provided in the glossary at the back of the document.
  8. Numbers are presented on an adjusted basis unless otherwise stated.

OAM: Inside Information

William Hill LEI: 213800 MDW41W5UZQ1X82

 



Enquiries

 

William Hill

Lyndsay Wright, Director of Strategy and Sustainability

Tom Randell, Head of Investor Relations

Ciaran O’Brien, Director of Communications

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7612 3000

Brunswick

Andrew Porter / Chris Buscombe

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

 

Analyst and investor presentation

 

Meeting

Friday, 1 March 2019 at 9.30 am GMT

Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3ED

Live conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3936 2999. Access code 868075

Archive conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3936 3001. Access code: 189619#. Available until 8 March 2019

Video webcast

www.williamhillplc.com

Debt investor conference call

 

Live conference call

11.30 am GMT. Tel: +44 (0) 20 3936 2999. Pass code: 868075

Archive conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3936 3001. Passcode 989173#. Available until 8 March 2019

 

Notes for editors

William Hill PLC is one of the world's leading betting and gaming companies, employing c15,500 people. Its origins are in the UK where it was founded in 1934, and where it is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The majority of its £1.6 billion annual revenues are still derived from the UK, where it has a national presence of licensed betting offices and one of the leading online betting and gaming services. In 2012, it established William Hill US with a focus on retail and mobile operations in Nevada and established the largest sports betting business in the US. Following the ruling in May 2018 by the Supreme Court that the federal ban on state sponsored sports betting was unconstitutional, William Hill US has expanded and continues to expand as new states regulate sports betting. It is now operating in seven states: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. William Hill’s Online business has operations in Italy and Spain, and to support its international expansion strategy acquired Mr Green & Co AB in January 2019.

 

Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION

These results include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "plans", "goal", "target", "aim", "may", "will", "would", "could" or "should" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout these results and the information incorporated by reference into these results and include statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the directors, William Hill or the Group concerning, amongst other things, the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and dividend policy of William Hill and the industry in which it operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future and may be beyond William Hill's ability to control or predict. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Group's actual results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, dividend policy and the development of the industry in which it operates may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results. In addition, even if the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and dividend policy of the Group and the development of the industry in which it operates, are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Other than in accordance with its legal or regulatory obligations (including under the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014), the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the Prospectus Rules), William Hill does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Download the Full 2018 Final Results in PDF format