William Hill PLC - Final Results
Announcements of preliminary results
William Hill PLC (the 'Group') today announces its results for the 52 weeks ended 26 December 2007 ('the period').
Highlights include the following:
- Gross win up 15% to £931.3m (2005: £807.7m)
- Profit on ordinary activities before finance charges and exceptional items up 19% at £292.2m (2005: £245.0m)
- Cash generated from operations before tax and interest up 30% to £313.9m(2005: £242.0m) which represents 107% of operating profit
- Basic earnings per share (EPS) pre exceptionals up 24% to 45.5 pence(2005: 36.6 pence)
- Proposed final dividend up 19% to 14.5 pence per share (2005: 12.2 pence per share) payable on 5 June 2007 to shareholders on the register on 27 April 2007
- The Group has purchased 43.3m shares for £257.0m via on-market share buy-backs between July 2005 and December 2006
- Plans well developed to exploit opportunities in Spain and Italy in conjunction with our partners, Codere
- In the nine weeks to 27 February 2007, the Group's gross win has increased by 11%. At this early stage of the year, the Board remains comfortable with consensus expectations
Commenting on the results, Charles Scott, Chairman, said:
"The Group has seen strong profit growth in the period, with the Group realising the full-year benefits of the Stanley Retail acquisition and benefiting from good organic growth throughout the rest of the business. Profit before finance charges and exceptional items was 19% higher than last year and earnings per share excluding exceptional items increased by 24%.
We remain confident of the Group's future prospects and are committed to delivering value to shareholders. The Board has resolved to increase the final dividend by 19% to 14.5 pence per share."
David Harding, Chief Executive, added:
"I am delighted with the performance of the Group, particularly the Retail business, which has prospered this year following the successful integration of Stanley Retail and the completion of the roll-out of EPOS".
|David Harding, Chief Executive||Tel: +44 020 8918 3910|
|Simon Lane, Group Finance Director||Tel: +44 020 8918 3910|
|James Bradley, Deborah Spencer, Brunswick||Tel: +44 020 7404 5959|
There will be a presentation to analysts at 9.00 am today at the Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln's Inn Field, London WC2. Alternatively, it is possible to listen to the presentation by dialling + 44 1452 541 076. The presentation will be recorded and will be available for a period of one week by dialling + 44 1452 550 000 and using the replay access number 1161115£.
The slide presentation will be available on the Investor Relations section of the website: www.williamhillplc.co.uk.