Corporate By William Hill PLC

William Hill PLC - Interim Results

William Hill PLC (William Hill or the Group) (LSE: WMH) announces its results for the 26 weeks ended 30 June 2009 (the period).

Financial highlights

26 weeks ended 30 Jun 2009

26 weeks ended 1 Jul 2008

% change 
vs 2008

Net revenue(1)




- Retail net revenue




- William Hill Online net revenue(2)








Operating profit (pre-exceptional items)




Operating profit (post exceptional items)




Earnings per share–basic(4)




Earnings per share–adjusted basic (4)




Highlights for the period to 30 June 2009

  • Solid performance in the first half in spite of difficult economic environment
  • Group net revenue up 5%, EBITA down 7%
  • Resilient retail business with poor horseracing results offset by good machines performance
  • Good progress in establishing William Hill Online as a platform for growth
  • Sportsbook and fixed-odds games to be transferred to Gibraltar (see separate announcement)
  • Stronger balance sheet following successful rights issue and refinancing
  • Dividend reintroduced at 2.5p per share(6)

Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, commented:

“We have delivered a solid trading performance in the first half, in spite of the tough economic environment and a mixed set of sporting results. However, in July the performance was affected by weakness in horseracing margins and quieter trading on Saturdays and Sundays outside the football season.

“The extensive integration process for William Hill Online is making good progress and we are starting to see the benefits of the expanded business coming through. I am especially pleased with the number of new online customers we have attracted during the first half.

“The economic environment remains tough and makes it difficult to predict any clear trends. Whilst we have shown resilience in the first half, as we look to the balance of the year we are cognisant of rising unemployment and constraints on consumer spending generally, as well as a weaker horseracing product.

“As a consequence of the first half performance, the difficult July and the uncertain economic environment, we anticipate that our profits for the full year from the retail channel are likely to be lower than previously expected. However, we remain comfortable with the market consensus for William Hill Online and look forward to the return of the football trade when the season starts again in mid-August.

“A number of strategic initiatives also ensure we are better positioned to respond to the challenges we face. We have a strengthened balance sheet; have withdrawn from our international retail operations in Italy and are in the process of withdrawing from Spain; have a strong platform to continue to grow our online business; are well placed to benefit from the imminent transfer of Sportsbook and fixed-odds games to Gibraltar; and continue to have a highly competitive position in gaming machines.”


(1) 2008 numbers are restated in line with page 67 of the 2008 Annual Report and Accounts
(2) H1 2009 period includes assets acquired from Playtech
(3) Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation, excluding exceptional items
(4) 2008 EPS numbers are restated to reflect the rights issue completed in April 2009. Basic EPS is based on 586.6 million shares for 2009 and 494.0 million shares for 2008. EPS is shown before exceptional and amortisation.
(5) Pro forma numbers compare William Hill Online’s 2009 results with the combined 2008 results of William Hill’s existing online business and the assets acquired from Playtech, as detailed in the announcement issued on 20 October 2008
(6) Based on shares in issue of 696,048,985 as at 30 June 2009.


Analyst and investor presentation
9.00 a.m. BST
The Lincoln Centre
18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Live conference call:
Tel: 0800 634 5205
Int’l: +44 (0) 20 8817 9301
Passcode: 1757633
Archive conference call:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7769 6425
Int’l: +44 (0) 20 7769 6425
PIN: 1757633
(available after the meeting until 11 August 2009)
Available live and, until
4 August 2010 as an archive


William Hill PLC Ralph Topping, Chief Executive
Simon Lane, Group Finance Director
Lyndsay Wright, Head of IR
Today: tel +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Thereafter: tel +44 (0) 20 8918 3600
Brunswick Simon Sporborg
Justine McIlroy
Tom Williams
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Notes to editors:

William Hill is one of the UK's leading betting and gaming companies. It is one of the UK's largest bookmakers, and also operates in Ireland, with over 2,300 LBOs in the UK that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events and, in the UK, offer gaming machines.  The Group’s online business, William Hill Online, is one of the leading European online betting and gaming businesses by profitability, providing sports betting, casino games, poker, bingo, numbers betting and skill games.

 Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

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 Listing Rules, the Disclosure 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.

See Full Press release