Trading Update and Board Change
William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces a trading update for the 13 weeks from 30 September to 29 December 2009 (Q4) and the 52 weeks ended 29 December 2009 (full year).
The Group saw good trading through the balance of 2009 and gross win margins for the full year returned to the normal 17-18% range. Group net revenue for Q4 was up by 6%(1) compared with a strong trading period in 2008. The Board currently expects total Group net revenue for the full year to have increased by approximately 4% compared with 2008 and earnings before interest and tax to be around £250m (2,3).
William Hill Online delivered a strong performance in Q4. EBIT for the full year was approximately 35% higher (pro forma: -1%). This resulted in a minority interest for Playtech of £7.1m in Q4 and £20.1m in the full year.
William Hill will release its preliminary announcement of the 2009 results on Friday, 26 February 2010.
The Group also announces today that Charles Scott, who has been with the Group as a director since 1999 and Chairman since 2004, has informed the Board that he will be standing down as Chairman by the end of 2010. The Board will now start the process to appoint Mr Scott’s successor and a further announcement will be made when appropriate.
Charles Scott said:
“I have served on the Board since before William Hill’s flotation in 2002 and as Chairman for the last six years. The business is in excellent shape. I plan to step down when a suitable replacement has been found which I expect to be during the coming year. Until then I will remain as focused as ever whilst we find a new Chairman, who will work with the Board, Ralph and the William Hill team to build on the strong platform that has been established over recent years.”
(1) Including results from the expanded online business in 2009 vs standalone William Hill interactive business in 2008
(2) Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of around £255m
(3) All results indicated here are, as yet, unaudited.
William Hill PLC
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive
Simon Lane, Group Finance Director
Lyndsay Wright, Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3600
Simon Sporborg / Justine McIlroy / Tom Williams
Tel: 020 7404 5959
About William Hill PLC
William Hill is a leading betting and gaming company. It is one of the UK's largest bookmakers, with around 2,300 shops in the UK and Ireland that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, and offer gaming machines. William Hill Online provides internet-based sports betting, casino, poker and bingo, and is one of the leading European online betting and gaming businesses operated by a listed company.