Corporate By William Hill PLC

Interim Results 2015

Good operational progress despite regulatory and tax headwinds

William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces its half year results for the 26 weeks ended 30 June 2015 (H1 or the period). The comparable period is the 26 weeks ended 1 July 2014 (H1 2014) unless otherwise stated.


  26 weeks to
30 June 15
26 weeks to
1 July 14
Net revenue 808.1 805.2 +0%
Operating profit1 155.7 176.9 -12%
Pre-exceptional profit before tax 131.3 148.2 -11%
Profit before tax 78.7 121.8 -35%
Profit after tax 69.5 98.6 -30%
Earnings per share – basic,   adjusted2 12.5p 14.1p -11%
Earnings per share – basic2 7.9p 11.3p -30%
Dividend per share 4.1p 4.0p +3%

Good progress against strategic priorities

  • Key technology enablers being implemented with Project Trafalgar and Vegas bonus engine
  • $25m investment in emerging online lotteries market to support international diversification (see separate announcement)
  • Proprietary self-service betting terminal project underpins omni-channel strategy
  • Further progress in encouraging responsible gambling with three campaigns in H1 2015 and self-exclusion pilot schemes in Retail

Key financial and operational highlights

  • Group net revenue grows despite rolling over 2014 World Cup
  • Group operating profit1 down c£21m impacted by additional £44m in gambling duties from Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) and increase in Machine Games Duty (MGD) rate
  • Continued success in transitioning through UK POCT disruption: 16% growth in Online’s UK net revenue and key football TV contracts secured for 2015/16 season and Euro 2016
  • Retail profit progression impacted by MGD rate increase and onset of £50 journey for gaming machines but benefiting from effective operating cost control
  • In Australia, rebranding of Sportingbet to William Hill is generating positive momentum whilst margin management progresses
  • William Hill US continues to deliver strong wagering and profit growth
  • Interim dividend of 4.1p per share, up 2.5%, reflecting the Board’s continued confidence in the outlook for the Group

James Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, commented:

“We have delivered a good operational performance in the past six months during a period of significant regulatory and taxation change for the industry. Whilst factors such as the Point of Consumption Tax and the increase in the Machine Games Duty rate have impacted our cost base as expected, we continue to progress our strategy and invest in our long-term growth drivers.

“We are making excellent progress across our three strategic priorities, particularly in technology where Project Trafalgar will give us the ability to bring our customers a faster and more stable online service, a much improved mobile experience and an enhanced in-play product range on mobile devices.

“Meanwhile, innovations such as our industry’s first Accelerator programme will allow us to further our strategy to bring customers a differentiated and personalised service.

“I am particularly pleased with our move into the emerging online lotteries market, which will support our international diversification and gives us exposure to an exciting growth market in a gambling vertical which is new to us.

“We remain committed to working with the industry and the regulator to promote responsible gambling and ensure that the marketing of gambling is socially responsible.

“Looking ahead, the Board is confident that the Group remains well positioned to gain share in key markets, notwithstanding the impact of increased taxes and regulation. In UK Retail, we anticipate some further impact from the £50 journey during the second half. We are making good operational progress in building a leading business in Australia, repositioning William Hill Australia in the key recreational segment in that market.”

Reference notes

  1. Operating profit/loss is defined as pre-exceptional profit/loss before interest and tax, before the amortisation of specific intangible assets recognised on acquisitions
  2. Basic EPS is based on an average of 879.1 million shares for H1 2015 and an average of 870.1 million shares for H1 2014. Adjusted EPS is stated before exceptional items and amortisation of specific intangible assets recognised on acquisitions
  3. Source: Gambling Compliance, UK Online Gambling: Data forecasting & Market shares (September 2014)
  4. Vegas product suite includes the Vegas, Games and Live Casino tabs


William Hill PLC

James Henderson, Chief Executive Officer
Neil Cooper, Group Finance Director
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3614      


Simon Sporborg / Aideen Lee / Oliver Hughes
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Analysts presentation

Friday, 7 August 2015 at 9.30 am BST at The Lincoln   Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED
Live conference call
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125. Password: William Hill Archive conference call
Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode: 1195923#.   Available until 14 August 2015
Video webcast

Debt investor conference call

Live conference call
11.00 am BST. Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125. Password:   William Hill
Archive conference call
Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode 1196464#.   Available until 14 August 2015

Notes to editors

William Hill, The Home of Betting, is one of the world's leading betting and gaming companies, employing around 16,000 people. Founded in 1934, it is the UK's largest bookmaker with around 2,360 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries. The Group’s Online business ( is one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill's products online, through their smartphone or tablet, by telephone and by text services. William Hill US was established in June 2012 and provides land-based and mobile sports betting services in Nevada, and is the exclusive risk manager for the State of Delaware’s sports lottery. William Hill Australia is one of the largest online betting businesses in Australia after the Group acquired Sportingbet and in 2013. It offers sports betting products online, by telephone and via mobile devices. William Hill PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Group generates revenues of c£1.6bn a year.

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.

Download the full H12015 announcement (0.1Mb PDF)