Corporate By William Hill PLC

2015 Final Results

Good progress on strategic priorities leaves William Hill well placed for 2016

William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces its final results for the 52 weeks ended 29 December 2015 (the period or full year). Comparatives relate to the 52 weeks ended 30 December 2014.


  52 weeks to
29 Dec 15
52 weeks to
30 Dec 14
Net revenue 1,590.9 1,609.3 -1%
Operating profit1 291.4 372.2 -22%
Profit after tax 189.9 206.3 -8%
Earnings per share – basic,   adjusted (p)2 24.7 29.9 -17%
Earnings per share – basic (p) 21.6 23.6 -8%
Dividend per share (p) 12.5 12.2 +2.5%

Key financial highlights

  • Group operating profit1 of £291.4m, up 2% excluding c£87m of additional UK gambling duties
  • Technology strategy: launch of new mobile website and iOS app under Project Trafalgar, giving Online a platform for rapid innovation
  • Omni-channel: proprietary self-service betting terminal (SSBT) roll-out to start in H1 2016
  • International: Australia exited 2015 with net revenue growth in local currency terms following William Hill brand launch
  • £300.9m of operating cash flow (2014: £368.2m)
  • Net debt for covenant purposes reduced to £488.2m (2014: £602.8m), equivalent to 1.3x EBITDA
  • Dividend policy changed to increase payout ratio to around 50% of adjusted earnings; Board recommending a 2.5% increase in full-year dividend reflecting future confidence
  • Share buyback of £200m announced, to be completed over next 12 months

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

“In the last 12 months we have made substantial operational progress against our three strategic priorities of omni-channel, technology and international.

“In technology terms, Online now has a platform that allows us to deliver rapid and frequent innovations to customers, further differentiating our offering. We are also now preparing to roll out our proprietary self-service betting terminal in Retail. This is an important part of our omni-channel strategy and enables us to bring the best of Online to our shops.

“Internationally, I’m particularly pleased that William Hill Australia is now benefitting from our reshaping and investment in the business. We now have one of the highest rated betting apps in Australia and during the William Hill-sponsored Australian Open we acquired an impressive c1,000 customers a day and saw a 680% increase in tennis in-play turnover.

“We have made further good progress on measures to encourage responsible gambling, including using algorithms to identify potentially harmful behaviour and helping to develop a national, cross-operator self-exclusion scheme.

“As one of the largest scale businesses in gambling, the Board is confident in the outlook for the year ahead and believes the Group is well placed to deliver on its growth strategy.

“We have reviewed our priorities for capital alongside our strengthening balance sheet and our continued good cash generation. Together, these underpin our decision to announce a share buyback alongside our ongoing investment to grow the business. In addition, the Board has increased the dividend payout ratio to around 50% of adjusted earnings, reflecting our focus on delivering value for shareholders.”


  1. Operating profit / loss is defined as pre-exceptional profit before interest and tax, before the amortisation of specific intangible assets recognised on acquisition.
  2. Definitions are provided in the glossary at the back of the document.
  3. Numbers are presented on a pre-exceptional basis unless otherwise stated.
William Hill PLC James Henderson, Chief Executive Officer
Philip Bowcock, Chief Financial Officer
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Ciaran O’Brien, Director of Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3614
Brunswick Andrew Porter / Oliver Hughes Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Analyst and investor presentation
Meeting Friday, 26 February 2016 at 9.00 am GMT
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: 2689916#. Available until 4 March 2016
Video webcast
Debt investor conference call
Live conference call 11.00 am GMT. Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125. Password: William Hill debt call
Archive conference call Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode 2688138#. Available until 4 March 2016

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 2,370 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, established through the acquisition of two businesses 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.

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