Corporate By William Hill PLC

2016 half year results

On track to deliver 2016 operating profit guidance

William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces its interim results for the 26 weeks ended 28 June 2016 (the period or H1 2016). Comparatives relate to the 26 weeks ended 30 June 2015 (H1 2015).


26 weeks to
28 Jun 16

26 weeks to
30 Jun 15


Net revenue




Operating profit1




Profit before tax




Earnings per share – basic, adjusted (p)2




Earnings per share – basic (p)




Dividend per share (p)





  • Trading remains in line with previous full-year operating profit1 guidance of £260-280m3
    • Strong EURO 2016 football tournament generates total £36m of gross win; better than expected EUROs outturn mitigates impact of losses at Cheltenham festival
    • Early progress on Online turnaround strategy with Sportsbook mobile user experience redesigned in time for EURO 2016, mobile web and apps localised for four markets
    • Retail delivers 4% growth in net revenue and operating profit1; 800 proprietary self-service betting terminals rolled out and modernisation of management structure underway
    • Australia product launches help drive 12% turnover growth but racing results impact margin
    • US grows operating profit1 by 49%
  • Investing in technology strategy
    • c£90m invested in NYX with new OpenBet agreement to deliver enhanced technology platform
    • £13.6m acquisition of Grand Parade brings award-winning digital development and user experience expertise in-house
  • Net debt for covenant purposes4 increased to £586.2m (29 December 2015: £488.2m), 1.7x EBITDA
  • £60m share buyback
  • Interim dividend maintained at 4.1p per share, reflecting Board’s confidence that the Online business will return to stronger growth rates in the medium term
  • Immediate areas of strategic focus
    • Online turnaround
    • Technology roadmap
    • Increased efficiencies
    • International growth

Philip Bowcock, Interim Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, commented:

“We remain committed to our strategy of diversifying by expanding digitally and internationally. While the first half of 2016 has been challenging, William Hill is a strong business with three of our four core divisions performing well. Our Retail business is robust, the US operation continues to grow rapidly and the core metrics in Australia are moving in the right direction. We have taken considerable steps forward in executing on Online’s improvements but there is still a way to go. The refocused team has delivered substantial upgrades to the mobile Sportsbook customer experience, which is now back to competitive levels. Our recent investment in NYX / OpenBet and acquisition of Grand Parade further accelerate our ability to innovate at speed and enhance the customer experience moving forward.

“Looking ahead, our immediate priorities are to continue the recovery in Online, to leverage our technology improvements across the business and to advance a focused approach to international growth. Trading is in line with our full-year expectations and we have a strong team in place to deliver on the opportunities before us and to improve the business for the long term. In addition, we see opportunities to benefit from increased efficiencies in certain areas of the business.”


  1. Operating profit / loss is defined as adjusted profit before interest and tax. Further detail on adjusted measures is provided in note 3 to the half-year report.
  2. Basic EPS is based on an average of 877.2 million shares for H1 2016 and an average of 879.1 million shares for H1 2015. Adjusted EPS is based upon adjusted profits after tax.
  3. Further information in relation to this guidance is set out in the notes following the Directors’ Responsibility Statement.
  4. Net debt for covenant purposes and EBITDA for covenant purposes are as described in the 2015 Annual Report on page 125.
  5. Online numbers now also incorporate the Telephone division, which is now managed as part of Online, having previously been presented as a separate segment.
  6. Definitions are provided in the glossary at the back of the document.
  7. Numbers are presented on an adjusted basis unless otherwise stated.


William Hill PLC

Philip Bowcock, Interim CEO
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Ciaran O’Brien, Director of Communications

Today: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Thereafter: +44 (0) 20 8918 3614


Andrew Porter / Oliver Hughes

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Analyst and investor presentation


Friday, 5 August 2016 at 9.00 am BST
The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED

conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125. Password: William Hill

conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode: 3830207#.
Available until 12 August 2016

Video webcast

Debt investor conference call

conference call

11.00 am BST. Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125.
Password: William Hill debt call

conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode 3836445#.
Available until 12 August 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 Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014), the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance 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 full 2016 half year results announcement in PDF format