William Hill prepared to “power up quickly” when live sport resumes

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William Hill prepared to “power up quickly” when live sport resumes

By Owain Flanders

William Hill has released a trading update amid the coronavirus pandemic to detail the financial impact of the crisis and plans for recovery once the situation subsides.

Despite the continued impact of a lack of sport and the closure of UK and US retail estate, the sports operator said it is still displaying “strong performance” in international markets, led by growth in gaming.

Revenue from William Hill’s online international segment was up 5% year-on-year from 11 March to 28 April; however, revenue was down in every other segment.

The operator’s total online revenue was down 21%, while retail like-for-like fell 85% and US revenue dropped 90% for the same period.

Despite the drop in online wagering, the operator said this fell “less than anticipated” due to the success of alternative products such as table tennis and football in emerging markets.

During the crisis, William Hill has introduced cost-saving measures, such as cancelling salary increases, bonus payments and incentive schemes for staff, reducing marketing spends and waiving revolving credit facility covenants for the year.

As a result of these measures, the operator said it is well prepared to “power up quickly” once sport resumes, with plans for the staged opening of its UK retail estate in the second half of 2020, in addition to “careful monitoring” of the situation in the US.

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