The British bookmaker saw revenue fall by 16 per cent and pre-tax profit by 90 per cent year-on-year.
UK.- The bookmaker William Hill has published its full financial results for 2020, reporting net revenue of £1.32bn, a drop of 16 per cent year-on-year. Pre-tax profits fell by 91 per cent to £9.1m.
Retail revenue fell by 30 per cent on a like-for-like basis owing to the disruption of live sports and restrictions on opening due to the Covid-19 pandemic and to the first full year operating with reduced stakes on FOBTs in the UK.
Net retail revenue came in at £354.2m, with an adjusted operating loss of £29.5m despite a 35 per cent reduction in costs through betting shop closures.
Online gambling revenue rises
William Hill’s online business, which represents 61 per cent of revenue, grew 9 per cent, with net revenue reaching £802m.
International operations saw a 16 per cent increase in net revenue to a record £503.2m thanks to expansion into new markets and new UK product launches.
The integration of Mr Green expanded online reach in Europe, while expansion into five more US states saw US revenues rise 32 per cent to £167.3m.
CEO Ulrik Bengtsson said: “We are delighted with our international online performance, where our investment in our product and technology is producing clear benefits, particularly in light of the regulatory headwinds in Germany and temporary restrictions elsewhere.
“We will continue to benefit from our agile marketing engine, and the recent agreement to acquire Alfabet S.A.S. in Colombia and our licence in Argentina both offer further promising growth opportunities in Latin America.”
This year will see the completion of the acquisition of William Hill by US casino giant Caesars. Several potential buyers are expected to show an interest in the bookmaker’s European retail business.
Bengtsson said: “Inevitably 2021 will see significant changes within the group.
“Caesars’ current expectation is that the remaining approvals required to be obtained from the relevant US gaming authorities will be received in time to allow completion of the acquisition to occur early in the second quarter of 2021 and possibly as early as March 2021.”