William Hill sees revenue fall 16% in 2020

William Hill's British retail  estate posted a loss of £30m.
William Hill's British retail estate posted a loss of £30m.

Fourth-quarter growth wasn’t enough to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from causing a double-digit decline in revenue for British betting giant.

UK.- William Hill has reported full-year net revenue for 2020 was down by 16 per cent compared to 2019 at £1.32bn.

The decline in final year results comes despite growth of 9 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Revenue from William Hill’s 1,414 British retail units was down by 30 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The company reported that shops traded well once they were able to reopen without restrictions and looked set to break even by the end of Q3 before new national and regional lockdowns in the fourth quarter caused the channel to post a loss of £30m.

At the time new restrictions were announced the company warned of a hit to profits due to the renewed closure of betting shops.

Online operations other than sportsbooks were largely unaffected. The international online division reported a 12 per cent increase in revenue on a pro-forma basis following its integration of Mr Green.

Gaming performed well, with revenue up by 18 per cent year-on-year, helping to offset some of the impact from the cancelation of sporting events due the Covid-19 pandemic.

British online gaming revenue grew by 5 per cent, with gaming up by 20 per cent in Q4.

Growth in US sports betting and gaming

The US saw considerable growth, with net revenue up by 32 per cent after William Hill went live in five new states and also launched mobile in five.

Growth was mainly driven by strong online performance but retail estate also grew through Caesars Entertainment’s merger with Eldorado Resorts, which resulted in Caesars’ in-person sportsbooks migrating to William Hill’s platform.

William Hill chief executive, Ulrik Bengtsson, said” “2020 was a year like no other.

“It tested our agility and flexibility and we delivered, keeping our customers and team safe, whilst materially improving our competitive position through product enhancements and geographical expansion.”

William Hill shareholders approved Caesars Entertainment’s bid to buy the company for 272p per share in November. The sale valued the business at £2.9bn.

The deal is still waiting for approval from US gaming authorities and is expected to close in Q2.

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