William Hill embarks on transitional journey posting group losses of £63m

William Hill reports over USD 1 B wagered in the US and 27% market share in H1

William Hill reports over USD 1 B wagered in the US and 27% market share in H1

The company also announced that its adjusted operating profit fell by 33% to £76.2 million, also reflecting the new £2 maximum stake limit of FOBTs and the investments made by the operator in its expansion in the U.S. market.

Publishing its interim 2019 results (26-week period ending 2 July) FTSE250 William Hill Plc details solid progress on the firm's five-year business transformation strategy (announced November 2018) focusing on the three core areas of digital expansion, USA market growth and retail realignment.

The proposed closure of 700 betting shops of the brand in the United Kingdom, combined with exceptional charge and adjustments worth £114.3 million, led to a £63.5-million statutory loss before tax.

Exceptional charge and adjustments amounted to £114.3 million, with £97.1 million relating to mitigation measures following the £2 stake change, including the proposed closure of 700 betting shops, which led to a statutory loss before tax of £63.5 million.

'We are making good progress against the five-year strategy we outlined last year, delivering strong revenue growth in the USA and other global markets and positioning William Hill well for future growth, ' chief executive Philip Bowcock said.

'William Hill's joint venture with US-based Eldorado effectively provides it with a licence to operate and the latter's merger with Caesars Entertainment could have a major benefit to William Hill as the scale of the enlarged business would be material, with 60 casinos across 16 states, ' he said.

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Online International revenues were up 66 per cent, boosted by the acquisition earlier this year of Swedish online betting firm Mr Green.

So far, William Hill has secured sports betting licences in eight U.S. states which have already legalised sports betting and is close to start offering its sportsbook services in the states of in and Iowa.

"We continue to expand rapidly in the U.S., both in Nevada and in the new states, with over $1bn wagered with us in the first half".

Bowcock concluded: "Underpinning William Hill's progress is our sustainability strategy and long-term ambition that nobody is harmed by gambling".

Now, William Hill revealed that its H1 results are in line with the preliminary expectations during the period of transition and the first year of its new strategy. We anticipate that the annual EBITDA contribution from retail operations at Caesars casinos would be around $20-35m within three years. "We continue to work on additional measures to protect our customers and lead the regulatory agenda".

William Hill posted lower first-half profit on Friday, as a regulatory cap on fixed odds betting terminals and more costs to expand in the US took a toll on the gambling group.

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