In its latest trading statement for the unaudited 52 weeks ended 29 December 2020, William Hill PLC has reported significant growth in US net revenue. While the group’s total net revenue increased 9 percent year-on-year for the fourth quarter, US net returns for the full year were 32 percent ahead and 121 percent in Q4.
The company, updating investors on US activities, said the growth was driven by strong online growth. It added: “Casinos remained closed or operated with restricted access for long periods and the major US sports leagues rescheduled their seasons in response to the pandemic. As part of our existing joint venture agreement, we absorbed the Caesars In-Person sportsbooks onto the William Hill platform.
“William Hill US went live in five new states and launched mobile in five states, leading to 121% net revenue growth in the fourth quarter. William Hill’s sports betting apps and sports book odds are now featured on both ESPN and CBS Sports, two of America’s leading sports media brands, as a result of agreements entered into during the year.”
Sportsbook staking grew by 16 percent, driven by better goods and regional growth, looking at the company as a whole, while gross win margins benefited from favourable sports outcomes, pushing net sportsbook group sales up 20 percent year-on-year.
Covid-19 pandemic effects
2020 has been an exceptional year, said William Hill, with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on live sports, national and regional lockdowns in its retail sector and the consequence of trading a smaller retail property, meaning that overall net company sales decreased by 16 percent to $1,811 million for the year.
Ulrik Bengtsson, the CEO, commented: “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. The offer received for the Group (Caesars UK Bidco deal) recognizes the substantial progress we have made as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead of us.
“I remain immensely proud of the William Hill team which has been relentless in its focus on delivering a great product and service to our customers, with player safety at its heart. Customer, team, execution have been our guiding lights through this unusual year, and they will remain so as we look forward through 2021.”
The final 2020 results of the group will be announced on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.