William Hill reports revenue growth as it continues turnaround from 2016 annus horribilis

 
Caitlin Morrison
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French horse Jakari ridden by Richard Jo
Last year's Cheltenham Festival was William Hill's "worst ever" (Source: Getty)

William Hill reported revenue growth in the 17 weeks to 25 April today, as it gave a positive update on its cost-saving plans.

The figures

Group net revenue went up nine per cent during the period.

Online revenue was up 16 per cent, while retail revenue was up one per cent. In Australia, revenue was up 41 per cent, and in the US it went up 19 per cent.

The online sportsbook amounts wagered grew by nine per cent.

Shares in the firm were up 2.4 per cent in early trading.

Why it's interesting

William Hill reported a decline in profits and earnings in 2016, a rollercoaster year which saw it turn down two takeover bids - and endure its "worst Cheltenham ever".

However, today the bookmaker said after an encouraging start to the year it was continuing to progress with its "strategic priorities": to grow UK market share; to continue international revenue growth; and to deliver two key projects to support growth and reinvestment.

These projects are a global technology platform, and a transformation programme aimed at cost efficiencies - the company said it's on track to deliver £40m of savings by the end of this year, which will be reinvested.

What William Hill said

"It has been a positive start to the year for William Hill across the board," said chief executive Philip Bowcock.

"Our online business continues to deliver growth thanks to the improvements in product, user experience and marketing we have made. Retail is also seeing positive trends while our key international markets continue to perform well with double-digit wagering growth.

"Our transformation programme is progressing well and we are on track to deliver £40m of annualised savings by the year-end. Overall, we are in line with market expectations for 2017 at this early stage in the year."

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