Wednesday 15 May 2019 9:45 am

William Hill boosts revenue after international expansion campaign

Bookmaker William Hill said today it had increased its revenue after a campaign of international expansion.

In a trading update for the 17 weeks to 30 April, William Hill said net revenue grew two per cent, which it said reflected a “year of transition in retail and online”.

Online net revenue grew eight per cent, which was helped by the contribution of Mr Green, a Swedish online gambling business it acquired at the end of January.

Read more: William Hill swings to £722m loss after regulatory changes

US net revenue from the seven states that have legislated and regulated betting on sport was up 48 per cent.

The company has put US expansion high on its list of aims after a US Supreme Court decision last year opened the door to legal betting on sport.

Gaming revenue fell 15 per cent in the period after the impact from the introduction of a £2 maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals.

Revenue from its retail business fell seven per cent.

Read more: William Hill confirms likely 2018 profit drop

William Hill said its full-year outlook was in line with forecasts assuming its win margins for the rest of the year were as expected.

Chief executive Philip Bowcock said: “Online continues to show good momentum as we focus on growing our mass market customer base, while retail has begun to adapt to the new £2 machine gaming stake limit. Just one year on since PASPA was overturned William Hill has doubled the sports wagering it handles in the US, seen record performances at the Super Bowl and March Madness, is live in all seven states to have allowed sports betting and expects to enter further states soon, with Indiana and Iowa the most recent states to pass bills to legalise sports betting.”

George Salmon, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There are reasons for optimism in these results. The US business is growing rapidly and the UK retail division is successfully managing the inevitable revenue declines from the new FOBT limits. And William Hill has a new superstar in Anthony Joshua heading up the marketing campaign.

"However, we don’t think investors should count any chickens just yet. William Hill has been in a state of constant transition for years, and has seen a few false dawns. While the US business is growing strongly, it remains early days for that market, and the scale of the opportunity means there’ll be plenty of competitors looking for a seat at the table."

Shares were down half a per cent this morning at 137p