Thursday 4 March 2021 7:46 am

William Hill profits slump as betting giant takes pandemic hit

British bookmaker William Hill, currently in the process of being acquired by Caesars Entertainment, posted a steep fall in profit last year. Its adjusted pre-tax profit fell 91 percent to £9.1m in 2020.

The firm saw net revenue fall by 16 per cent as the pandemic disrupted live sporting events and shut its betting shops.

The company, which operates around 1,400 betting stores in the UK, compensated slightly for the closures by delivering a 9 per cent net revenue growth in its online platforms.

Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO of William Hill, said: “In what was an extraordinary year I am immensely proud of how the Group has responded and the resilience we have seen in our performance.”

Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, believes the pandemic has led to a shift in consumer spending habits.

“For new, nimble, online operators this will have been a boon, but for businesses like William Hill, which still has a large scale physical presence on high-streets – there has been a lot of adapting to do,” she said.

“However with professional sport having returned to our screens, the bookmaker’s revenues have remained robust. 

“What’s more, once fans are able to return to grounds and stadiums, there will likely be a spike in bets as crowds enjoy watching live sport once again.”