Global betting giant William Hill has posted stronger fourth-quarter results amid a challenging year. Executives remain optimistic about the future with William Hill US pending acquisition by Caesars.
William Hill’s Q4 Results Mark Company’s Strength
Despite headwinds in 2020, William Hill Plc reported strong Q4 quarter results, rounding up a pivotal year in the history of the FTSE company. While growing concerns about regulatory uncertainty and lockdowns persisted, William Hill posted 9% stronger net revenue in the fourth quarter, boosted by a return of sports.
William Hill benefited from the restart of live professional sport, combining it with forward-thinking and diversifying its footprint globally. The uptick in sports betting activity helped offset the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which paralyzed sports throughout the better part of 2020.
William Hill was among the companies to feel financial burdens in the early quarters of the year, with retail business suffering the biggest blow, and this will now be reflected in the Group’s bottom line. Presently, William Hill expects its full-year net revenue to shrink by 16% to around $1.81 billion.
The company had to shut down retail betting shops globally all throughout the fourth quarter, with 1,414 properties coming to a grinding halt. The losses for the retail division amount to $41 million, a significant but manageable slump in results.
However, William Hill’s digital assets have been performing well enough. The company posted a 12% increase in global revenues from digital and 5% revenue uptick in the United Kingdom alone in online verticals.
The company’s US assets have continued to perform better, with a 32% growth year-over-year, despite the shut-down of commercial casinos and retail sportsbooks in the country for the better part of the year.
William Hill Remains Flexible and Competitive Post-2020
William Hill US is in the process of being absorbed by Caesars Entertainment, with the company signaling confidence that US authorities and regulators will green-light the move and finalize the deal in the first quarter of the year.
A likely outlook is March 2021, said Group CEO Ulrik Bengtsson, who talked about the challenges 2020 brought. The year tested the Group’s agility and flexibility, said the chief executive, but it also helped improve the company’s competitive position he added.
The offer from Caesars was a reflection of the progress William Hill has made over the years, Ulrik said, and added that he was immensely proud of the product and company his team has been able to build. It’s been an unusual year, the chief executive reminded, but William Hill was looking forward to 2021 with anticipation and excitement.