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Luke Thompson May 15, 2020 3 min read
William Hill Shows Resilience During Global Lockdown
British gaming and sportsbook company William Hill has offered an overview of company numbers during the lockdown, reflecting the impact the COVID-19 lockdown has had on the company’s operations, but also showing resilience.
William Hill Shows Resilience Despite Drop in Results
Leading gaming and betting company William Hill has reported a 57% decline in net revenue in the seven weeks leading up to April 28. The company cited the suspension of sports betting as the main impacts on its bottom line. Sports events in the country and around the world have been mostly suspended in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Faced with a sports drought, many companies have adapted, offering bets on virtual sports, table tennis, Belarussian soccer, and other exotic markets. Meanwhile, William Hill has said that the company could be able to reduce the impact below initial expectations, thanks to a combination of factors, including government support.
The company’s key executives, CFO Matt Ashley and CEO Ulrik Bengtsson, have opted out of bonuses and an increase in salary to help cushion the impact from the suspension of sports activities. William Hill has been keen to adapt to the new realities, introducing drive-through locations for people to make deposits and register in the United States. Meanwhile, news of the Bundesliga returning has prompted a jump in William Hill’s shares.
According to William Hill’s latest report, revenue fell down by 27% year-over-year. The company’s UK online revenue fell 11%. None of these numbers look too threatening, though, given the global situation. Meanwhile, the company has been able to rebound with the help of MRG Group’s acquisition, pushing international online revenue up by 21%.
Understandably, retail revenue shrank by 35% and US operations saw a 16% tumble. In fleshing out the details, William Hill split its report into two categories – the ten weeks leading up to March 10 and the seven weeks leading up to April 28.
Before and During the Outbreak from William Hill’s Perspective
In the ten weeks leading up to March 10, William Hill said that revenue dropped by 5% and gaming revenue seeing a 24% decline. Sports wagers kept flat, the company explained. Interestingly, online business did well, marking a 16% uptick in operations, with international online revenue soaring to 35%.
The United States saw a good deal of increase over the period, with revenue chasing up 30% year-over-year. Overall, the U.S. saw 26% increase in total bets placed year-over-year. Understandably, in the seven weeks leading up to April 28, sportsbook revenue fell by 70% year-over-year, as that was the full month without any sports left to bet on.
William Hill Committed to Weathering the Storm
Admittedly, William Hill has been no different than other market leaders in taking the COVID-19 impact in stride. The company has had to adapt, introducing measures tailored to best help affected employees. While the company had to furlough staff and tap into government schemes to help provide employees with payment, it has done the right thing.
William Hill topped up wages for its employees to make sure they are receiving the full amount of money. The company has also slowed down recruitment efforts in order to cut staff costs, as well as reduced the amount spent on marketing efforts, and looking into cost deferrals and reductions.