William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces its Interim Management Statement for the 13 weeks ended 27 September 2011 (the period or Q3). All comparisons are with the equivalent 13-week period in 2010 (Q3 2010).
The key financial highlights of the period were as follows: Group net revenue grew by 2% and was up 5% in the year to date; Retail net revenue decreased by 3% and was flat in the year to date; Online net revenue grew by 28% and was 25% up in the year to date; and Group Operating profit(1) was 22% lower in the period, 3% lower in the year to date.
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive, commented:
"We have delivered a solid performance in Q3, in spite of a highly competitive market place and a tough consumer environment. We continue to invest in product, pricing and innovation, bringing customers the best high street and online betting and gaming experience.
Pleasingly, Online net revenue growth accelerated in the quarter, as did underlying amounts staked over-the-counter in Retail, and our long-term track record of growth in machines continued in Q3. Internationally, the initial performance of William Hill Online's new Italian casino website is beating expectations having taken around 8-9% market share and we are the most successful of the non-domestic new entrants.
The Q3 margin is broadly in line with our long-term average for this quarter but is below the unusually high margin seen in Q3 2010, driven up by football results. Accordingly, Group profits are lower year-on-year, primarily as a result of this and the planned significant increase in Online investment.
With our leading brand, strong technology, differentiated products and understanding of our consumer, we have a unique opportunity right now to invest to take market share. In the UK, we will be trialling second-generation Storm gaming machines, new self-service betting terminals and high-definition video walls in the shops before the end of the year. Across Europe, we are now investing in a highly focused way in key territories such as Italy and Spain for the long-term benefit of the business."SIGUIENTE BACK_TO_TOP