While the first half of 2017 reported a 1% decrease for William Hill, they're looking forward to the international ventures that will make up for the company's losses. The bookmaker recently decided to put global growth at the top of their priority list by implementing some new strategies that will help the company to grow around the world.
The CEO of William Hill, Philip Bowcock is excited about this new initiative, despite the decrease to £129.5m. He noticed a lot of growth between the company’s four divisions, as well as improvements in products and marketing efforts. He also mentioned that customers were responding very well to these improvements. Not only has the company gained new clients, but their existing customers are also staying active with William Hill, showing Mr. Bowcock that the online performance will continue to grow in addition to projected retail growth.
In their efforts to expand internationally, the bookmaker has seen a 28% increase in wagering from Australia. Both Italy and Spain have also increased wagering by 9%. The United States’ interest in betting grew by a massive 13%. Despite all of this growth, weaker gross win margins meant that this increase in wagering did not cause much of an increase in revenue as well. William Hill’s costs also grew over the first half of 2017. This increase was caused by
investments in their racing product by adding an exclusive streaming of content. A significant portion of those costs went to investing New South Wales Racing’s streaming rights. All of this showed a 10% increase in costs, slashing the projected revenue growth from the increases in wagering across the world. Between this increase in operating expenses, along with free bets, and marketing expenditures, the overall operating profits declined by 85%.
The bookmaker remains confident, stating that they expect to see growth curated from the products that have released over the course of the first half of the year. Some of these products include the William Hill Rewards program which enables customers to redeem bonus bets as well as Velocity frequent flyer points. They also launched Price Pump which allows users to see daily, personalized, enhanced odds. William Hill also plans to launch innovations throughout the second half of the year, which also aid them in continued growth. While restrictions in the United States prevents them from more future growth, the company stated that they are heavily involved with the American Gaming Association. Together, William Hill and the AGA are working towards overturning the federal prohibition on sports betting.
So, William Hill looks to be on the rise despite seeing some decreases in the first half of the year. The CEO remains hopeful that new products, innovations, and international growth will carry the bookmaker to the top of market share and drive profits up over the next quarter and beyond.