William Hill, the British gambling company, has said that certain factors during the first few months of 2016 could negatively impact the group’s full year profits. One of the factors is a higher number of players who have voluntary self-excluded themselves from the gambling platform. In addition, the group has seen lower gross win margins for its online business. Some of the worst results for William Hill were recorded during the Cheltenham Festival horse racing event.
On the flip side, William Hill continues to trade well on the London Stock Exchange and remains in line with overall expectations. Full year profits are expected to be in the region of £260 and £280 million.
William Hill’s chief executive, James Henderson said in a statement that the recent numbered reflected the combined effect of the group’s assessment of the impact of recent regulatory changes in the UK, as well as the unfavorable sporting results, especially at Cheltenham.
Softer UK Growth at William Hill
“We are also experiencing softer UK growth as a consequence of acquiring lower value customers,” he added, saying: “While the rest of the group is performing in line with our expectations, we continue to focus on improving online’s performance so that we can, once again, outperform the market.”
Looking ahead, William Hill confirmed that it was in advanced discussions with an unnamed partner which would allow the group to invest in OpenBet. William Hill will also aim at improving its business by identifying a number of strategic priorities through the appointment of a new interim managing director, Crispin Nieboer. Will Hill will, among other things, refocus on maximizing UK customer yields and improving performance in its non-core markets.
The group will also spend the upcoming year assessing opportunities for improving cost efficiencies across the board.