Date: 04.07.2024

by Sebastian Warowny

William Hill Reports Resilient Financial Performance

In its annual report for the fiscal year ending 31 December 2023, William Hill has reported a strong financial performance. The UK bookmaker’s revenue for 2023 was £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion), a slight decrease from the £1.24 billion ($1.6 billion) recorded in 2022.

Revenue and Earnings Performance

William Hill’s earnings for 2023 were £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion), slightly down from £1.24 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2022. This was bolstered by the UK online division, which made £501 million ($638 million), despite being down 2% compared to last year. The company noted that safer gambling measures and a more focused marketing strategy had impacted revenues.

Revenue in the UK retail business increased 5% from £514.2 million ($655 million) to £539.8 million ($688 million), even though the number of high street shops fell by 3%, driven by improvements in gaming cabinets and self-service betting terminals (SSBTs). International online brands, including Mr Green, made £185.6 million ($236.5 million), a decrease of 12% from £212 million ($270 million) last year, due to compliance changes in different markets.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for 2023 were £224.4 million ($285.9 million), up from around £214 million ($272.7 million) in 2022. The UK online adjusted EBITDA was £115.7 million ($147.4 million), with the UK retail arm contributing an adjusted EBITDA of £100.7 million ($128.3 million). International online saw an adjusted EBITDA of £31.9 million ($40.6 million), compared to last year’s figure of £33.1 million ($42.2 million).

Operating profit swung from a loss of around £31 million ($39.5 million) last year to a gain of around £114.1 million ($145.4 million) this time, although post-tax profit dropped mainly due to a one-off forex gain on financing items at almost £200 million ($254.8 million).

Strategic Developments and Challenges

Management at William Hill highlighted the ongoing 888 integration and plans to reduce some supplier reliance to take more control over technology. They noted potential opportunities and risks of moving to a single global technology platform for group content delivery.

The company reported provisions of approximately £58.4 million ($74.4 million) related to customer compensation claims in Austria, compared to £67 million ($85.4 million) last year. These claims have been rising since marketing campaigns by litigation funders began in 2020. William Hill is defending itself against these claims on public policy grounds, particularly regarding Austrian and German court judgments being enforced in Malta and Gibraltar.

Throughout what has been an eventful year for UK bookmakers, William Hill’s financial performance reflects its strategic resilience and market adaptability. This positions the company well for future growth amid ever-changing industry dynamics.