William Hill share price edges higher as US expansion gains momentum

The British bookmaker’s share price went a touch higher on Friday after investors were told that its US expansion plans are ramping up, despite the company posting a slight slide in full-year adjusted operating profit in 2018.

William Hill recorded a slight fall in its full-year adjusted operating profit, but reassured investors that it remains firmly on track with its new five-year strategy and goal to double its profits by 2023.

The bookmaker also used its full-year 2018 trading update to tell investors that 2019 results will be in line with market expectations and it is ramping up investment in its US expansion plans.

‘We have three businesses at different stages, with online growing in the UK and diversifying internationally, retail being remodelled in response to the new £2 stake limit, and rapid expansion in the US sports betting market,’ William Hill CEO Philip Bowcock.

William Hill results: key figures

The bookmaker recorded a 2% increase in net revenue to £1.6 billion in 2018, but adjusted operating profit from existing operations fell 3% to £267 million compared with the previous year, with the decline in line with expectations, the company said.

Operating cash flow before movements in working capital climbed 9% to £275 million and the company’s balance sheet remains strong with net debt of £308.1 million, 1x EBITDA at year end.

The bookmaker also announced a full-year dividend to shareholders of 12p share, which is in line with its policy to payout around 50% of underlying earnings, based on adjusted earnings per share before US expansion costs in 2018.

William Hill and other British bookmakers eye US market

Since UK regulators introduced tighter rules and the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting, British bookmakers have had to adapt to changing market conditions, with many taking steps to enter the American market.

William Hill has invested in a digital launch in New Jersey and has rolled out its operations into another six states across the US, with these investments contributing to the company posting an operating loss of £33.2 million in 2018.

‘We have started delivering on our strategy with the expansion of our US business, being first out of the blocks in all states that have regulated sports betting, and with the acquisition of Mr Green, which will support the build-out of our international digital business,’ Bowcock said.

‘We have also put our weight behind reducing the amount of TV gambling advertising seen by under 18s through a voluntary whistle-to-whistle advertising ban before the watershed,’ he added.

IGA, may distribute information/research produced by its respective foreign affiliates within the IG Group of companies pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the research is distributed in Singapore to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or an Institutional Investor, IGA accepts legal responsibility for the contents of the report to such persons only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact IGA at 6390 5118 for matters arising from, or in connection with the information distributed.

The information/research herein is prepared by IG Asia Pte Ltd (IGA) and its foreign affiliated companies (collectively known as the IG Group) and is intended for general circulation only. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any particular person. You should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation, and particular needs before making a commitment to trade, including seeking advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment, under a separate engagement, as you deem fit.

Please see important Research Disclaimer.

See an opportunity to trade?

Go long or short on more than 17,000 markets with IG.

Trade CFDs on our award-winning platform, with low spreads on indices, shares, commodities and more.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Forex
  • Shares
  • Indices
Sell
Buy
Updated
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Sell
Buy
Updated
Change

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Sell
Buy
Updated
Change
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
China 300
-
-
-
-

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 20 mins.

The Momentum Report

Get the week’s momentum report sent directly to your inbox every Monday for FREE. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming key events to monitor in the coming week, as well as commentary and insight from our expert analysts on the major indices to watch.

For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.