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Web business drives 10 per cent rise in William Hill net revenue

Shares in William Hill, the FTSE 250-listed bookmaker, lifted sharply on Friday after the company reported a 10 per cent increase in net revenue in the 52 weeks that ended December 25th.

Shares in William Hill, the FTSE 250-listed bookmaker, lifted sharply on Friday after the company reported a 10 per cent increase in net revenue in the 52 weeks that ended December 25th.

Net revenue rose to £1.3bn and was underpinned by strong growth in online net revenue.

Retail net revenue rose 4.0% over the comparative period to £825m while online net revenue jumped 24% to £398.5m.

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The group's operating profit rose 18% to £326.4m and profit before tax rose 46% to £274.2m.

In addition, the company announced the £424m proposed acquisition of an outstanding 29% stake in William Hill Online and a £375m rights issue as part of financing for the proposed acquisition.

The group further reported that a £460m proposed acquisition of Sportingbet's Australian and Spanish online businesses was on track for completion on March 19th this year.

Basic earnings per share increased 62% to 26.7p in the 52 weeks ended December 25th.

Ralph Topping, Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, said: "Today marks a major milestone for William Hill as we propose taking full control of William Hill Online. This move rounds off a successful 12 months which have seen us take our first steps into the US and, through the pending Sportingbet acquisition, lay the foundations for growth in the attractive Australian market.

He added: "William Hill Online has consistently delivered strong net revenue growth since it was formed in December 2008."

Shares in William Hill were up 7.09% to 433.40p at 09:35 on Friday.

MF

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