Friday preview: William Hill to report strong first quarter

Gaming company William Hill is expected to post a strong first quarter on Friday on the back of double-digit revenue growth from its online division and betting shops.

Gaming company William Hill is expected to post a strong first quarter on Friday on the back of double-digit revenue growth from its online division and betting shops.

The betting giant will report earnings of £344.1m, according to analysts.

The first seven weeks in which online and betting shop revenues rose 30% and 13% respectively, is expected to boost earnings.

William Hill recently completed two significant transactions, spending a combined £900m on Sportingbet's Australian operations and buying the 29% minority interest in William Hill Online (WHO). It was part funded by a £374m rights issue which came after an impressive 2012 performance.

Canaccord Genuity said the deal gives the company a leading position in the fast growing and regulated Australian online gaming market, with scope to build a strong position in Spain.

"Online growth will be held back in FY13 by tough comps (European Championships, exit from some markets), while retail profits will likely fall due to the revised UK machines tax," the broker added.

"Nonetheless, we expect a strong Q1 IMS on April 19th, buoyed by a record Grand National and helpful run of football results. Consolidating control of WHO makes good sense and the price looks fair.

"With an increased percentage of online profits (47% in FY13), a growing track record of operational out-performance and strong current momentum (17% revenue growth in first 7 weeks of Q1), a premium looks justified, but we see little scope for further re-rating."

Friday April 19th

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Abcam, Berkeley Group Holdings (The), Downing Absolute Income VCT 1, Downing Absolute Income VCT 1 'C' Shares , Edge Performance VCT 'H' Shares, Mobeus Income & Growth 2 Vct, Waterman Group

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Caterpillar Inc.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Balance of Payments (EU) (09:00)

World Bank/IMF annual meeting

Q3

Kcell Joint Stock Co GDR (Reg S)

FINALS

Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd.

ANNUAL REPORT

Travis Perkins

IMSS

William Hill

SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Qannas Investments Ltd

EGMS

3Legs Resources

AGMS

Anglo American, Sterling Energy, Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Persero) ADS, Ubisense Group

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Record

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Baronsmead VCT 4, Belvoir Lettings, Heavitree Brewery, Heavitree Brewery 'A' Shares, Pennant International Group, Telecity Group

RD

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