William Hill PLC reported on Friday a jump in its net profit, benefiting from increased revenue coming from its online division.
For the 52 weeks of 2013, pretax profit came in at GBP257 million (approximately $430.4 million), compared with GBP277.7 million for the 53 weeks of 2012. William Hill Online contributed GBP446.3 million during the last year, an increase of 10%, taking the net revenue from GBP1.28 billion to GBP1.49 billion in 2013.
Pretax profit (leaving out exceptional items) came down to GBP279.8 million from GBP 292.7 million, but this didn’t affect the net profit, which was up from GBP189.8 million to GBP211.2 million.
“The performance of the Online Sportsbook has continued its exceptional performance, with stakes rising around 400% since the launch in 2009. Our Mobile Sportsbook has also grown to claim 39% of all bets in 2013,” said the CEO Ralph Topping.
“We’ve placed a stronger focus on mobile betting in the last year and have made solid progress in increasing the quality of our offer to match the standards we have at our Sportsbook. We’ve made a sizable expansion to the products we offer as well as improvements in the quality of the customer experience. This sets us up for even more upgrades to come in 2014,” he shared.
A final dividend of 7.9 pence per share was approved by te company, bringing the full year dividend to 11.6 pence per share, an increase of 12% to last year’s 10.4p per share.
On Friday stocks jumped even higher to 437pence as news came in that they would be taking full control of their online operation from Playtech Ltd, who owned 29% of William Hill Online. They followed the example of one of their main competitors Ladbrokes Plc in focusing on mobile expansion as more customers use smartphones and tablets to bet. The state of New Jersey also issued approvals for online betting last week, giving hope to investors that more states will remove their bans.