..

William Hill Shares Jump on Strong Start to the Year

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/21/2011

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest bookmaker William Hill (WMH.L) said it had confidence in its full-year forecasts after demand for its online gambling sites boosted first-quarter operating profit, sending shares higher.

The company, which has around 2,350 betting shops in the UK and Ireland, said it had also seen increased amounts wagered in its over-the-counter business and through gaming machines.

William Hill, which takes over a million bets a day, said the strong performance resulted in group net revenue being up by 11 percent, with retail revenues up 8 percent and online net revenues up 26 percent.

The news, which followed an update from Ladbrokes (LAD.L) earlier this month reporting operating profit up 1.9 percent for the period, sent shares in William Hill up 9 percent at 216.3 pence.

"We have seen excellent growth across our business in the first quarter, enabling us to remain confident in our expectations for the full year," Chief Executive Ralph Topping said in a statement.

William Hill said it had seen an over-the-counter gross win margin above the top end of the expected trading range of 17 to 18 percent.

At 30 percent growth, Bingo continued to deliver the fastest growth in gaming but Poker and Casino were also growing well, up 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively. The group also reported strong growth in mobile gambling.

"We feel that William Hill is creating its own momentum especially in Machines and Online," said Liberum analyst Nigel Hicks.

"This is a strong set of Q1 data, clearly outperforming Ladbrokes IMS trading update results last week. We regard both stocks as too lowly valued, but for the short-term have more recently been favouring William Hill."

Rival Ladbrokes said earlier in April operating profit rose by 1.9 percent to 49.2 million pounds in the first quarter but warned of an uncertain outlook with the economic climate in Britain set to remaining challenging throughout 2011. [ID:nLDE73E066]

Peel Hunt said they had upgraded their forecasts for William Hill after the better than expected start to the year.

"More importantly, retail is showing good resilience, while the extreme volatility in the pure online gaming stocks could also work in William Hill's favour as a way to play the sector," Nick Batram said.

"These may prove to be the long awaited catalysts for a re-rating. We move to Buy."

Last week, William Hill said it would move into the U.S. gaming market for the first time after agreeing to buy two American sports betting businesses for $39 million.

 

Follow breaking headlines around the clock at Gambling911.com Twitter Here

Business/Financial News

China's Top Regulators Ban Crypto Trading and Mining, Sending Bitcoin Tumbling

China's Top Regulators Ban Crypto Trading and Mining, Sending Bitcoin Tumbling

China's most powerful regulators on Friday intensified a crackdown on cryptocurrencies with a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Oregon Ducks Star Kayvon Thibodeaux Launches Own Cryptocurrency

Oregon Ducks Star Kayvon Thibodeaux Launches Own Cryptocurrency

Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux announced Thursday the launch of his own cryptocurrency.  The news comes following changes to the NCAA's name, image and likeness rules made in July.

Businesses That Have Survived Rough Times

Businesses That Have Survived Rough Times

If you have an online iGaming project and you also want to expand it with sports betting, then it’s important to have high-functioning sportsbook software. Well, the aim of any gambling or betting site is to attract as many players as possible by providing them the best experience possible.

Bitcoin Site Goes Dark After Apparent Hacking

Bitcoin Site Goes Dark After Apparent Hacking

Bitcoin.org, the website that was once the main landing portal for all things Bitcoin, today suffered an embarrassing hack that has already cost naive BTC users money.

Bitcoin, Ether Slump as Market Selloff Widens

Bitcoin, Ether Slump as Market Selloff Widens

Cryptocurrency prices sank on Monday as concerns over the spillover risk to the global economy from Chinese property group Evergrande's (3333.HK) troubles spread across financial markets.

Syndicate