William Hill announced a trading update yesterday for the 13 weeks to 28th December 2010 and the full year ending December 2010 and suprised many City pundits by reporting a 4% increase in retail turnover for December and an 8% increase in retail turnover for the quarter .
The figures were very impressive considering that almost half of all December’s horseracing meetings were abandoned due to the weather and most football matches were cancelled over one particularly snowy weekend in December .
Particularly strong growth was seen at William Hill online with turnover up 57% and net revenue showing year on year growth of 24% . Within online betting the big driver is in play betting which grew by 114% thanks partly to increased advertising of this type of betting .
William Hill also announced the launch of a new Android app for customers placing bets via their mobile phones . The Head of Mobile at William Hill Michael Byrne confirmed that there was massive growth in the use of mobiles to place bets :”‘Our recent product enhancements have driven strong growth over the last few months, and the response from our customer base has been very positive. In 2010, we experienced a 800% increase in bets, 828% increase in turnover, and a 900% rise in unique users” he said .
Overall analysts reacted positively to the update from Hills and profits for 2010 are now expected to be approx. £275M and the company will start paying less tax from 2011 onwards as a result of the re-location of it’s online business to Gibraltar during 2010 .
William Hill are one of the leading European bookmakers and operate around 2200 retail shops in the UK as well as an online business . Shares in William Hill are traded on the London Stock Exchange and they jumped more than 5% after the announcement .