William Hill Revenue Up 10% To £1.3bn In 2012

William Hill Revenue Up 10% To £1.3bn In 2012UK bookmaker William Hill has released its financial report for the 52 weeks ending December 25th, revealing an impressive 10% increase in net revenue to £1.3 billion.
William Hill operates 2,300 Licensed Betting Offices throughout Britain accounting for around 25% of the market share. In 2012, the company saw its retail net revenue rise by 4% to £825 million, while its online net revenue soared by 24% to £398.5 million. Overall, the group’s operating profit increased by a huge 18% to £326.4 million.
In addition to its solid results, William Hill also took the opportunity to announce that subject to shareholder approval, it would exercise its call option to acquire the 29% of William Hill Online (WHO) currently owned by its joint partner Playtech. William Hill said it would raise the £424 million necessary for the acquisition through a fully underwritten Rights Issue and would also seek a £50 million bridge credit facility.
If all goes according to plan, the Playtech joint venture will be dissolved by April this year, after which Playtech will still continue to license its software to William Hill. Commenting on the deal, Playtech’s CEO, Mor Weizer, said: “William Hill Online has been an overwhelming success and has delivered a cash return to Playtech greater than 3.5 times its original investment, excluding software royalties in the four years since inception…we look forward to our strong supplier relationship continuing.”
Following the announcement, shares in William Hill increase by as much as 8% and are currently trading up 6.5% to 431 pence, giving the company a market capitalization of £3.04 billion.
Looking ahead, William Hill CEO Ralph Topping expressed satisfaction at having taken control of the digital division and commented that the future of the group could be a “50/50 split between land-based and online.”

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