William Hill Profits Fall 11% To £115 Million In 2011

UK bookmaker William Hill released its financial figures today, revealing an 11% fall in net profit to £115 million ($182 million) for the whole of 2011, compared to £130 million in 2010.
William Hill owns around 2,370 betting shops in the UK, to go with its online operation which it partners with Israeli software company Playtech, who owns a 29% stake of WHO (William Hill Online).
Throughout 2011, the net revenue for the group as a whole was up by 6% to £1,1367 million with retail operating profits down 4% to £197 million, but online operating profits up 17% to £107 million. 
Commenting on the impressive WHO figures, a company statement read:
“William Hill Online delivered an outstanding performance again in 2011, recording a second consecutive year of revenue growth of greater than 20%…Within gaming, all verticals grew net revenue, with Playtech Casino up 8%, Vegas Casino games up 54%, Bingo up 19% and Poker 7% higher.”
However, things haven’t been all that smooth between William Hill and Playtech of late, with Playtech staff walking out on their duties in 2011 over relocation to Gibraltar rumours, while William Hill secured an interim injunction to stop Playtech selling its minority stake in WHO.
Nonetheless, William Hill are likely to exercise their option to acquire Playtech’s 29% stake in WHO at the beginning of 2013, with Ralph Topping adding:
“Discussions about the future are positive … despite colourful episodes over the past three years [the joint venture] has been good for their investors and good for our investors.”
At the same time, William Hill also announced plans to further expand their operation abroad, to lessen the company’s dependence on the UK market, which currently accounts for 92% of its revenue. Furthermore, expanding internationally online involves far less costs, while presenting the potential for greater profits. As Ralph Topping explained:
“With many governments either introducing or liberalising gambling regulations, opportunities are opening up for William Hill to take its expertise into new territories.”

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