William Hill market share boosted by online platform

Betting company William Hill has revealed that innovation and investment in its online platform has helped drive growth in its latest results.

The company reported an 11 percent increase in the group’s net revenue and a 14 percent increase in operating profit, with the majority of the growth coming from online.

Its online net revenue jumped 30 percent in the period, from £152.7 million in the first half of last year to £198.4 million the same period this year. In contrast, retail revenue – though making up the larger proportion of the total revenue – grew just five percent in the 26 weeks to 26 June 2012.

Ralph Topping, William Hill’s chief executive, said: “We have seen a strong performance in our multi-channel UK business in the first half, with a good performance from both OTC [over the counter] and machines in retail, and with our focus on innovation and investment continuing to deliver outstanding growth at William Hill Online.”

Mobile is also a key platform for William Hill, Topping said.

The company launched its William Hill Sportsbook mobile app in the Apple iTunes app store in February, which it said had delivered more than 40,000 new customers.

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In June, Sportsbook bets made via mobile devices represented nearly a third (28 percent) of total Sportsbook betting, while overall mobile Sportsbook turnover up 390 percent.

“Mobile remains a top priority and continues to outperform our expectations,” said Topping.

“Our rapidly growing mobile business increased to 22 percent of our online sports betting turnover and 11 percent of gaming net revenue in the first half.”

Furthermore, William Hill said that it has made good progress with its plans to expand internationally. It was awarded an online licence in Spain, which enabled it to launch the Spanish regulated site williamhill.es and it has expanded its Italian-regulated site williamhill.it.

"With further innovation to come, the group is in good shape and the board remains confident of its expectations for the full year,” Topping concluded.