Friday 26 February 2016

William Hill Planning to Introduce Self-Serving Betting

WILLIAM HILL are planning to introduce self-serving betting terminals and will also ensure all employees are paid the national living wage from April 1, as the bookmaker unveiled their full-year results for 2015.

In a trading statement last month the firm revealed a 22 per cent drop in operating profits to £291.4 million for the 52 weeks ended December 29 2015, compared to £372.2m for the same period in 2014.

This was largely due to the introduction of the point of consumption tax introduced by the government in 2015.

Overall net revenue was down one per cent, but the company believe they are now in a good position for 2016, and announced a £200m share buyback, as well as raising their share dividend 2.5 per cent to 12.5 pence.

Good international growth.

The Australian arm of the brand performed well at the end of 2015, and that has continued into the new year. The betting app is one of the highest-rated in the country, and during the William Hill-backed Australian Open, around 1,000 new customers were acquired each day, leading to a 680 per cent increase on tennis in-play betting.

A self-service betting terminal is due to be introduced in shops during the first half of 2016 as part of William Hill's omni-channel approach, and from April 1, all employees will be paid the government's national living wage of £7.20.

The wage has been extended voluntarily to all employees between 18-25 as well as those over 25, and is expected to benefit around 4,500 of the 12,500 William Hill UK retail employees.

Commenting on the results, William Hill chief executive James Henderson said: "In the last 12 months we have made substantial operational progress against our three strategic priorities of omni-channel, technology and international.

"As one of the largest scale businesses in gambling, the board is confident in the outlook for the year ahead and believes the group is well placed to deliver on its growth strategy." 

At 9.15am on Friday, William Hill's share price had fallen 0.85 per cent to 398.30 pence.