2016 Final results

2016 profit in line with revised guidance, encouraging start to 2017

William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces its final results for the 52 weeks ended 27 December 2016 (the period or full-year (FY) 2016).

  52 weeks to
27 Dec 16
52 weeks to
29 Dec 15
Net revenue 1,603.8 1,590.9 +1%
Adjusted operating profit1 261.5 291.4 -10%
Profit before interest and tax 225.6 224.3 +1%
Adjusted earnings per share (p)2 22.3 24.7 -10%
Earnings per share (p) 18.9 21.6 -13%
Dividend per share (p) 12.5 12.5 0%

Financial results

  • Group net revenue up 1% to £1,603.8m
  • Adjusted operating profit1 of £261.5m in line with revised guidance
  • Adjusted EPS2 of 22.3p, down 10%
  • Strong cash generation with operating cash flow of £265.9m
  • Balance sheet remains healthy with net debt for covenant purposes3 at 1.8x EBITDA (2015: 1.3x)
  • Full-year dividend maintained at 12.5p per share, reflecting the Group’s continued strong cash flow and the Board’s confidence in delivery of strategic priorities and future growth

Current trading (seven weeks to 14 Feb 17)

  • Positive trends in amounts wagered in all four divisions, including encouraging improvement in Online with UK Sportsbook wagering up 10% and UK Gaming net revenue up 8%
  • Sporting results favourable in the UK, behind in Australia and the US

Three strategic priorities going forward

  • Grow UK market share with increased investment in product, marketing and omni-channel
  • Continue international revenue growth and diversification with focused investment
  • Deliver two key projects to support growth and reinvestment:
    • a transformation programme that, by increasing efficiencies, will provide c£40m of capital to reinvest in product, marketing and technology; and
    • a programme with OpenBet to build a global technology platform for the Group over three years.

Philip Bowcock, Interim Chief Executive Officer of William Hill, commented:

"2016 was a challenging year for William Hill, but one in which we made considerable operational progress, leaving us well-placed to drive the business forward in 2017. We have delivered extensive product, user experience and marketing improvements in Online, modernised our Retail management structure to focus more on the customer and continued to grow in our key international markets. There are now encouraging signs in all our divisions, in particular Online’s UK business, which is now delivering sustained growth.

"Looking forward, we want to keep improving the customer experience. This means making it both fast and easy, as well as enjoyable and personal, to bet with William Hill. To do this, we are expanding our product range, increasing our marketing investment and deploying our technology assets and expertise in key areas. At the same time, we expect our transformation programme to continue delivering important efficiency savings that we can reinvest to deliver an even better customer experience and faster growth.

"We have a clear strategy to take the business forward and grow market share in the UK, while expanding our revenues internationally."


  1. Adjusted operating profit is defined as profit before interest and tax, excluding exceptional items and other defined adjustments. We previously referred to this metric as ‘Operating profit’ and have updated its naming to clarify that it is an adjusted measure. Further detail on adjusted measures is provided in note 3 to the financial statements.
  2. Basic EPS is based on an average of 871.8 million shares for 2016 and an average of 880.9 million shares for 2015. Adjusted EPS is based upon adjusted profits after tax. Further detail on adjusted measures is provided in note 3 to the financial statements.
  3. Net debt for covenant purposes and EBITDA for covenant purposes are as described in in note 23 to the financial statements.
  4. Online numbers now also incorporate the Telephone division, which was previously presented as a separate segment.
  5. Definitions are provided in the glossary at the back of the document.
  6. Numbers are presented on an adjusted basis unless otherwise stated.


William Hill PLC

Philip Bowcock, Interim CEO
Mark Summerfield, Interim CFO
Lyndsay Wright, Director of IR
Ciaran O’Brien, Director of Communications

Today: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Thereafter: +44 (0) 20 8918 3614
Thereafter: +44 (0) 20 8918 3609


Andrew Porter / Oliver Hughes / Chris Buscombe

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Analyst & investor presentation


Friday, 24 February 2017 at 9.00 am GMT
The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED

Live conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125. Password: William Hill

Archive conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode: 5267827#. Available until 3 March 2017

Video webcast


Debt investor conference call

Live conference call

11.00 a.m. GMT. Tel: +44 (0) 20 3059 8125. Password: William Hill

Archive conference call

Tel: +44 (0) 121 260 4861. Passcode: 5268749#. Available until 3 March 2017

Notes to editors

William Hill, The Home of Betting, is one of the world's leading betting and gaming companies, employing around 16,000 people. Founded in 1934, it is one of the UK's largest bookmakers with around 2,375 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries. The Group’s Online business (www.williamhill.com) is one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill's products online, through their smartphone or tablet, by telephone and by text services. William Hill US was established in June 2012 and provides land-based and mobile sports betting services in Nevada, and is the exclusive risk manager for the State of Delaware’s sports lottery. William Hill Australia is one of the largest online betting businesses in Australia, established through the acquisition of two businesses in 2013. It offers sports betting products online, by telephone and via mobile devices. William Hill PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The Group generates revenues of c£1.6bn a year.

Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements


These results include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "plans", "goal", "target", "aim", "may", "will", "would", "could" or "should" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout these results and the information incorporated by reference into these results and include statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the directors, William Hill or the Group concerning, amongst other things, the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and dividend policy of William Hill and the industry in which it operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future and may be beyond William Hill's ability to control or predict. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Group's actual results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, dividend policy and the development of the industry in which it operates may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results. In addition, even if the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and dividend policy of the Group and the development of the industry in which it operates, are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Other than in accordance with its legal or regulatory obligations (including under the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014), the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the Prospectus Rules), William Hill does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Download the full 2016 Final results in PDF format [0.9Mb]

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24 Feb 2017

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