William Hill remodelled for strong 2019 prospects

FTSE250 bookmaker William Hill Plc has this morning published its pre-close 2018 trading statement (53-week period to 1 January 2019), detailing that results will be in-line with its previously announced ‘adjusted 2018 corporate guidance’.

William Hill expects to declare operating profits of circa £234 million, in line with governance’s adjusted profit range £225-245 million, which was announced last November, as William Hill trading was set-back by a tougher UK regulatory environment undertaking numerous retail adjustments.

Despite the setbacks, William Hill governance brands 2018 as a transformative year for its business, in which its digital division delivered solid underlying growth, with the betting group significantly expanding its US market profile, becoming active within seven states.

Further to publishing its pre-close trading statement, William Hill has this morning announced that its €270 million acquisition of Stockholm-listed MRG Group has been accepted by shareholders, with governance expected to close the deal by the end of the month.

Updating investors, Philip Bowcock, Group Chief Executive of William Hill, commented: “2018 was a pivotal year for both William Hill and the wider industry.

“We now have greater clarity around the key challenges and opportunities for our business. In 2019 we will remodel our Retail offer while building a digitally-led international business, underpinned by a sustainable approach as part of our Nobody Harmed ambition. With rapid expansion underway in the US, building on profitable foundations, and the acquisition of Mr Green nearing completion, we look forward to making further progress this year.”

The FTSE bookmaker will announce its 2018 full-year results on Friday 1 March 2019.

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