Topping targets international diversification

Ralph Topping

Ralph Topping may have his sights set on retirement next year, but he is still setting targets for his company for long after he has left. The William Hill CEO told investors last week that the bookmaker should see 35-40% of its revenues come from its international operations by the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. International operations current supply 15% of revenues.

He commented: “Now I truly recognise diversifying internationally isn’t easy. We’ve got to be careful, but we are doing it well. We’ve invested in building in a management team who are more than capable of managing internationally diverse businesses.

“We’ve also got an operating infrastructure that can allow us to support our international businesses effectively. For instance, by way of example, we’ve started the transfer of certain Australian back office functions to a lower cost operation centre in Manila. And we’re structuring our technology solutions so they can be reused in different jurisdictions.”

Topping also believes that there is still more growth in the core sportsbook product, even though the firm is seeing £70m of stakes per week at the moment. He explained: “It’s not so long ago people, internally, were barracking me when I said we’ve got to get to £40m; as we were at £25m at the time. We’re now getting £70m. I’ll say it here and now, and it’s not because I’m not going to be around in three years’ time, but I fully expect, in two years’ time, to be seeing us setting £100m turnover in Sportsbook.”

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