William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) (William Hill or the Group) announces an update on trading for the 11 weeks since the period reported on in the Interim Management Statement (IMS) issued on 20 October 2008 and the 52 weeks ended 30 December 2008.
The Group has continued to show resilient trading through the balance of 2008 with gross win for the 11 weeks since the IMS increasing by 8% compared with 2007. The Board currently expects total gross win to have increased by 6% on a 52-week comparison with 2007 and earnings before interest, tax and exceptional items to be around £275m(1).
During 2008, William Hill implemented several initiatives to enhance its online activities and the final quarter of 2008 saw the achievement of two important milestones. First, at the beginning of December, William Hill successfully launched its new sportsbook, www.williamhill.com, on the Orbis software platform. Second, on 30 December 2008, William Hill completed the transaction with Playtech PLC that it announced on 20 October 2008 and established William Hill Online.
As previously highlighted, William Hill is in dialogue with its banks on its borrowing facilities, the majority of which are due to mature in approximately 14 months in March 2010. The Group is preparing to undertake the refinancing of these facilities in due course.
William Hill expects to release its preliminary announcement of the 2008 full-year results on 27 February 2009.
(1) All financial results are subject to audit
William Hill PLC
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive
Simon Lane, Group Finance Director
Lyndsay Wright, Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8918 3600
Fiona Antcliffe / Deborah Spencer
Tel: 020 7404 5959
About William Hill PLC
William Hill is a leading betting and gaming company. It is one of the UK's largest bookmakers, with around 2,300 shops in the UK and Ireland that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, and offer gaming machines. William Hill Online provides internet-based sports betting, casino, poker and bingo, and, based on profitability, is the leading European online betting and gaming business operated by a listed company.