William Hill losing market share in Australia, says UBS
UBS reiterated a ‘sell’ rating and left its target price of 290p unchanged on betting group William Hill on Wednesday.
The bank said William Hill has lost market share in Australia amid fierce competition.
UBS said its own data showed Ladbrokes has grown significantly faster than William Hill over the past three quarters down under. Ladbrokes has wagered growth averaging more than 50% compared to an 8% fall at William Hill.
“The growth in Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and CrownBet over the last three years has intensified competition in the Australian online sportsbetting market, driving William Hill's market share from 34% to just 12% (of the digital market), and net revenue flat in 2015 versus 2013 despite the market growing at around 15% per year,” said UBS analyst Chris Stevens.
In March William Hill said it expected operating profit for this year to fall to between £260m and £280m, from £291m last year.
Chief executive James Henderson said dire horse racing results at Cheltenham and unfavourable European football results meant online revenues were about £15m worse than expected.
While the Australian Open in January had a positive impact, UBS believes William Hill continues to lag behind Ladbroke and other smaller competitors.
The bank also highlighted the impact on the sector of recent regulatory changes by the Gambling Commission in October to combat problem gambling. Online customers can now tell a bookmaker they want to take between 24 hours and six months off from gambling while keeping their account open.
William Hill shares dipped 0.06% to 305.23p at 1049 BST.