William Hill Plc, the stock-listed betting giant, has decided to suspend the payment of dividends, because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
William Hill is of course well know in the UK because of the betting shops, but William Hill also runs the sportsbooks in major Las Vegas casinos.
Most of the casinos in Las Vegas are now closed due to the virus. Besides that many large sporting events are cancelled, which limits the amount of sports punters can bet on.
More than fifty per cent of William Hill’s 2019 revenue was generated through their sportsbook business, so this will be a big hit on their bottom line.
William Hill created a number of scenarios to analyse if the company can survive the coronavirus.
If the UK and International football will resume in August, and if Euro2020 will be postponed to 2021 or cancelled, and if the UK retail shop will be closed for one month, and if the Grand National and Royal Ascot will be cancelled and if US sports will resume in time for the new NFL season in September. Then the EBITDA for William Hill Plc is expected to reduce by £100m to £110m.
At this moment the horse racing and the betting shops remain open. Every month they will be closed William Hill will lose £25m to £30m.
William Hill claims to have a robust financial position with appropriate liquidity to absorb the impact of the coronavirus. Although they decided not to pay dividends, the 2019 final dividend will not be proposed.
We are taking action to maintain our operational capability, to secure and enhance our liquidity and to ensure we are in a strong position to resume full operations when the sporting calendar returns to normal.Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO William Hill
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