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William Hill To Payback Furlough As They Close 119 Branches

UK bookmaker William Hill have had a surprising upturn in finances despite nearly half of its revenue lost at the beginning of the lockdown.After sports betting resumed including Premier League football in June, William Hill  have seen profits ‘delayed’ rather than lost. Despite the companies finances on more of an even keel they have announced the closure of 119 branches, 8% of its stores, but assured most of the staff have been deployed with only 16 staff members made redundant. The recent closures will leave William Hill with 1,414 stores.

Payback Furlough Funds

After taking advantage of the governments furlough scheme which allowed businesses to claim staff wages while businesses were closed, William Hill have announced they plan to pay back £2.4m in funds for furloughed staff wages. They have also revealed the first six months of 2020 had generated £141m profit, after a £200m tax refund.Along with most businesses in the uK, William hill closed their doors back in March as the lockdown was announced. All sporting fixtures were cancelled including Premier League football and Euro 2020. In the first few weeks of lockdown, William Hill’s profit plummeted by half but due to its digital arm they were able to keep their heads above water.

Upturn After Sport Resumed

Gambling online continued and even rose in the midst of the lockdown. After the return of Premier League and other large sporting fixtures, profits slowly started to improve and although year on year profits are down, things have now turned a corner.Ulrik Bengtsson Chief Executive for William Hill said,“ Our trading was strong before Covid-19, we controlled cost effectively during lockdown and we have recovered post-lockdown, with good performances in our online businesses throughout the first half.”

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