Business

William Hill owner 888 ramps up cost-saving plans

T

he gambling company that bought William Hill’s high street shops earlier this year has ramped up its plans to slash costs.

888 said it will try to find synergies from the deal with William Hill of around £150 million – up by around £50 million since its previous announcement.

It will also speed up the synergies – hoping to save around £87 million in operating costs in 2023 alone. It had previously planned to save around £54 million.

The business did not say whether it aims to save costs by cutting jobs or closing betting shops in the UK, or give any other details about its plans.

This summer, 888 completed its nearly £2 billion deal for William Hill’s international assets, which included around 1,400 betting shops across the UK.

But market conditions have changed since then, the company said.

As a newly combined business we have significant scope for improving our operating model and delivering efficiencies

Chief executive Itai Pazner said: “Today we set out our approach to unlocking the significant benefits of the combination of 888 and William Hill and I am pleased to share a more detailed view of our strategic direction and priorities.

“As a newly combined business we have significant scope for improving our operating model and delivering efficiencies.

“Over the next two years we plan to fully integrate our business – creating a bigger, stronger and better organisation with higher profit margins.”

The boss said he plans to bring debt down to more manageable levels by the end of 2025.

The company said that, after combining with William Hill, it has “world-class brands” but that its many businesses often compete with each other.

“These factors currently result in certain inefficiencies, leading to profit margins lower than industry peers,” it told shareholders on Tuesday.

Mr Pazner said: “We are focused on building a customer-led business with a portfolio of world-class brands that provide complementary offerings, supporting our ambitions to drive market share growth in some of the most attractive betting and gaming markets in the world.

“This will be enabled by a scalable, unified proprietary technology stack that will underpin our product and content leadership focus.”

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