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William Hill Profits Unaffected by Football Results

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Oct/19/2009

British bookmaker William Hill said profit expectations at its retail business had been unaffected by a run of punter-friendly football results.

William Hill, which has 2,300 betting shops in Britain and Ireland, said today that retail betting volumes had been good since the football season started in mid-August, while its online sports betting service had seen strong turnover.

The group also said there had been 'encouraging levels of recycling' where gamblers re-invest their winnings and end up losing it back to the bookmaker. Those factors helped offset the impact of a dire run of football results.

The bookies chain closed 14 of its betting shops in the Republic of Ireland in the first half of this year and now operates 35 here.

Earlier this month, Britain's biggest bookmaker Ladbrokes launched a surprise £286m sterling rights issue and said it would not pay a final dividend as it looked to cut debt in the face of the weak economic environment.

William Hill said football margins had returned to being in line with usual trends in the latter part of September and October. Horseracing results were unfavourable in July and August but some recovery was seen in September.

Group revenue declined by 3% in the third quarter but was up 3% in the year-to-date. Over-the-counter gross win was down 21% in the third quarter as a result of the sporting results impact.

However, over-the counter turnover improved, being down only 4%, compared with an 11% fall in the first six months. Revenue from gaming machines rose by 4%.

William Hill has embarked on a programme of cost-cutting initiatives, including moving its online sports betting and gaming operations from Britain to Gibraltar which it expects will save around £4m in 2009 and £10m in 2010.

Source:  RTE Business        

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