Saturday 24 March 2018

London clubs hit Hill's profits

Premier League 2016 winners Chelsea
Premier League 2016 winners Chelsea

A strong end to the Premier League season from Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham helped dent profits at William Hill in the first half of the year.

The bookmaker reported an 11pc fall in pre-tax profits to £109m (€121m) in the six months to June 28, while revenue grew 3pc to £837m. On an adjusted basis, operating profit fell 1pc to £129.5m.

The group said "unfavourable" results in the later stages of last season - including champions Chelsea winning six games in a row - were partly to blame.

Punters also cashed in at the firm's expense when Spurs and Arsenal notched up victories in five out of six games.

CEO Philip Bowcock focused on the rise in revenue and the group's online performance.

"The first half of 2017 has seen good progress against our three strategic priorities and wagering growth across all four divisions," he said.

"We are seeing good momentum building in online's performance. In retail we made market share gains, with growth in both sports betting, despite the lack of a major international football tournament, and gaming revenues."

The firm has also seen a surge in betting on women's sports, with a record £3m wagered on the Cricket World Cup - an increase of 90pc.

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