International edition
December 14, 2017 | Edition Nº3383

Bookmaker insists underlying trends “remain encouraging”

William Hill profits dip amid unfavorable sporting results

William Hill profits dip amid unfavorable sporting results
William Hill’s profit in 2016 was £20m below previous expectations as a tumultuous year was made worse by unfavorable football and horseracing results in December.
United Kingdom | 01/09/2017

William Hill’s profit in 2016 was £20m below previous expectations as a tumultuous year was made worse by unfavorable football and horseracing results in December.

T

he FTSE 250 bookmaker said its full-year operating profit for 2016 would be around £260m, at the bottom end of its guided £260m to £280m range.

It marks a drop of more than £30m from the £291.4m operating profit posted in 2015, and follows the scrapping of its multibillion-pound merger with Canadian online poker giant Amaya in October.

William Hill’s chief executive James Henderson abruptly left the bookmaker in July, after less than two years in the job, and the company issued a profit warning in March, less than a week after the end of the Cheltenham Festival, the centrepiece of the horseracing calendar.

In a trading statement today, it insisted underlying trends “remain encouraging” but said gross win margins for the end of the year were below expectations as football and horseracing results went against bookmakers.

“Importantly, the improvements we saw in wagering online and Australia in the second half have continued in recent weeks,” said Philip Bowcock, interim CEO.

“However, all four divisions saw customer-friendly results at the back end of the year, which translated into profits being £20m below our prior expectations.

“With key underlying trends continuing to be positive, the recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017.”

The company will announce its final results for 2016 on February 24.

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