William Hill reports profit at bottom of guidance range

Bookmaker posts full-year operating profit of £260m, compared to £291.4m in 2015

William Hill has been struggling to keep up with rivals in online gambling

Bookmaker William Hill on Monday reported a fall in full-year operating profit to £260 million, at the lower end of its guidance range, after unfavourable football and horse racing results in December.

The company, which in November said it expected operating profit to be at the higher end of its £260-£280 million guidance range, said gross win margins were below expectations.

It posted an operating profit of £291.4 million for 2015.

“The recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017,” William Hill said in the statement.


Online betting

The company, which pulled out of merger talks with Canadian online gambling firm Amaya in October, had said in November that its online business had improved after a poor first half.

It said on Monday that improvements seen in wagering in online and Australia in the second half had continued in recent weeks but did not detail out these improvements.

William Hill has been struggling to keep up with rivals in online gambling and the board last year lost patience with chief executive James Henderson after two years in the job.

Online gambling via smartphones and tablets has helped to drive growth for betting companies but it is a crowded field with traditional bookmakers jostling with younger companies for market share.

– Reuters