Belfast Telegraph

'Unfavourable' football results put the boot into William Hill profits

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

The bookmaker reported an 11% fall in pre-tax profits to £109 million in the six months to June 28, while revenue grew 3% to £837 million.

On an adjusted basis, operating profit fell 1% to £129.5 million.

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

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

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

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

"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 company has also seen a surge in betting on women's sports recently.

There has been a record £3 million wagered on the ICC Cricket World Cup - an increase of 90% - and if England get to the final of the Uefa Women's Euro 2017 football championship, William Hill expects more than £3 million in stakes - up 100%.

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