Belfast Telegraph

William Hill scores 28% rise in profits to £100m after Euro 2016

Profits at William Hill were boosted by a strong Euro 2016 in the first half of the year, helping offset a dire Cheltenham Festival.

The bookmaker, which is the subject of a three-way merger attempt by its rivals, said pre-tax profits for the period rose 28% to £100.7 million on revenues of £814.4 million.

William Hill raked in £36 million from the Uefa European Championship, which it said "mitigates (the) impact of losses at Cheltenham Festival", where a string of favourites romped home.

Last month, online operator 888 and casino giant Rank came clean over their interest in a £3 billion three-way merger with William Hill.

At the time, William Hill said it is "not clear" that a combination would "enhance William Hill's strategic positioning".

On Friday, interim chief executive Philip Bowcock said: "We remain committed to our strategy of diversifying by expanding digitally and internationally. While the first half of 2016 has been challenging, William Hill is a strong business with three of our four core divisions performing well.

"Looking ahead, our immediate priorities are to continue the recovery in online, to leverage our technology improvements across the business and to advance a focused approach to international growth."