Aug 2, 2017
Punters gain, but profits slide for William Hill
William Hill has suffered a steep fall in profits over the first half of this year, with growth at its online business failing to offset declines at its betting shops that were hit by "Volatile sporting results" and the lack of a major football tournament this summer. It also blamed sporting results that went in favour of punters towards the end of the European football season and during the recent Aintree horseracing festival, which includes the Grand National. At William Hill's online division, which represents 35 per cent of group revenues, adjusted operating profits were up 32 per cent to £57.2m and wagers increased by 11 per cent to £2.49bn. In March, Philip Bowcock, previously finance chief, was promoted to chief executive, ending a difficult nine-month search in which the bookmaker had been rebuffed by several external candidates. Our product improvements combined with improved marketing have seen both existing customers respond positively and the number of new customers start growing again during the period.
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