William Hill beats the odds with upturn in bets
William Hill saw an upturn in bets placed over the counter and money taken by its gambling machines in the fourth quarter of last year.
The company reported an 11% growth in bets placed within their shops for the end of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010. They also reported a 7% rise in gross win – total bets minus payouts – from their gambling machines.
Despite the challenging economic conditions and a run of successes for punters betting on football, William Hill has declared itself to be in good shape.
Chief executive Ralph Topping said the company’s performance in 2011 was “very positive” in light of the current economic climate.
“Going into 2011, we were, like many businesses with a strong presence in the UK, predicted to face a challenging consumer backdrop,” said Topping. “But our overall performance shows we’ve seen the benefit of a predominantly low-ticket leisure activity.”
For the whole of the year, William Hill said it would meet market expectations, with net revenue expected to be up 6% and operating profit expected to be down only £2.8m from the previous year’s £276.8m, which had the benefit of a World Cup tournament.
Growth in over-the-counter betting has generally lagged well behind that of online in recent years, leading to doubts over the long-term future of high-street betting shops.