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William Hill Reveals Strong First Half Results

UK land and online based William Hill plc has revealed its first half results for 2011, with strong results all around, with online operations being a key highlight.

William Hill management was happy to mention that the company's performance was near the top of the predictions made by industry analysts. The company's online sportsbook showed large growth, and mobile gambling has seen a 600% growth over the same time last year.

Retail operations showed slips and stakes growth tied to strong gambling machine growth. The gross win per machine is over £900in the company's 2,350 shops.

The company will also have a 16% increase in dividends paid, and debt has been reduced by £39.3 million since 2010.

Ralph Topping, William Hill plc CEO said, "The comparator period also included part of a World Cup that delivered a record result for us last year," he said. "I am pleased with both our online performance, which has been driven by outstanding sports book growth and innovations in our in-play and mobile offerings, and the strength of our retail business, which continues to benefit from the popularity of machines and the resilience of over-the-counter betting.

"We have also made progress on our international growth strategy, both in Europe and through the three impending land-based sports-betting acquisitions we are currently pursuing in the US.

"Looking ahead, although the economic environment continues to be challenging, our offering is very strong and competitive. Our multi-channel business targets the widest possible audience, and our positioning on pricing and trading, together with our extensive product range and effective use of new technologies, including mobile, combine to present customers with a highly attractive experience. We are performing well and, given our market-leading position, international developments and a pipeline of innovations, we look to the second half of the year and beyond with confidence."

Highlights of the First Half were:

  • Net revenue up 7% from the same period last year, to £567.8 million

  • Online revenues up 23% from the same period last year to £152.7 million

  • Retail net revenues up 2% from the same period last year to £398.8 million

  • Operating profit up 9% from the same period last year to £147.7 million

  • Pre tax profit up 23% from the same period last year to £126.9 million

  • After tax profit up 33% from the same period last year to £102.7 million

  • Per share earnings up 31%

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