William Hill in boost from mobile apps

City A.M. Reporter
Britain's biggest bookmaker William Hill said first-quarter profit rose 19 per cent as marketing drives and a new mobile application helped attract customers.

William Hill said online revenues grew 33 per cent in the quarter with sports betting exceeding 50 million pounds of turnover in a single week for the first time.

The firm, which has around 2,370 betting shops and takes more than a million bets a day, said that as well as a strong online performance, profits were also been boosted by a five per cent rise in retail revenues. Group revenue grew by 12 per cent.

"The strong performance across the business in the first quarter is pleasing... with positive underlying trends at this relatively early stage in the year, the board remains confident in its expectations for the full year," it said in a statement.

"Our mobile performance is now benefiting from our Sportsbook app being available in the Apple App Store, giving us access to thousands of new customers who have never bet with William Hill before."

It added that mobile turnover reached £11m in a single week. Over the counter bets dropped 2 percent in the period as bad weather in February and fewer horse racing fixtures hurt trade, the company said.

Rival British bookmaker Ladbrokes on Thursday reported growing revenue at its online business, which it said was starting to catch up with competitors after a hefty investment programme.