William Hill bullish after 13 per cent profit rise

William Hill, Britain's largest bookmaker, said it was on track to meet its full year targets after first half profit before tax rose to £143.3m, in line with forecasts.

The company is best known for its chain of 2,370 betting shops in Britain, but is expanding overseas and like other gaming companies has a growing online and mobile business.
Chief executive Ralph Topping said online was delivering outstanding growth and that mobile was also outperforming expectations.

"Our rapidly growing mobile business increased to 22 per cent of our online sports betting turnover and 11 per cent of gaming net revenue in the first half," said Topping in a statement on Friday.

"With further innovation to come, the group is in good shape and the board remains confident of its expectations for the full year," he added.

William Hill generates more than 90 per cent of its revenues in Britain but is seeking to expand overseas where markets are liberalised.

It recently completed the acquisition of three US businesses in the state of Nevada and is one of a number of companies to take licences in Spain in June.

Shares in William Hill, which have risen 30 per cent in the last six months, closed at 290.4 pence on Thursday valuing the company at £2.06bn.