William Hill profits boosted by online growth

Operating profit jumped in 2012 for bookmaker Wiliam Hill, as it was boosted by strong revenue growth from its online business.

The firm said this morning that operating profit was up 20 per cent over the 12 months, boosted by a 12 per cent increase in group revenues.

William Hill, which has more than 2,300 betting shops in the UK, has been expanding its overseas and online activities to reduce its reliance on its traditional market.

Over the year, online revenue increased by 27 per cent, while revenue from its retail arm rose six per cent.

"Performance was robust in retail and profits continued to grow strongly in online, with sporting results going in our favour in both channels," chief executive Ralph Topping said today.

Topping hailed William Hill’s recent acquisition of Sportingbet’s online Australian business, as well as an option to take over the company’s Spanish operations, in a deal worth £485m.