William Hill in World Cup boost

Bookmaker William Hill said yesterday it expected to report operating profit at the top-end of analysts’ expectations after a strong third-quarter helped by favourable football results and the later stages of the World Cup. The company, which has a high-street and an online presence, said net revenue grew 22 per cent, with internet sales up 35 per cent against 16 per cent growth for retail, and group operating profit rose 64 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 September. Chief executive Ralph Topping said: “We have seen an ongoing positive performance from our growing online business and from machines which, when allied to a period of very favourable sports results, have driven strong net revenue performance.” He said the group was well placed for the final quarter, although wider economic concerns kept it cautious for 2011.