Monday 13 January 2020 7:28 am

William Hill to beat profit expectations after strong sports betting performance

William Hill announced this morning that it beat profit expectations last year due to “favourable sporting results”, as the gambling chain revealed that its finance chief is set to step down.

The company said full-year adjusted operating profit for 2019 is expected to be between £143m to £148m, ahead of both market and management expectations, driven by a strong gross win margin.

Read more: William Hill chief exec to depart as losses hit bookmaker

William Hill also announced that chief financial officer Ruth Prior will step down as a director after more than two years with the firm to join Element Materials Technology in the same role.

In a trading update this morning the company said its retail business generated operating profit above the guidance of £50m to £70m. 

The betting firm’s UK online business grew in line with the market for the third consecutive quarter, and a weakness in gaming net revenue was offset by the gross win margin. 

The performance of the company’s international online division was mixed, and net revenue is expected to be flat. 

Meanwhile, the company’s US business continued to grow in the fourth quarter and is expected to breakeven in 2019, compared to previous guidance of $0m to a loss of $20m. 

William Hill chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson said: “The group has delivered a strong operating performance, ahead of our expectations and against a challenging regulatory backdrop.

“We made good progress on a number of fronts, including our retail business, online and in the US, enabling us to deliver on our long term strategic ambitions. We look forward to building on these efforts in 2020 with a strong focus on customer, team and execution.”