William Hill back in the game

As William Hill updates the market, Ian Forrest, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, explains what it means for investors.

William Hill back in the game

William Hill’s online business has helped it to overcome a poor first half, with the bookmaker stating this morning that it expects its full year operating profit to be at the higher end of its forecast.

The company has announced that net revenue was up 4% in the 17 weeks to 25 October, with revenue from its online sportsbook up by 11% and amounts wagered up by 6%. However, business in its shops was less healthy: retail net revenue was flat and amounts wagered were down by 5% in the third quarter.

William Hill expects full-year operating profit to be at the top end of its forecast of £260m-£280m. Investors will note that it has identified £30m of cost savings to be made over the next year, while it has also allocated £15m of digital marketing spend to further grow its online business.

Investors will be watching closely for potential merger and acquisition activity as the gambling sector consolidates. William Hill has abandoned recent merger talks with Canadian online gaming group Amaya and has also rejected a three-way merger proposal from 888 Holdings and Rank Group.

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