British bookmaker William Hill announced financial results for the first half of fiscal 2011. The company said net income rose to £86.2 million from £64.5 million a year earlier. Operating profit of £147.7 million beat the average estimate of £141.6 million.
Management was quick to point out that William Hill is growing faster than rival Ladbrokes, both online and in betting shops, and it added net revenue even though last year’s period included the World Cup. Yesterday Ladbrokes posted a 5.8% decline in operating profit excluding high rollers and finance costs.
“We’ve proven ourselves more successful than most in this market, with our focus on what’s right for the punter,” Chief Executive Officer Ralph Topping said in a conference call with reporters. William Hill gained market share in the U.K and is seeking acquisitions aboard. “While the U.K. remains our core market, it’s simply not big enough,” Topping said.
William Hill rose 3.5 pence, or 1.6%, on the day’s news. The shares have gained 30% so far this year, giving it a market value of £1.55 billion.