The UK’s biggest bookmaker, William Hill, announced a 9% gain in net revenue, while operating profits shot up 26%, in the third-quarter ended September 30.
William Hill operates more than 2,300 high-street betting shops throughout Britain, but can thank online gambling for much of the third-quarter bump. William Hill Online, the company’s internet arm, reported operating profits of £34.8 million, up 42% from the same period last year.
Although the number of punters visiting its betting shops has fallen—perhaps due to the summer Olympics—wagering on the UEFA Euro 2012 provided a boon to William Hill’s profit totals. One sector that did not perform well was William Hill Poker, showing a disappointing drop of 24%, a far cry from its 14% rise in last year’s third-quarter. Despite the blip, the company’s overall results were outstanding.
“We saw strong operating profit growth in the third quarter,” said William Hill CEO Ralph Topping. “Group net revenue remains well ahead of last year, with quarterly growth continuing broadly in line with that seen in the first half.”
William Hill has hinted at exercising its option to buy out the 29% stake in Playtech, its joint-venture partner, and a decision is expected before 2013. Also, still under consideration is whether William Hill will propose a formal offer along with GVC Holdings to purchase Sportingbet. The value of that deal is reportedly £530 million and the deadline on a decision has been set for Nov. 13.
“The Board remains confident in its expectations for the full year and focused on the Group’s strategic opportunities to generate further value for shareholders,” Topping added.