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UK-Double digit growth for William Hill

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British bookie William Hill saw profit surge by 15 per cent for the first half of 2012, reaching £117.9m compared to £102.7m for the same period last year.

Net revenue increased by 11 per cent to £627.8m while operating profit grew by 14 per cent to £167.8m. Sportsbook turnover was 33 per cent ahead of H1 2011, overall net revenue was 30 per cent ahead of predictions whilst and operating profit was doing 23 per cent better. Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are now FOBT’s are currently taking an average of £924 each week at William Hill’s high street bookmakers.

Mobile Sportsbook turnover was up 390 per cent accounting for 28 per cent of total Sportsbook betting in June via mobile.

Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, said: “We have seen a strong performance in our multi-channel UK business in the first half, with a good performance from both OTC and machines in Retail, and with our focus on innovation and investment continuing to deliver outstanding growth at William Hill Online. Mobile remains a top priority and continues to outperform our expectations.  The William Hill Sportsbook app, which has been top-ranked since its launch in the Apple App Store in mid-February, has delivered more than 40,000 new customers. Our rapidly growing mobile business increased to 22 per cent of our Online sports betting turnover and 11 per cent of gaming net revenue in the first half.

“We’ve made good progress in the period on our strategy in expanding internationally, including being awarded an online licence in Spain. It was also very pleasing to be awarded the Nevada licences in June and to complete the acquisition of the three land-based sports betting businesses,” he continued. “Though their contribution to the Group today is small, they represent an important strategic step for William Hill as we look to build our international business. With further innovation to come, the group is in good shape and the Board remains confident of its expectations for the full year.”

William Hill wants to launch a legal case against the government’s suggestion of a “point of consumption tax”, which will see a 15 per cent tax introduced on online gambling profits generated in the UK.

The company believe the proposed tax is ‘illegal’ under European law as it is an attempt to restrict the free movement of goods and services for tax purposes.

Mr. Topping said there had been ‘encouraging noises’ from lawyers.

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