William Hill posts £63.5m H1 loss

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William Hill posted a £63.5m loss for the first half of the year as the company adjusts to the FOBT maximum stake cut.

A one-off accounting charge relating to the FOBT maximum stake reduction has seen bookmakers William Hill post a £63.5m loss for the first half of calendar year 2019.

The company posted a one-off accounting charge of £97.1m mitigating the stake cut, seeing what would have been £51m in half year profit swing to £63.5m in losses.

2019 has, and continues to be a transitional year for Britain’s bookmakers but the latest figures show that William Hill has taken a harder hit than most.

Revenues from the company’s high street operations fell 12 percent as a 25 percent drop in machine income offset marginal sports betting boosts.

Additionally William Hill’s online division also saw a nine percent drop in profit to £54.3m due to a decrease in punter spend and an increase in regulatory overheads. Following the FOBT stake cut the UK Government increased online betting duty from 15 to 21 percent.

William Hill chief executive, Philip Bowcock, said: “We are making good progress against the five-year strategy we outlined last year, delivering strong revenue growth in the US and other international markets and positioning William Hill well for future growth.

“In retail we took the tough decision to announce a consultation process over the proposed closure of around 700 shops to protect the long-term future of the business following the introduction of the £2 stake limit. The response of our colleagues has been incredibly professional during this difficult time and I would like to thank each and every one of them for that.”


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