[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 16:42 GMT
Punter success hits William Hill
Horse racing
Joy for punters has spelt misery for the bookies
A winning streak by punters betting on football and horseracing is set to trim profits at bookmaker William Hill.

In a trading update, William Hill said the second half of 2004 saw it "adversely affected" by unfavourable horseracing and football results.

But it said income from the fixed-odds gambling machines in its betting shops would help to offset falls elsewhere.

The firm is predicting an annual profit of about 232m ($435m) for 2004, a 15% increase on 2003's figure.

William Hill operates 1,600 betting shops and also offers telephone and internet gambling.

Stability

Last week, Stanley Leisure reported that it had also been having a tough time in the past few months in horseracing and football betting.

William Hill shop

William Hill said it had been hit by "less favourable" horseracing results compared with the first half of the year, and "significantly poorer results in respect of domestic and international football since the start of the current season".

However, the growth in the number of fixed-odds betting machines in its shops has helped to stabilise income, William Hill said.

"Roughly a third of the group's gross win is now derived from 5,500 fixed odds betting terminals in the retail estate, online casino, poker and arcade sites, and virtual and traditional numbers products," it said.

William Hill shares closed up 15.5 pence at 561p.





SEE ALSO:
William Hill boosted by Euro 2004
06 Sep 04 |  Business
William Hill steady after plunge
11 Jun 04 |  Business
William Hill enjoys good fortune
17 May 04 |  Business
Bookie is FTSE 100 thoroughbred
05 Apr 04 |  Business
William Hill reports profits jump
04 Mar 04 |  Business


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific