William Hill To Concentrate Online
By Staff
Leading British betting and gaming firm William Hill has released its preliminary results for 2008 showing a six percent rise in net revenues to £963.7 million due, in part, to the strong recovery of its online business.

The London-based giant revealed that net revenues from its online operations rose 13 percent to £125.1 million. It stated that this would increase following December’s launch of its bespoke William Hill Online division, which created one of Europe’s largest virtual betting and gaming businesses.

“The board believes William Hill Online is well placed to capitalise on the significant growth projected to come from online betting and gaming over the next few years,” read a statement from William Hill.

“Full integration will take up to nine months to complete but the team has already made good progress, including launching new poker and casino websites using Playtech’s software.

“The online channel is our preferred approach for targeting betting and gaming customers internationally as it is the most cost-effective mechanism for reaching large, geographically diverse customer bases.”

William Hill reported that its retail gross win rose seven percent to £837.9 million while its full operating profit before exceptional items hit 278.6 million, a one percent decline from 2007.

“Despite the continued deterioration of market conditions and the associated pressures on the consumer, the group has continued to perform well,” said Ralph Topping, Chief Executive Officer for William Hill.

“The refinancing combined with a focus on strong cost discipline, capital management and an enhanced online offering mean that we will be financially and operationally stronger with a more robust balance sheet as we continue through this difficult economic period.

“William Hill is well placed to meet these challenges with a resilient business model that we will continue to strengthen by widening our customer base and tailoring the products and services to meet customers’ betting and gaming needs.”

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