Bookies have a win
The third quarter of the year was characterised by strong year-over-year growth in Retail operating profit. This growth was driven by a good performance in over-the-counter (OTC) gross win margin, both in absolute terms, following positive football results through the quarter, and relatively, given weak football results in the prior year. Retail also benefited from continued good performance in machine income and from the benefit derived from the later stages of the World Cup. William Hill Online's trading performance continued to show strong growth.
Key financial highlights of the period:
• Group net revenue in growth by 22%
• Retail net revenue in growth by 16%
• Online net revenue in growth by 35%
• Group EBIT in growth by 64%
As a result, and given internal expectations for the fourth quarter of 2010, the Group now expects to deliver operating profit around the top of the current range of analyst forecasts.
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive, commented, "The Group has performed strongly in the quarter, even taking into account the weak prior year comparatives. We have seen an ongoing positive performance from our growing online business and from machines which, when allied to a period of very favourable sports results, have driven strong net revenue performance. Whilst a number of macro-economic factors leave us cautious in our expectations for 2011, the Group is very well placed through the final quarter of 2010."
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