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William Hill Australia boosts profts of international bookmaker

Mon, Oct 27, 11:01am by Mike Randall

William Hill AustraliaAUSTRALIA is helping fly the flag for one of the world’s biggest bookmakers; the UK-based company’s group chief executive James Henderson plugging its operations Down Under as a contributor to its strong quarterly result.

Henderson said the progress made by William Hill Australia, which runs our recommended online bookmakers Sportingbet.com.au, Centrebet.com and the recently acquired Tomwaterhouse.com, was delivering “strong profit growth”.

But he cautioned that jumps in fees charged by state racing operators across the country had led to a reduction in the amounts wagered.

“Our work to optimise the customer base, following the onset of increased race field fees, has improved the gross win margin, with slightly reduced amounts wagered, as expected,” Henderson said.

“More importantly, we are well positioned to compete during the busy Spring Carnival period.”

SMH reports the amounts wagered in Australia with the company fell three per cent in the 13 weeks ending at September 30, but the number of wagers had risen by one per cent.

The drop in the value of bets comes despite a one per cent rise in the volume of wagers, the company said in an interim management statement.

William Hill Australia accounts for seven per cent of the company’s revenue.

Globally, a strong World Cup has the company optimistic that its operating profit this year will come in at the top end of market forecasts.

Net revenue rose 23 per cent in the 13 weeks to the end of September and operating profit jumped 89 per cent.

“The group performed strongly in quarter three, driven by both favourable sporting results and the continued development of our UK and international businesses,” Henderson said.

“Positive sporting results in the quarter, including a strong end to the World Cup, have moved us close to or ahead of normalised gross win margins on a year-to-date basis.”

The betting industry is facing financial and regulatory pressures in Britain where the government is tightening controls on betting shops and increasing taxes on both online gambling and high stakes gaming machines.

William Hill is in the process of closing some 109 betting shops in the UK.

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