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William Hill posts record operating profit

By David Cook
Bookmaker William Hill generated a record £371m operating profit for the full year 2014 despite a difficult fourth quarter.

An 11% year-on-year rise was posted for the year, aided by a successful FIFA World Cup in June and July as well as the growth of the firm's international operations in the US and Australia, with a total of 18% of revenues now coming from outside the UK.

However unfavourable sporting results led to a 7% downswing for Q4.

William Hill chief executive James Henderson said: “Overall it's been a good performance in 2014 for the group, driven by both the continued development of our UK-facing operations and our international diversification, together with a successful World Cup.

"In quarter four, generally weaker sporting results in December impacted our revenue progression, as did a very tough November comparative, but gaming continued to grow.

"Separately, we have announced today our intention to rebrand our Australian operations to the William Hill brand.”

Online revenue increased 18% for the year, with William Hill Australia increasing 41% (11% on a pro forma local currency basis) and William Hill USA rising 30%.

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