British operator William Hill has issued a full-year profit warning in its latest trading statement, as “customer-friendly” results in the football and racing markets hit its earnings in December.
With gross win margins coming in below expectations, the FTSE 250 bookmaker said that its full year profit for 2016 would be at the bottom end of its guided £260m to £280m range, offering the caveat that underlying trends “remain encouraging”.
Hills has endured a difficult 2016, suffering from the decline of its digital verticals and the resignation of CEO James Henderson in July, for whom the operator has yet to find a permanent replacement.
Philip Bowcock, Hills’ interim CEO, comments: “Importantly, the improvements we saw in wagering in online and Australia in the second half have continued in recent weeks.
“However, all four divisions saw customer-friendly results at the back end of the year, which translated into profits being c£20m below our prior expectations.
“With key underlying trends continuing to be positive, the recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017.”
The operator will announce its final results for 2016 in full on 24 February 2016.