UK Bookmaker William Hill today announced interim results for 2010 that showed exactly how important results from this summers World Cup in South Africa had been to the group .
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, commented:
"We had our best ever World Cup, far exceeding expectations."
William Hill generated gross win of £32.2M from the 2010 World Cup of which £19.3M was credited to the interim period. This gave a much needed boost to the company's retail business which has struggled as stake per slip has continued to decline . Over The Counter turnover in William Hill's estate of betting shops fell by 2% during the period , however this was largely offset by a 9% increase in turnover from gaming machines .
William Hill's online operation performed much better with operating profit increasing 43% to £44.9M . Much of this increase could be attributed to a 1% increase in margin in the sportsbook again benefitting in particular from a strong World Cup 2010 performance .
William Hill remain cautious overall in their outlook for the retail division in the second half of 2010 and during 2011 as ongoing consumer uncertainty continues to affect demand .
In trading this morning William hill shares were down almost 1% at 165.70 .