William Hill profits at top end of forecasts
William Hill on Wednesday reported a fall in annual profits but at the top end of expectations as it continued to deal with the fallout from a UK government limit on slot machine stakes.
Adjusted operating profit from existing operations fell 37% to £147m after the government imposed a £2 stake limit on the machines. Last month William Hill forecast profits of £143m - £148m William Hill.
On a statutory basis, the bookmaker made a pre-tax loss of £37.6m after charges of £134.1m as it closed more than 700 shops and fired staff after the stake limit took effect.
It also warned of a £5m - £10m hit to adjusted operating profit ahead of a ban in the UK on the use of credit cards for betting which comes into force on April 14.
“We move into 2020 in a stronger position,” said chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson, adding that almost a quarter of the company's revenue was now generated outside the UK compared to 15% in 2018.