William Hill announce solid 4th quarter

Gross win margin back at 17-18 percent

The major British bookie group William Hill plc has unveiled a more encouraging set of results for its final quarter 2009, with gross win margin on sportsbetting operations back to a more acceptable 17 to 18 percent, and net revenues up 6 percent.

Company spokesmen said in a trading update that the group expected to hit net revenues for the year up by 4 percent compared to 2008, with an operating profit of around GBP 250 million for the full-year.

Full year EBITDA at the Gibraltar-based online operations of the group (William Hill Online) is expected to be around 35 percent better as the partnership with Playtech plc gets into its stride.

Analysts are anticipating a notable turnaround in the online division's performance numbers which is expected to continue through 2010, with 12 percent growth predicted by some.

The main group took the opportunity to announce that chairman Charles Scott is to stand down before the end of 2010.

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