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Online drives William Hill growth

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Online proved the key to growth at William Hill, as it reported its first-half year results this week.

The multichannel bookmaker has reported a 12% rise in turnover to £8.6bn for the 26 weeks to June 29, while pre-tax profits, before exceptional items, rose by 3% to £105.7m.

It said William Hill Online, formed 12 months ago, was a key driver of growth during the period, while turnover from over-the-counter retail betting had fallen by 2%.

The results came after what Ralph Topping, chief executive, said was William Hill’s “best-ever World Cup, far exceeding expectations,” and that full-year expectations were set to be met. However, the company was “cautious” about 2011 prospects “given the ongoing consumer uncertainty”.

He added: “We are confident that our strategy of expanding William Hill Online both in the UK and internationally, whilst continuing to manage retail tightly, will strengthen our competitive position as the economic backdrop improves.”

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