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William Hill posts half yearly profits rise


The British bookmaker is expanding overseas and has a growing online and mobile business

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Bookmaker William Hill reported a pre-tax profit rise to £143.3 million for its first six months and said it was on track to meet full-year profit expectations.

William Hill generates more than 90 percent of its revenues in Britain but is seeking to expand overseas where markets are liberalised.

The UK’s largest bookmaker, best known for its chain of 2,370 betting shops, is expanding overseas and like other gaming companies has a growing online and mobile business.

Chief executive Ralph Topping said online was delivering outstanding growth and that mobile was also outperforming expectations.

"Our rapidly growing mobile business increased to 22 percent of our online sports betting turnover and 11 percent of gaming net revenue in the first half," said Topping in a statement on Friday.

"With further innovation to come, the group is in good shape and the board remains confident of its expectations for the full year," he added.

It recently completed the acquisition of three U.S. businesses in the state of Nevada and is one of a number of companies to take licences in Spain in June.

Shares in William Hill, which have risen 30 percent in the last six months, closed at 290.4 pence on Thursday valuing the company at £2.06 billion.

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