January 15, 2018 / 7:33 AM / 2 years ago

William Hill sees 2017 profit beating estimates

FILE PHOTO: A branded sign is displayed outside a William Hill betting shop in London, Britain July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

(Reuters) - British bookmaker William Hill (WMH.L) said on Monday its adjusted operating profit for 2017 would rise 11 percent year-on-year, ahead of analysts’ expectations, helped by an improving online business and favourable sporting results.

The company said it expected full-year adjusted operating profit for the 52 weeks to Dec. 26 to be 290 million pounds.

It added its retail and online gross margins were “significantly ahead” in the 9 weeks from Nov. 20, thanks to favourable soccer and horse-racing results.

According to Thomson Reuters I/E/B/S, analysts were on average expecting a 2017 operating profit of 271.9 million pounds.

The company said trading momentum was strong in both its British and U.S. markets, although gaming growth had slowed at its retail operations

“We have delivered a strong result in 2017, reflecting our focus on rejuvenating online, growing the U.S. and building an attractive omni-channel proposition”, Chief Executive Philip Bowcock said.

The higher-than-expected profit marks a clear recovery from 2016, when the company fired its previous chief executive.

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter

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