William Hill profits hit by 'customer friendly' results

Jockey on horse Image copyright Getty Images

UK bookmaker William Hill has said profits will be at the low end of forecasts following "unfavourable" football and horseracing results.

William Hill said it had been hit by "customer friendly" results at the back end of last year, cutting profits by about £20m.

As a result, its operating profit for 2016 was about £260m, at the bottom end of its predicted range of £260m-£280m.

In November, it had predicted profits would be at the top of the range.

However, William Hill added that underlying trends continued to be positive.

"The recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017," interim chief executive Philip Bowcock said.

Its previous chief executive was ousted in July after a string of profit warnings.

William Hill has been the subject of much merger speculation.

Last October, it pulled out of merger talks with Canadian online gambling company Amaya Inc after major investors objected.

It also saw off a takeover approach from casino firm Rank and online operator 888 earlier in the year.

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