Scoreline shifts aid William Hill

WILLIAM Hill showed a return to form yesterday after a turnaround in sporting results helped the bookmaker lift margins to more normal levels.

The group's recovery in the fourth quarter followed a difficult summer, when English premier league football matches yielded few draws and plenty of victories for favoured teams such as Manchester United and Chelsea.

The pattern has changed in recent months and meant gross margins for 2009 returned to the normal range of between 17 per cent and 18 per cent.

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Net revenues for the final quarter were up by 6 per cent, leading to a 4 per cent gain for the year as a whole and full-year earnings of around 250 million.