William Hill sees World Cup gains

The overhaul of William Hill’s marketing strategy looks to be paying off after the bookmaker reported sales and profit increased in the first half of the year, helped by a strong World Cup and gains in online betting.

I Will campaign

The gambling group reported net revenue increased by 3%, while pre-tax earnings rose to £135m in the 26 weeks to 29 June.

William Hill began a review of its marketing strategy under the stewardship of brand and marketing director, Kristof Fahy at the turn of the year.

It has since appointed The Bank to handle its advertising account and launched the “I Will” campaign that aimed to position the brand as the home of betting.

The group has increased marketing spend on its online division to maintain and increase its share of the growing market. The company says online performed “strongly” in the first half, helped by a rise in in-play betting during World Cup matches. Online net revenue increased by 24% and operating profit was up 43%.

Ralph Topping, chief executive of William Hill, says the World Cup “proved to be one of the best for bookmakers in 40 years”, offsetting its “worst ever” Royal Ascot.

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