Bookmaker William Hill takes a hit after 'customer friendly' results

William Hill took a £20 million hit to punters in December

BOOKIE William Hill has taken a £20 million hit to its profits after it was stung by a string of "customer friendly" results in December.

As a result, the high street bookmaker said full-year operating profit for 2016 would come in at around £260 million, the bottom end of its £260 million-280 million range.

The group said unfavourable horse-racing and football results impacted its win margins after a December in which a number of favourites came out on top.

Interim boss Philip Bowcock said: "Importantly, the improvements we saw in wagering in online and Australia in the second half have continued in recent weeks.

"However, all four divisions saw customer-friendly results at the back end of the year, which translated into profits being circa £20 million below our prior expectations.

"With key underlying trends continuing to be positive, the recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017."

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