William Hill tax whack


William Hill has provided the industry with its latest reminder that the UK’s recently introduced point of consumption tax is going to hurt.

Last week they reported their results for the 6 months to 30 June 2015.

Profits were down 35% (to £78.7 million) on the same period last year. One of the reasons for the drop was a one off charge related to their Australian operations. But gaming tax changes in the UK were also fingered as a contributing factor.

Increases in fixed on betting terminal tax rates (20% to 25%) and the new online POC tax had a negative impact on results to the tune of £44 million. No wonder they wanted to mount a legal challenge against the tax back in 2012.

CEO James Henderson’s take on the results…

‘We have delivered a good operational performance in the past six months during a period of significant regulatory and taxation change for the industry. Whilst factors such as the Point of Consumption Tax and the increase in the Machine Games Duty rate have impacted our cost base as expected, we continue to progress our strategy and invest in our long-term growth drivers.’

The long term growth strategy that most of their competitors are turning to is merger and/or acquisition. William Hill had a crack at this one earlier in the year with a tilt at 888.

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