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William Hill shares slump after bad day at the races

Bookmaker tumbles after warning online regulation and 'worst Cheltenham results in recent history' will hit profits. FTSE 100 drifts lower.

 
William Hill shares slump after bad day at the races

Shares in William Hill (WMH) have tumbled after the bookmaker issued a profit warning, blaming tighter regulation and 'the worst Cheltenham results in recent history'.

The 'mid cap' stock tumbled 11% to 329.5p after reporting that online profits, which account for around 35% of overall revenue, were likely to fall by up to £25 million this year.

William Hill said that increased regulation of online betting and gaming, such as 'time outs' for gamblers, would hurt profits. It also blamed results at this year's Cheltenham horse racing festival, which saw the favourites triumph in most races.

The stock was amongst the biggest movers on the FTSE All-Share, while trading on the FTSE 100 was more muted. The UK blue-chip index shed 15 points, or 0.2%, to 6,176.

Kingfisher (KGF) led the big risers, up 6.1% at 372p as the B&Q owner beat forecasts with a £686 million profit for the year to the end of January.

Oil fell 2.9% to $40.24 a barrel and gold slid 2.3% to $1,218.6 an ounce as the dollar rose following comments by Fed officials that investors could expect at least two more US interest rate rises this year. Against the dollar the already weak pound fell another 0.7% to $1.4112.

The weakness in commodities put volatile shares in miners on the back foot with Anglo American (AAL) down 6.8% at 515p and Glencore (GLEN) and Fresnillo (FRES) both sliding over 4%.

Allied Minds (ALML) was the biggest riser on the FTSE 250, up 4.5% at 471p, helping one of its major backers, the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT ), rise 2.6% to 93.6p, amid continued relief the investment trust would not be launching a new shares issue. The mid cap index fell 35 points or 0.2% to 16,869.

DFS (DFSD) was dragged 5.3% down to 307.7p despite a record first half of the year for the furniture retailer.

Among 'small cap' stocks, shares in Premier Foods (PFD) surged nearly 70% to 53.5p after the company rejected a second approach from US group McCormick & Co (MKC.N) to buy the company, saying iyd offer of 60p per share was not high enough.

Game Digital (GMDG) tumbled over 5% to 120p after the computer games retailer slashed its dividend after half-year profits fell by a third.

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Investment Trust Insider: issue 32 out now!

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