Bookmaker William Hill said the Olympics and Paralympics saw punters stay away from its betting shops in August.
But the London 2012 disappointment in its retail chain was offset by a good performance from football results, including a strong Euro 2012 in July, and a 42% surge in online earnings in the group’s third quarter.
William Hill, which tabled a proposed joint bid for rival Sportingbet earlier this week, reported a 26% rise in operating profits in the quarter to September 25.
Its 2,379-strong retail arm saw operating profits rise 8% despite a poor horse racing season due to the record early summer rainfall and particularly quiet August amid the Olympics.
The group said amounts wagered fell 6%, but this was offset by a higher win margin.
Ralph Topping, chief executive of William Hill, said: “The Olympics and Paralympics captured the public’s attention, but appear to have reduced customer visits in retail.”