Hilton Group performance hit by bad weather

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The hotel and betting group Hilton said today that poor weather had damaged business, causing late cancellations at its hotels, and reducing betting by forcing the cancellation of 27 race meetings.

The hotel and betting group Hilton said today that poor weather had damaged business, causing late cancellations at its hotels, and reducing betting by forcing the cancellation of 27 race meetings.

The group, which owns the Ladbroke betting business, said since the beginning of last month business performance had "inevitably" been adversely affected by the weather.

With race meetings cancelled, people bet less money, while its hotels had suffered from people having difficulty reaching them, or being put off going on weekend breaks.

However, the group gave an upbeat report on trading for the previous three months, to September 30, where it said operating profits were as expected, at a similar level to last year.

It had seen growth in its hotels division and in its UK betting business, which had offset lower profitability in phone betting and continuing investment in e-gaming.

Hilton also gave an update on its casinos division, following its announcement last month that it had received an unsolicited approach.

It said it had now entered into a short period of exclusivity with the prospective buyer.

There has been speculation the mystery buyer for the 27-strong chain of casinos is bingo hall operator Gala Bingo, and it is thought a deal could be struck at around the £250 million mark.

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