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Stanley Leisure, William Hill Slide

5 Jan 2005

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by Bloomberg: "U.K. stocks fell. Next Plc, Britain's third-largest clothing retailer, and Stanley Leisure Plc, the nation's largest casino operator, paced declines after both companies cut profit forecasts.

"The FTSE 100 Index slipped 36.4, or 0.8 percent, to 4810.6 as of 3:47 p.m. in London. The FTSE All-Share Index also slid 0.8 percent to 2408.59. Both benchmarks are headed for their steepest drops since at least Dec. 17.

"…Stanley Leisure, based in Liverpool, tumbled 48 pence, or 11 percent, to 383 pence. The stock is poised to post its biggest decline since April 2003. The company said annual profit will be little changed from the previous year because of unfavorable sports results at its betting businesses and unpaid gaming debts.

"…William Hill Plc, Britain's second-largest bookmaker, dropped 26 pence, or 4.5 percent, to 557 pence, the worst performer on the FTSE 100. Hilton Group Plc, the owner of Ladbrokes, operator of the world's biggest betting-shop chain, fell 6 pence, or 2.1 percent, to 279.5 pence.

"London Clubs International Plc, owner of 11 casinos, slid 6.25 pence, or 5.1 percent, to 116.75 pence…"

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