William Hill revenue and profits boosted by online bets

Shares in William Hill closed up 7.5% after strong growth in online betting helped to boost first-quarter profits.

The bookmaker said operating profit rose 21% and revenue was up 11% from the same period last year.

Betting was higher in its 2,350 retail shops in the UK and Irish Republic. Last week, William Hill said it would move into the US for the first time.

Revenue at its betting shops rose by 8%, compared with a 26% growth in online betting.

"The group has seen excellent growth across the business in the first quarter, enabling the board to remain confident in its expectations for the full year," William Hill said.

The bookmaker banked more than £2m in profits from two races at the Cheltenham festival in one hour.

Sizing Europe's victory over Big Zeb and Master Minded in the Champion Chase meant the group took in more than £1m on that one race.

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