British bookmaker William Hill today reported higher revenue for the year to April 30, as the success of its online business and operations in the US countered a weaker retail performance back home.

The company serves punters through betting shops, sports books, online and mobile channels in eight countries.

It said overall revenue rose 2% and online revenue grew 8% as it benefited from the Sweden-based Mr Green & Co acquisition. 

Net revenue from the US jumped 48% from operations in seven states that currently legislate and regulate sports betting. 

The company, which processed more than £8 billion in sports bets in 2018, has been spending aggressively to push growth and capture market share in the United States. 

Chief executive Philip Bowcock had said in November that the US business would turn profitable in three years. 

William Hill, which was founded in 1934 as a postal and telephone betting service and still counts the UK as its home market, said that UK retail revenue was down 8%. 

The UK accounts for around 90% of its business. 

Retail gaming net revenue was down 15%, hit by the new £2 stake limit, William Hill said. 

Betting companies have faced a perfect storm of regulations and higher taxes in the UK. A new cap on FOBTs of £2 came into effect in April to counter problem gambling, replacing an earlier £100 limit. 

"The impact of the introduction of the £2 stake limit has been in line with our expectations. We are confident in our plan to manage this major change," Bowcock said.