William Hill has today posted annual profit at the top end of the company's expectations as a recent round of favourable sporting results boosted results at the end of a year hit by the closure of hundreds of its high street bookmakers. 

The company, which closed 713 shops last year in a dramatic shift towards online betting, said adjusted operating profit fell 37% to £147m.

This compared to guidance of between £143m to £148m. 

William Hill also sounded an optimistic note on its push into US sports betting markets, following the signing earlier this month of an online deal with CBS Sports. 

"We move into 2020 in a stronger position," chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson said. "Almost a quarter of revenue is now generated outside the UK compared to 15% in 2018."

With proposed regulatory curbs posing a challenge British betting companies have been pivoting to the USs after the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting. 

William Hill said that US net revenue for the company, which currently operates in 11 US states, increased 38% for the year ended December 31. 

It said it expects to launch in up to eight new states as it aims for the business to break even in 2020.