Shares in William Hill were up on the FTSE 250 in morning trading after the bookmaker reported a strong rise in pre-tax profits in the full year ended 28 December 2010.
Net revenue grew seven per cent in the period to £1.1 billion. The growth was driven by online revenue which rose 24 per cent to £251.5 million and by a rise in retail revenue of three per cent to £783.1 million.
Pre-tax profit was reported as rising 60 per cent to £193.3 million, leading the company to say it would be raising dividends 11 per cent to 8.3 pence per share.
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, said, "This is a strong performance and I am delighted that, in particular, our Online business and the gaming machines in our shops have performed very well in the year. Our continuing investments in technology in what is a fast-changing industry have underpinned growth and the more than doubling of the amounts wagered from in-play this year demonstrates that customers welcome these innovations.
"We are continuing to expand our product offering to enhance the customer experience, particularly in Online. We are using our trading capability to deliver differentiating pricing and offers, and increasing the profile of our brand through continuing marketing investment. The combination of our fast-growing Online business and appealing Retail offering, together with the expertise of our employees and our attractive product range, give the Board great confidence as we pursue an agenda of innovation and international development."
By 11:20 shares in William Hill were up 0.82 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 185.00 pence per share.