Bookmaker William Hill has chalked up rising sales after the group was boosted by an “unprecedented run” of favourable results.
The betting firm saw group net revenues rise 3pc for the 17 weeks to April 24, underpinned by “very strong” horse racing and football results at the beginning of this year.
Online sales climbed 12pc over the period, helping to offset a 4pc drop in high street takings as the firm grappled with 15pc of UK and Irish horse racing fixtures being abandoned.
Shares in the group rose 1pc to £2.82 in early afternoon trading on the London Stock Exchange.
Chief executive Philip Bowcock said the move to sell its Australian business for £173m to Melbourne-based CrownBet had helped strengthen its balance sheet.
He added: “William Hill has had a positive start to 2018.
“In the UK, an unprecedented run of bookmaker-friendly sporting results led to unusual wagering and gaming trends, which we expect to normalise over time.”