Shares in the bookmaker William Hill jumped by 4 per cent yesterday, after it said that first-quarter revenues had increased by 12 per cent, outstripping rival Ladbrokes' 9 per cent rise.
Ralph Topping, the chief executive, said Hills had a "very good" Cheltenham and Grand National. The company's online betting revenues were up by a third and its free app has been downloaded by 190,000 punters using the Apple App store. Mobile turnover reached £11m in a single week.
The company, which has around 2,370 betting shops and takes more than a million bets a day, said that as well as a strong online performance, profits were also boosted by a 5 per cent rise in retail revenues. However, over-the-counter bets dropped 2 per cent in the period because of bad weather in February and fewer horse-racing fixtures.
On Thursday its rival bookmaker Ladbrokes reported growing revenue at its online business, which it said was starting to catch up with competitors after a hefty investment.