- Gambling company William Hill said it expected to post earnings ahead of market expectations, driven by favourable sporting results.

Operating profit for the year through December was now seen at between £143m and £148m, the company said.

'The group has delivered a strong operating performance, ahead of our expectations and against a challenging regulatory backdrop,' chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson said.

'We made good progress on a number of fronts, including our retail business, online and in the US, enabling us to deliver on our long-term strategic ambitions.'

Separately, William Hill announced that chief financial officer Ruth Prior was standing down to take up the same role at Element Materials Technology.

The company said it had commenced a search for a successor.

'Ruth's contract requires her to give 12 months' notice period and her departure date will be determined in due course,' it added. Story provided by