William Hill PLC reported “excellent growth in the US existing business” in 2018, despite the operator’s adjusted operating profit for the year dropping 15 per cent since 2017.

In the months following market liberalisation, the operator has expanded its business operations across seven states, including Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia.

The group reported that overall, its US business broadly broke even in 2018 after allowing for significant expansion costs targeting accelerated growth.

Philip Bowcock, Chief Executive of William Hill, commented on the trading statement: “2018 was a pivotal year for both William Hill and the wider industry. We now have greater clarity around the key challenges and opportunities for our business.

Bowcock added: “with rapid expansion underway in the US, building on profitable foundations, and the acquisition of Mr Green nearing completion, we look forward to making further progress this year.”

William Hill announced that its full-year adjusted operating profits stood at approximately £234m ($300m), which was in line with its previously announced ‘adjusted guidance’, targeting profits  in the range of £225m-£245m ($289m-$315m).

In a November trading statement, Bowcock outlined the operator’s plans for growth in the US: “Our goal is to be in every state.”

“Supported by the extensive experience of our US Existing business in Nevada, we’re building a network of market access agreements, including our strategic partnership with Eldorado, expanding our relationship with Golden Entertainment and exclusively partnering with IGT for sports lottery opportunities.

The FTSE bookmaker will announce its 2018 full-year results on Friday 1 March 2019.