Rank on the up with H1 25% profit increase

Henry Birch
Henry Birch – Rank Group

Rank Group Plc operators of Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo, has announced that H1 corporate operating profits rose 25% to £34.9 million (2013: 28.3 million), as the gambling operator reported improved performance on all brands.

The digital performance of Grosvenor and Mecca brands drove corporate H1 performance, with the brands recording improved revenues of £41.4 million (2013: 35.6 million). Ranks digital division was able to post £10.3 million in operating profit up 75% on 2013 figures (£5.9 million)

Including exceptional costs, the group’s pre-tax profit was £36.3 million, compared with a £6.2 million loss a year earlier when it had booked £34.5 million in exceptional items.

The strong profit performance, saw Rank Group declare a 19% increase in its interim dividend to 1.60 pence per share.

Henry Birch, Chief Executive of The Rank Group Plc said:

“I am very pleased to be announcing a strong set of results with operating profit (before exceptional items) up 25%,following improvements across all parts of the business which has driven a 19% increase in our interim dividend.

“We have continued our focus on improving our digital business and this strategy has resulted in a 16% increase in digital revenues and 75% increase in operating profit. To further strengthen our offer in this important channel, we have today announced an agreement with Bede Gaming to supply our new core digital platform which will ensure the Group has a flexible and modern platform to build on.”

“The first half saw three senior management appointments including two managing directors to lead Mecca andGrosvenor Casinos, and the newly created role of Group Director of Digital and Cross-Channel Services. These appointments further strengthen the Group’s management team and ensure that we are well placed to take advantage of future growth.”

Rank remains in a strong financial position, possesses market-leading brands and has a clear strategy for long term growth. As a result, the Board continues to look to the future with confidence”.

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