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Rank Group "confident" of progress after swinging to interim profit

1st Feb 2024 10:38

(Alliance News) - Rank Group PLC on Thursday was optimistic about its prospects for the year ahead, after swinging to profit over the first half.

For the six months ended December 31, the casino owner - which has operations in the UK, Spain and India - swung to pretax profit of GBP8.8 million, following a GBP102.9 million loss a year prior.

Meanwhile, net gaming revenue was GBP363.6 million, up 7.3% from GBP338.9 million the previous year.

According to Rank Group, like-for-like net gaming revenue for its Grosvenor venues rose 10% compared to the same period a year prior, while Mecca venues revenue was up 9%. Both Mecca and Grosvenor are casinos.

Rank Group did not propose an interim dividend, but said that it expects to recommence dividend payments "as soon as circumstances permit".

Looking forward, the firm maintained that while the economic environment remains challenging, it is "positive" about the future, and expects like-for-like annual operating profit to meet expectations.

"We are making good progress with the strong pipeline of development initiatives in both our UK and Spanish digital brands to accelerate revenue and profit growth. Whilst we expect UK digital growth to be offset in the short term by the impact of new maximum online slot stakes and the impact of the statutory levy in the UK, we are confident in the opportunities of delivering a market leading cross channel experience for our Grosvenor and Mecca customers," said Chief Executive John O'Reilly.

He added: "We are also excited to grow our digital business in selected new markets, commencing later this calendar year with the launch of the YoBingo brand in Portugal."

Rank Group shares were trading 3.3% higher at 72.69 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Holly Beveridge, Alliance News reporter

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