Rank Group grows like-for-like revenues

Bingo halls and casinos operator Rank said revenue growth in the second half of the year has been driven by strong trading in Mecca's digital channel and in its Grosvenor Casinos business.

Bingo halls and casinos operator Rank said revenue growth in the second half of the year has been driven by strong trading in Mecca's digital channel and in its Grosvenor Casinos business.

In the 15 weeks to October 14th, revenue was up 4% on a year earlier, or 5% on a like-for-like basis.

Grosvenor Casinos achieved year-on-year revenue growth of 8%, while Mecca saw 2% like-for-like (LFL) revenue growth of 2% and actual revenue growth of 1%.

The growth at Grosvenor Casinos was achieved despite customer visits at its venues falling 5% on a LFL basis. Happily for Rank, spend per visit shot up 13% on a LFL basis, or 7% on an actual basis.

The group was particularly encouraged by the 72% increase in digital revenue at Grosvenor, which put the 7% growth on the venues side in the shade. However, management sportingly pointed out that digital accounts for less than 3% of Grosvenor Casinos' revenue.

Mecca venues also saw fewer customer visits; these were down 3% year-on-year, or down 2% on a LFL basis. Spend per visit was up 3%.

Mecca venues revenue was down 1% year-on-year but level on a LFL basis, while digital revenue grew 11%.

Blue Square Bet, the online bookmaking and gaming arm, saw revenues rise 19% year-on-year but the Spanish bingo business, Top Rank Espana, continues to be a problem with revenues down 9% on a year earlier. Customer visits in Spain were down 5%, as was spend per visit.

"While the outlook for the UK consumer is expected to remain challenging, Rank has maintained its strong financial position, possesses market-leading brands with multi-channel distribution and has a clear strategy for sustained long-term growth," the statement concluded.

JH

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