|The UK’s second largest casino group, Rank, has announced that it is back in pole position after an increase in online gaming sales provided the basis for ‘strong growth’ in its first half operating profit.|
Rank shares soared by as much as 4.6 percent and the company’s online gambling division, Blue Square, saw an impressive 37 percent growth in revenue.
“The statement is more upbeat than we had anticipated,” analyst Matthew Gerard at Investec Securities in London stated in a research note. Gerard also added that the company’s promising first half result: “highlights continued strong trading at Blue Square and some promising news from bingo.”
Although some of Rank’s 115 bingo clubs have seen losses as the result of the Scottish smoking ban, with a 1 percent dip in sales for Scottish clubs in the 12 weeks since the end of March, the company is still keen to expand its business and has sold film and media businesses and its Hard Rock restaurant, hotel and casino chain to focus on the booming gaming market in Britain.