|British gambling group Rank, which operates Mecca Bingo, Grosvenor Casinos and the Blue Square online gambling group, has announced that revenues for 2007 were down nine percent to $1.06 billion from the previous year.|
In addition, the giant revealed full-year pre-tax profits from continuing operations before one-offs fell to $103.84 million from 2006’s $107.02 million and blamed the current public smoking ban, higher taxation and the enforced removal of a thousand lucrative slot machines.
In common with some of its rivals, Rank’s BlueSquare.com Internet gambling division turned in a positive performance with revenues rising 14.9 percent to $103.44 million with operating profits well up to $21.64 million from the previous $15.49 million.
Rank stated that bingo like-for-like revenues in the first eight weeks of this year fell by 13.5 percent with those from casinos dropping by 13.4 percent.
”We expect 2008 to be a challenging year for Rank,” said Ian Burke, Chief Executive for Rank, speaking to Scottish newspaper ‘The Scotsman’.
'Our priority is to overcome the near-term issues facing our businesses.'
Burke defended the company's decision to transfer the management of its pension plans to Goldman Sachs, earning it at least $39 million and saving it more than $59 million in contribution costs. He pointed out that there were 20,000 people in the funds but only 600 of these were current employees.