In the UK, gaming provider Rank Group has released its interim results for the first half of the year showing lower than expected revenues and pre-tax profits while revealing that it had experienced a ‘slight weakening’ in its performance.
The London-based firm stated that pre-tax profits narrowed to $34.9 million from $73.9 million for the same period last year while its overall group revenues also dropped from $564 million to $509.3 million.
However, the firm decreased net debt from $628 million at the end of December to $541.8 million six months later with Ian Burke, Chief Executive Officer for Rank, stating that the initiation of a cost reduction programme is on track to deliver $30 million in savings while the transfer of final salary pension plan assets and liabilities yielded net cash proceeds of at least $40 million.
'During the first half of 2008, we succeeded in stabilising the Group's financial performance, following a very difficult end to last year,” said Burke.
'Although Group revenues and operating profits were substantially lower than in the first six months of last year, our performance reflects a significant improvement compared with the second half of 2007.
'The trading environment for all of our businesses remains challenging, with rising operating costs and increased financial pressures on our customers. Over the course of recent months we have experienced a slight weakening in the Group's performance.
'We remain positive on the longer term outlook for the UK gaming market. Our aim is to attract more customers to our businesses as we build on service improvement, games development, capital investment and regulatory reform to create more entertaining gaming experiences.'
Burke stated that the firm had decided not to pay an interim dividend but said that it intents to resume payments once trading conditions and its market outlook have improved.