Rank Has Cause To Be Optimistic
By Staff
In the UK, leading gambling group Rank announced late last week that its like-for-like overall revenues had increased by only one percent over the previous 15 weeks while those for the preceding 50-week period had declined by seven percent.

In addition, the Maidenhead-based firm behind online sites such as GrosvenorCasinos.com and GrosvenorPoker.com revealed in a trading update that its total revenues for the year had dropped by five percent.

However, Rank revealed that revenues from its Blue Square interactive gaming division had grown by three percent over the year and one percent for the previous 15 weeks. The publicly listed company recently appointed Mark Jones, the former UK head of LastMinute.com, as Managing Director of the online branch and stated that its MeccaBingo.com domain had performed well while its BlueSq.com sportsbook had disappointed.

Rank reported that like-for-like revenues from its Mecca Bingo chain of land-based clubs for the previous 15 weeks was comparable to 2007 with a five percent increase in spend per head offsetting a five percent drop in total attendance. In addition, those from its Grosvenor Casinos franchise grew by percent with a higher average handle and an improved win margin resulting in a 16 percent increase in spend per head, which offset a twelve percent decline in admissions.

The Berkshire organisation also revealed that the $87.6 million it earlier received back from HM Revenue And Customs would boost its yearly operating profits by about $8.9 millon. The funds were returned after a long court case determined that Rank had been overcharged in value-added tax (VAT) payments from its bingo division.

The company also reported that it had instituted cost-cutting measures such as reducing operating costs and exiting its final salary pension plan in order to safeguard future profitability.

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