|Poor trading at the Hard Rock Cafe chain marred half-year profits at Rank. |
Pre-tax profits at Rank dropped from £89.3m to £79.4m. This is because Hard Rock profits fell 40% to £14.8m as high spending tourists stayed away.
This is despite the opening of the Hard Rock Casino in Manchester and the launch of HardRockCasino.com, both in July this year.
A land-based casino is due to open in November in London on the site of the former Fashion Cafe near Leicester Square.
Chief executive Mike Smith, who failed with his bid for the Coral bookmaking chain last month, ruled out a return of cash to shareholders. 'We don't consider we have a surplus of cash. Interest is covered five times and we’re investing in organic growth.'