Rank Results Helped By Online Business
By Staff
Leading British land and online casino and gaming operator Rank has announced its financial results for 2008 showing a 2.3 percent drop in revenue alongside a 11.7 percent decrease in operating profit.

Rank is the firm behind online bookmaker BlueSq.com and virtual casino GrosvenorCasinos.com and reported group revenue of £522.2 million for 2008.

The Maidenhead-based company is also responsible for online bingo site MeccaBingo.com and stated that its operating profit was £60.3 million but only £9.1 million after exceptional items were factored in. It revealed adjusted profit before tax of £40.5 million, which was down from 2007’s £46.2 million, but a decrease in net debt for 2008 to £226.5 million from the previous year’s £316.9 million.

Going against the current economic downturn, Rank reported that its online gaming business saw revenue grow by one percent to £52.6 million for the year while operating profit increased by 4.6 percent to £11.4 million. It stated that its interactive division delivered ‘strong growth in online gaming’ principally through MeccaBingo.com but that the performance of its BlueSq.com sportsbetting operation had been ‘below our expectations’.

'2008 was a year of stabilisation for Rank following a period of significant upheaval in the gaming industry in 2007,” said Ian Burke, Chief Executive Officer for Rank.

'The group ended 2008 in significantly better shape than it had started the year. We steadied average weekly revenues, realised significant cost savings across the group, exited our final salary pension plan and achieved a substantial reduction in net debt.

'Since the start of 2009, we have seen positive regulatory reform for the licensed bingo clubs industry through an increase in the maximum allocation of B3 gaming machines.

'While we remain committed to our long-term growth strategy, the near-term outlook remains clouded by economic uncertainty. We will continue to manage our businesses with this in mind, balancing the needs of our growth strategy with a flexible and prudent approach to capital investment.'

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