Following what it described as a ‘hard first half’ of the year, Rank Group revealed that its working earnings increased by 20 per cent as detailed in the 2018/19 H2 outcomes of the group (6-month period ending June 30, 2019).
While the operator explained that its full-year profits have taken a 22 percent hit since last year, dropping from £50.1 m to £39 m, the blow seems to have been cushioned by the new’ transformation program’ of the Rank Group.
A tough start to trading in 2018/2019, Rank’s Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo properties have been affected by severe weather conditions in the UK and declines in customer footfall, resulting in Rank Governance sanctioning their transformation program.
John O’Reilly, the Rank Group’s chief executive, remarked: “We are delighted with the Group’s second-half performance and full-year outcomes, particularly considering the difficulties we faced in the first half of the year. The transformation programme, both in the UK and internationally, is central to our growth strategy.
“We are enthusiastic about the significant initiatives being introduced throughout each of our enterprises. We’ve made a good start to Rank’s transformation and a lot of improvement remains to be delivered. I would like to thank my group-wide colleagues for their excitement and dedication to providing changes in how we meet our customers ‘ requirements. “Rank’s digital company is revealed to have experienced a powerful period of development, with like-for-like H2 net gaming income (NGR) up 14% compared to H1 growth of 7%.
Not including the Rank-acquired YoBingo’s contribution, Rank Group revealed that its like-for-like NGR had grown by 11 percent over the year, following a number of changes to its client bonus and provides from its branches of Mecca and Grosvenor.
Total digital revenue grew by 17% year-on-year as a result of YoBingo’s contribution, while digital like-for-like operating profit declined by 3% year-on-year as revenue improvements were offset by £0.8 m of incremental Remote Gaming Duty(‘ RGD’) on player bonuses and £1.9 m of extra RGD as of 1 April 2019 to 21% (from 15%).
Rank had verified during the period that he had joined’ sophisticated conversations’ to obtain the Stride Gaming Plc online gambling group listed in London AIM.
It is hoped that the acquisition will significantly boost Rank’s online gaming presence, which will also see them absorb a number of Stride UK bingo brands including Kitty Bingo, Lucky Pants, Bingo Extra and Lucky VIP, Regal Wins and Spin&Win online casino properties.
O’Reilly added: ‘The purchase of Stride, which we expect to finish in 2019/20, will help step-change our digital company, offer powerful synergies, take proprietary technology to the home and establish one of the UK’s leading internet gaming companies.’ Rank also stressed that it is boosted by a’ positive beginning to 2019/20′ and stays hopeful in the months to come.