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Casinos and online growth helps Mecca bingo operator Rank Group report 23% jump in first half profits

Ruth Sunderland for the Daily Mail

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Gambling company Rank Group today reported a 23 percent increase in first half pretax profit to £34.9million, thanks to growth at its Grosvenor casinos business and its online operations.

The group’s adjusted first half profit figure rose 29 per cent to £35.8million and its dividend was hiked by 19 per cent to 1.6p a share. 

Rank shares were up 3.1p to 169.0p in late morning trade.

More chips: Revenues at Grosvenor Casinos were up 6 per cent to £205.6million thanks mainly to investments in the estate it bought from Gala Coral and progress in its digital operations

More chips: Revenues at Grosvenor Casinos were up 6 per cent to £205.6million thanks mainly to investments in the estate it bought from Gala Coral and progress in its digital operations

The company, majority-owned by Malaysia’s Guoco Group, has 94 Mecca bingo halls and 57 Grosvenor casinos in the UK.

Rank said the reduction in UK bingo duty had enabled investment into Mecca venues and into offering better prizes.

It added that revenues at Grosvenor Casinos were up 6 per cent to £205.6million thanks mainly to investments in the estate it bought from Gala Coral and progress in its digital operations.

The group’s digital revenues improved strongly, with an increase of 16 per cent and operating profit rose 75 per cent. 

Henry Birch, Rank’s chief executive, said the group had delivered a ‘strong set of results’ and added that the company has signed an agreement with gambling software provider Bede Gaming to beef up its online offering.

He also said there were three senior management appointments in the first half including new bosses to lead Mecca and Grosvenor Casinos.

Birch noted that during the period the group opened a new Grosvenor Casino in Southend and completed a refurbishment of its Bournemouth casino.

 


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