Rank progress impacted by venue declines & digital obstacles

Ahead of its Annual General Meeting (AGM), London-listed Rank Group Plc has released a trading statement, updating investors on corporate performance for the 16-week period to 14 October 2018.

Rank governance details that group like-for-like revenues have declined by 5%, with the company impacted by a slowdown of its venue properties – Grosvenor Casino and Mecca Bingo domains.

‘Grosvenor Casinos’ venues like-for-like revenue was down 7.2% in the period driven by a reduction in handle and margin from high spending customers.’

‘Mecca’s venues like-for-like revenue was down 5.0% driven by a fall in visits’ the update details.

Further woes see Rank detail that its online growth has been impacted by more stringent customer due diligence checks applied to Grosvenor digital verticals.

A tough trading period, saw Rank fined £500,000 by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for failing to meet standards on customer gambling and credit protections.

Despite the obstacles, Rank continues to bolster its digital assets, confirming in May the acquisition of Spanish online bingo property YoBingo for €21 million.

Rank governance has excluded YoBingo performance from its trading statement.

Countering UK-wide venue declines, last August, Rank governance announced the development of its ‘corporate transformation team led by former McKinsey executive Jim Marsh as Chief Transformation Officer.

Implementing a corporate recovery plan, Marsh and new Chief Executive John O’Reilly are said to be reviewing all Rank Group properties and operations.

In its August interim update, Rank governance confirmed that it had discontinued its Luda Bingo brand, which had failed to live up to management expectations.

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