Rank lowers profit guidance as Mecca venues begin reopening 

Rank Group Plc has issued a market update as it begins to reopen its Mecca Bingo venues across England from Saturday 4 July.  

 Absorbing COVID-19 impacts and costs, Rank stated that its group underlying profits will fall at the lower end of its provided £48-58 million guidance for the year ending 30 June 2020.

Despite the closure of its entire UK land-based gaming estate since mid-March, Rank underlined that the company has maintained a net cash outflow which is in line with previous guidance. 

As of 1 July, Rank has retained £140 million in cash and available facilities, with the gambling group underlining that it will meet its 2020 bank covenant demands.

As Rank begins its phased reopening of Mecca Bingo venues across England, it expects to lower its monthly net cash flow from £10 million to £7 million, dependent on further venue reopenings in Scotland and Wales. 

The LSE group is currently awaiting government confirmation on when it will be allowed to reopen its Grosvenor Casino venues, in which the group is working with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to ‘engage the government’.

In Spain, Rank reopened its Enracha bingo clubs on 10 June, stating that revenues had been ‘at approximately 60% of pre-Covid-19 levels’.

Rank highlighted the continued momentum of its digital division, which has delivered an ‘aggregate revenue growth’ of circa 17% on a proforma basis. 

Digital growth was maintained despite new subsidiary Stride Gaming integrating new  safer gambling and customer due diligence measures to bring them in line with Rank operating policies.

John O’Reilly, CEO of Rank, commented: “I am pleased that we will be able to start welcoming our loyal Mecca customers back into their clubs on Saturday and we are all looking forward to doing what we do best. As ever, the health, safety and wellbeing of all our customers and colleagues remains front and centre of everything that we do, and we have created safe environments for our customers to come and enjoy themselves once again. 

 “Our Grosvenor venues are also ready to safely open and we are working hard to ensure we receive the support of the Government to reopen our casinos soon. Our colleagues are very keen to get back to work to pick up the progress we had been making prior to lockdown.”

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