Rank Group has praised further growth across its digital division, with the group reporting growth in NGR and operating profit of 14% and 117% respectively.
Publishing its interim results for the six months ended 31 December 2019, Rank attributed the 10% year-on-year lift in net gaming revenue (NGR) to the progress made on the group’s transformation programme.
John O’Reilly, Chief Executive of The Rank Group Plc, said: “We are pleased with The Group’s first half performance which demonstrates that the transformation programme is delivering the right results.
“The revenue growth in our digital business and across our Grosvenor and Enracha venues shows that we are moving in the right direction in key areas of our business. We remain on track and are confident in our ability to deliver operational and financial improvements underscored by a relentless commitment to delivering exciting, entertaining and safe gambling environments and experiences for our customers.
“The successful integration of Stride into our business will ensure that we benefit from strong synergies, proprietary technology and a first-class digital team, all of which will position us well for the second half of the year. These are a good set of numbers and are a testament to our committed and talented colleagues across the Group who have worked hard to deliver them.”
Digital performed strongly in the half with LFL NGR having risen by 14%, driven by the performance of the Mecca and Grosvenor brands. Mecca’s NGR grew by 13% in the first half of the year, which has largely been driven by customer journey improvements and strong promotional activity.
Meanwhile, strong growth in Grosvenor’s active customer base helped deliver a 21% increase in Grosvenor’s NGR during the period, with 33% of Grosvenor’s revenue coming through Grosvenor One.
As part of the chief executive review, O’Reilly explained that the push for safer gambling has been a big focus for Rank: “During the first half, we finalised the Group’s safer gambling workstream, with an initial focus on enhanced training for colleagues, review of customer messaging, continued development of our affordability and propensity models, the introduction of machine limits and tighter entry controls within Grosvenor venues,” he said.
“The successful integration of Stride is a key priority for the Group with the project now falling within the transformation programme’s framework to ensure the benefits from combining Stride’s and Rank’s digital businesses are maximised.
“Work continues on creating a safer environment for all our customers. For our digital channel, an affordability model was introduced to help risk score all of Rank’s digital customers with the aim of seeking to ensure that customers are playing within their means.
“For our UK venues, length of play and loss limit customer alerts were introduced across our gaming machine products. We are trialling ID scanning technology within our Grosvenor venues and expect to roll this out across the estate in the second half of the year, further tightening entry controls into our casinos.”