SBC News Rank sees Q3 growth boost year-end earnings

Rank sees Q3 growth boost year-end earnings

Rank Group Plc expects its full-year 2022/2023 earnings guidance to fall within the ‘upper end of expectations’ following robust Q3 trading as group-wide efficiencies benefit both land-based and online trading.

The LSE-listed gambling group reported improved financial results for the Q3 period ending 31 March 2023, with a 13% like-for-like increase in net gaming revenues (NGR) to £174m.

Significantly, period gains reflected a 12% uplift in venue-based (Grosvenor + Mecca) NGR totaling £113m and a 16% increase in Digital NGR to £52.5m.

Grosvenor venues registered a 15% growth to £78m, attributed to a rise in visitor numbers and improved performance in both London and the rest of the UK. The group’s casino unit saw an average weekly NGR for the quarter stand at £6.1m.

Mecca venues continued to recover, registering a 9% NGR increase to £35m, attributable to a 4% increase in customer visits and a 5% increase in customer spend per visit. The bingo unit’s average weekly NGR for the quarter was £2.7m, representing a 9% rise compared to the same period last year and a 10% increase from Q2 2022/23.

Rank Digital experienced a 16% increase for the quarter, maintaining growth in both the UK (15%) and Spain (19%). The digital brands of Grosvenor and Mecca saw NGR growth of 23% and 15%, respectively, while other UK digital brands experienced a 7% increase in the quarter.

Despite an expected seasonal slowdown for Grosvenor venues, Rank’s improved Q3 performance has prompted the Board to adjust its year-end expectations.

As such, underlying operating profits for the full year ending 30 June 2023 are anticipated to be at the upper end of the previous corporate guidance range of £10m to £20m.

Group CEO John O’Reilly commented on the results: “We are pleased that the momentum we saw at the start of the second half of our financial year has continued with positive NGR growth across all our businesses.

“Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, the investments we have been making to improve the customer experience in our venues have helped drive the improved performance across both Grosvenor and Mecca.

“Our digital business is benefitting from the build-out of enhancements to the customer experience on our proprietary technology, and we have a strong pipeline of developments to continue to grow market share into the future.”

Rank is set to announce its preliminary results for the 12 months ending 30 June 2023 on 17 August 2023.

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