Portfolio

Rank Group on track for full year after strong third quarter

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Thursday 18 Apr 2024

Rank Group on track for full year after strong third quarter

(Sharecast News) - Rank Group reiterated its full-year guidance on Thursday, after third-quarter revenues were boosted by strong trading at Mecca bingo.
The FTSE 250 gaming group said like-for-like net gaming revenues (NGR) rose 6% in the three months to 31 March, to £182.3m.

Within that, Grosvenor casino revenues rose 3%, to £80m, while Mecca venues jumped 12% to £37.3m.

That was driven by a 5% increase in customer visits and a 7% increase in spend per visit, "particularly benefitting from strong trading over the Mother's Day and Easter weekends", Rank noted.

Digital NGR rose 6% to £55m, with growth of 4% in the UK and 20% in Spain.

In the year to date, underlying NGR sparked 8% to £544.9m.

Looking to the fourth quarter, Rank said performance had "continued to improve in April, and we expect like-for-like operating profits for the year ending 30 June to be in line with the group's expectations".

Chief executive John O'Reilly added: "We continue to make good progress across both our venues and online businesses, with third-quarter trading very much in line with the board's expectations.

"Performance continues to improve, and we have the very important land-based reforms from the government's white paper to look forward to, which we hope to start implementing in the coming months."

Rank said earlier this year it was well positioned to benefit from the changes to the UK's gaming and gambling industry outlined in the white paper.

These included doubling the number of gaming machines in the Grosvenor casino estate and allowing electronic payments at bingo and casino venues.

Shore Capital, which has a 'buy' rating on Rank, called the trading update "encouraging".

It continued: "We see no change to full-year forecasts and continue to see the potential, including from proposed gambling reform, for profitability to reach £100m over the medium term.

"The standout was arguably Mecca, although solid progress was seen at Grosvenor and its core digital brands."

As at 0930 BST, shares in Rank were up 1% at 72p.

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