Rank sees a lift from gamblers

BRITISH gaming firm Rank Group forecast its full-year performance would be around the top of analysts’ estimates after all its businesses improved during the third quarter.

Analysts are expecting full-year pre-tax profit to range from £48m to £53m compared with £49m for 2009,

Rank, owner of the Mecca bingo hall and Grosvenor casino chains, said like-for-like revenue for the third-quarter, which ended on 2 October rose seven per cent, driven by strong performances from Grosvenor and Rank Interactive, while total revenue for the period was up eight per cent.

For the year to date, like-for-like revenue was up four per cent and total revenue seven per cent higher.

“Whilst the consumer environment is likely to remain challenging for some time to come, the group is in a strong financial position and has made considerable progress in improving the standard of its products and services,” it said in a trading statement.

Rank, which plans to roll out 10 more casinos over northern and central England over the next few years, said like-for-like revenues at Grosvenor and its interactive unit rose nine per cent on higher customer visits and spend. Rank Interactive’s like-for-like revenues jumped 26 per cent. Mecca Bingo achieved like-for-like growth in revenue as spending per head improved.