Publishing its results for the six months to December 31, 2017, Rank Group reported a 17 per cent increase in adjusted profit before tax, up £5.7m, to £40.2m, and boosted by a £4.1m rise in UK digital operating profit, a leap of 56 per cent year on year.
Group revenue, on a like-for-like basis, rose one percent, to £378.1m in the half year. Land-based venues accounted for £317.5m in revenue, a fall of one per cent on the same period in 2016.
However venues operating profit climbed by nine per cent, to £46.4m
During the period, operational highlights included the trialling of the Grosvenor One single account and wallet solution at Grosvenor’s Stockport casino; the refurbishment of Grosvenor’s Piccadilly and Golden Horseshoe casinos in London; the launch of Dual Play, featuring the live streaming of roulette from Grosvenor’s Victoria casino to the group’s digital channel; and the opening of three Luda bingo clubs.
In a statement, Henry Birch, chief executive, said: “We are pleased to report a good set of results with adjusted profit before tax up 17 per cent and a particularly strong digital performance, with revenues up 16 per cent and operating profit up 56 per cent, despite the introduction of new gaming duty rules on customer bonuses.
“Along with much of the high street, we have faced a more challenging retail trading environment in the first half, but our combined venues businesses delivered an impressive nine per cent growth in operating profit,” said Birch.
“We remain confident in the outlook for the group with management’s expectations for the full year unchanged.”