The Rank Group in the UK, owners of Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, in its preliminary results reports underlying net gaming revenue of £585.1m for the 12 months ended June 30, compared with £685.1m in the same period of last year – a fall of 15 per cent.
An underlying operating profit of £51.1m is down 32 per cent on the £75.7m for the same half-year in 2018/9.
The group said that it had enjoyed a period of strong performance pre-Covid which underlined the promise of its new strategies, and even after the pandemic, the group says that it is well-positioned for recovery.
The statutory performance of the group showed NGR of £638.1m, down eight per cent on the comparable £695.1m and group operating profit of £23.5m compared with £39m, down 40 per cent. The profit after tax is £9.4m, down 66 per cent from £27.6m.
It said that Grosvenor Casinos revenue was running at 60 per cent of the previous year’s levels since reopening on August 15, in line with expectations while Mecca, which has been open for longer, is running at 70 per cent of the previous year.
John O’Reilly, CEO, said: “With positive momentum from the transformation programme, Rank performed very strongly during the first part of the year and into the second half. Despite continued good growth in our digital brands, with our venues closed from mid-March, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the group has been significant. However, with the huge commitment and dedication of our colleagues, very tight cost control across the business and the support we have received from government, we have carefully navigated the past few months and are now beginning to successfully emerge. We know the recovery will take time, but the underlying strength of our business provides us with confidence that we are well equipped to return to full strength.
“We’ve been encouraged by the first few weeks of trading following reopening and whilst the supply-side constraints, including social distancing and changes to the way we operate table gaming, are going to be challenging over the coming months, the response from customers to the extensive safety measures we have in place has been very positive.”
Of the 77 Mecca bingo venues, 72 are now reopened and the segment achieved cash break-even in August. Additionally, 49 Grosvenor venues are now open and the company expects Grosvenor to be cash generative from September.