Rank hails digital revenue hike in first half
Rank Group has praised the performance of its digital businesses during the first half of the year, despite the company posting mixed results for the period.
Group like-for-like revenue in the six months to December 31, 2016, came in at £378.6 million (€445.4 million/$475.1 million), which represents an increase of 2% on the amount generated in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Digital revenue climbed 11% year-on-year to £52.4 million, while like-for-like revenue from Rank venues remained level at £326.2 million.
However, group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation amounted to £59.7 million, down 5% on the previous year, while adjusted profit before tax fell 8% to £34.5 million and adjusted earnings per share dropped 7% to 6.9 pence.
Meanwhile, in terms of Rank’s statutory performance in the first half, statutory revenue came in at £355.3 million, 1% up on the previous year. Net debt was cut by 37% to £33 million.
However, profit before taxation after exceptional items was down 17% to £35.4 million, with cash generated from continuing operations falling by 19% to £51.8 million.
Henry Birch, chief executive of the Rank Group, said: “The first half of the group’s financial year has seen challenging trading conditions for both our retail casino and bingo businesses, with strong comparable figures in the previous year.
“That being said, both businesses showed a year-on-year improvement from quarter to quarter; our digital business continues to grow strongly and there remains significant potential for this channel as we deliver improvements in H2.
“Despite increased inflationary and employment costs, we have detailed plans to improve H2 operating profit and remain confident that the group will make good strategic progress in 2017.
“As a result, the board expects that the full-year results will be in line with market forecasts.”
Related article: Rank boosted by digital performance in first quarter