Rank cuts profit expectations after weak venues performance

Business News

British casino operator Rank Group forecast a lower operating profit for the full-year and said shrinking footfalls at UK venues would continue into the next year as the consumer outlook in the country remains dim.

The operator of Grosvenor casinos and Mecca bingo halls said it expects full-year operating profit of 76 million pounds to 78 million pounds, down from 84.5 million pounds last year.

Comparable revenue for the 13 weeks to April 1 fell 9 percent at Grosvenor venues.

The UK gaming company announced last month it is losing chief executive Henry Birch, who has resigned so he can move to take charge of the online retailer Shop Direct later this year. Mr Birch is set to leave Rank in a period of decline. The group said that like-for-like revenues across the company have been flat across the business over its financial year, but recent performance has been far worse.

Rank Group has been trying to increase its online operations footprint to stem a revenue slowdown at its halls and casinos and attract younger players who use mobile apps with websites such as meccabingo.com and grosvenorcasinos.com.

UK digital revenue grew 17 percent in the 13-week period, the company added.