Rank Group trades in line with expectations
Rank Group said venues were trading above cash breakeven and that it expects trading to continue to improve as social distancing and international travel restrictions are eased.
In Grosvenor, like-for-like net gaming revenues in venues outside of London were close to 2019 levels, while in London, LFL NGR was down 38% on 2019 levels as a result of the lack of international tourism, “significantly reduced” numbers of office workers in the city and ongoing late-night travel challenges for consumers.
Whilst Rank stated it was “very early days”, trading at its Mecca venues was strongest in those where it was trialling its new proposition – including enhancements to the casino’s mainstage bingo game.
In Spain, trading improved as regional restrictions on capacity limits and opening hours were gradually being relaxed, while the group’s digital businesses were expected to trade at a level between that achieved in the second and third quarter of the current financial year during the final three months of the year.
Elsewhere, Rank noted the First-Tier Tax Tribunal had ruled in its favour following its claim to be refunded VAT paid on slot machine income in the period from April 2006 to January 2013.
HMRC has 56 days to lodge an appeal but Rank expects that the value will be in line with previous estimates of roughly £80.0m.