Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino owner Rank grew its adjusted profit before tax by 17% to £40.2m in the six months to 31 December, led by a strong performance in its digital business.

The group’s UK digital business delivered revenue growth of 16% with a 56% growth in operating profit to £11.4m.

Lower gaming margins and a decline in visits to Grosvenor’s venues adversely impacted performance, resulting in a 1% fall in Grosvenor’s like-for-like revenue. Mecca’s like-for-like revenue fell by 3% due to a 7% fall in visits.

Overall, group like-for-like revenue was up by 1%.

Rank’s Spanish business, Enracha, delivered a good venues performance with euro revenue up 6% and euro operating profit up 11%.

Total group costs were reduced by £6.2m, principally driven by the restructure of the group’s retail and corporate operations.

Trading in the short four-week period to 28 January 2018 has been in line with management’s expectations.

Henry Birch, chief executive, said: “We are pleased to report a good set of results with adjusted profit before tax up 17% and a particularly strong digital performance, with revenues up 16% and operating profit up 56%, 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 9% growth in operating profit.

“2018 promises to be a busy year with continued positive changes, including the launch of a single account and wallet product across Grosvenor’s retail and digital businesses. We remain confident in the outlook for the group with management’s expectations for the full year unchanged.”


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