Rank Group issues profit warning due to “weaker-than-expected” Covid-19 recovery

Rank Group has seen a slow return of high-spending customers.
Rank Group has seen a slow return of high-spending customers.

The UK casino operator has downgraded its full-year earnings forecast.

UK.- The casino and bingo hall operator Rank Group has warned that its profits will be lower than forecast due to a “considerably weaker-than-expected” recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, which runs Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo, has dropped its full-year forecast from £47-55m to £40m.

It is the second time that Rank has lowered its earnings expectations this year due to slower performance at UK venues in the last two quarters amid rising costs. The FTSE 250 company’s shares on the London Stock Exchange fell by nearly 17 per cent at the opening of business yesterday (Monday).

Rank said that visitor numbers remained down at Grosvenor Casino sites across the UK and that the return of high-spending overseas customers at London venues had been slower than anticipated. It has also seen a lower-than-average casino win margin in the current quarter. 

“We have seen some improvement in Grosvenor’s performance post-April, but it has been considerably weaker than expected, principally due to a slower than expected return of higher spending overseas customers to our London casinos,” Rank said.

Rank will publish its preliminary results for the 12 months ending June 30 on August 18.

YGAM founder says levy would harm UK’s reputation on social responsibility

Lee Willows, the founder of the responsible gambling charity Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), has warned that the UK could lose its leading status in the area of gambling social responsibility if the government introduces a mandatory levy to fund treatment and prevention.

Speaking after the Westminster Media Forum on gambling regulation, Willows, who founded YGAM after his own battle with gambling addiction, said: “I firmly believe the UK is a global leader in social responsibility, but I worry that flame might be dimming as the funding debate becomes more about a desire to break-up the very ecosystem that supported me and today supports many others. It is this third sector-led ecosystem that to my mind, makes us world-class.”

In this article:
Land-based casinos Rank Group