Rank on the lookout for M&A opportunities

Casino operator Rank Group seeks for M&A deals to expand its online services and to strengthen its business.

UK.- After failing to take over rival William Hill British, casino operator Rank Group is still on the lookout for M&A opportunities online services to strengthen its business. As gambling faces higher taxes and tighter regulations in Europe, a series of mergers has intensified competition. Gambling operators target younger sports fans betting via mobile apps.

Rank Group business is predominantly located in Britain where it owns the Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos chains. Now the group is still scouting for Mergers & Acquisitions deals, after the firm posted a 4pc rise in annual profit but lifted its full-year dividend by 16pc. Rank reported that revenue rose just 2pc to £743m, but online revenue grew 11pc.

Adjusted profit before tax rose 4pc to £77.4m (€90.1m) in the year ended June 30, helped by efforts to strengthen its multi-channel offer.

“The company has been looking at M&A for the last 18 months and continues to do so and there is definitely a focus on the digital arena for that,” said Henry Birch, Rank Group CEO.

Birch added that Rank would introduce a single account and single wallet across its retail and online businesses, allowing its customers greater on-the-go access. In addition, Rank will launch a new online bingo brand in the second half of the financial year ending next June.