Revenue for the 2022-23 financial year reached £681.9m but the company reported a net loss.
UK.- Rank Group has reported revenue of £681.9m for its 2022-23 financial year. That’s an increase of 5.9 per cent year-on-year. The company reported growth in all segments following a difficult two years because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on land-based venues.
Grosvenor Casino remained the largest source of revenue, generating £306.3m. Revenue was up 3.3 per cent although London casinos still performed below pre-pandemic levels due to the lack of visitors from the Middle East and East and South-East Asia. The group permanently closed its Russell Square casino.
However, casino revenue outside of London did better, rising 6 per cent year-on-year. Visitor numbers were up by 7 per cent.
Mecca, Rank’s chain of bingo venues, generated revenue of £136.3m. That’s a rise of 1.7 per cent despite the permanent closure of 15 bingo halls. Rank said it had ben a “turnaround” year for Mecca after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The brand now has 56 venues.
Over in Spain, Enracha saw its revenue rise by 19.9 per cent to £36.1m, with growth in gaming machines and bingo. Customer visits rose by 16 per cent year-on-year.
Finally, the group’s digital division also performed strongly, with revenue up 10.4 per cent at £202.9m. Mecca generated £72.6m of that, Grosvenor £57m, Enracha and Yo £24.1m and Stride brands £49.2m.
Rank noted the impact of migrating the Mecca and Grosvenor sites to the RIDE platform, which it says has provided an improved customer experience. It also noted its launch of YoSports in Spain before the 2022 Fifa World Cup. The company has applied for a licence to launch YoBingo online in Portugal but says the process is taking longer than usual since there is no precedent of a licensed online bingo operation in the country.
Despite the rise in revenue across all segments, Rank reported a statutory net loss of £95.3m for the year due to a series of impairment charges: £53.3m on 23 Grosvenor Casino venues, £61.5m in 70 Mecca bingo venues, including former venues and £4.1m for Enracha due to two venues performing worse than expected.
The cost of sales rose to £521.3m and other operating expenses rose 12.9 per cent to £274.1m, mainly due to increased energy and employment costs. The net loss compares to a profit of £64.9m for the previous year, although that was aided by a successful VAT claim.
Rank CEO John O’Reilly said: “The return of customers to our Grosvenor and Mecca venues continues to pick up and our second-half numbers give cause for optimism after a very challenging couple of years.
“During that time, our UK venues have faced a surge in energy costs, high wage inflation, a tightening in the regulatory environment, the slow return of overseas visitors to London’’ casinos and the more general pressures on the consumer’s discretionary expenditure.
“However, energy costs have stabilised, inflation appears to now be easing, customers continue to slowly return to both our Grosvenor and our Mecca venues. We now expect to deliver good levels of revenue and profit growth.”
Rank recently announced the appointment of Mark Harper as managing director of Grosvenor Casinos. Harper replaces Debbie Husband, who was at Rank for five years. He has previously served as an operating partner of William Pears Group’s Pears Partnership Capital, overseeing its leisure and hospitality portfolio.
Last month, Rank Group announced that it had appointed Sam Allanson as CFO for Rank Interactive. Allanson joins Rank from Entain, where he served in the same role after the company, then called GVC, merged with Ladbrokes Coral.