Thursday July 28,2011 :  RANK GROUP IMPROVEMENT CONTINUES
 
Favourable indicators for UK land and online gambling group
 
The UK internet and land gambling group Rank plc, in which Asian group Guoco recently acquired a controlling interest in a GBP 585 million deal  has posted an encouraging first half set of results.
 
H1 numbers for the six months ended June 30 2011 include:
 
* Group revenue of GBP 294 million (2010: GBP 281.1 million)
* Statutory revenue of GBP 282 million (2010: GBP 269.6 million)
* Group EBITDA before exceptional items of GBP 47.8 million (2010: GBP 43.1 million)
* Group operating profit before exceptional items of GBP 29.5 million (2010: GBP 28.6 million)
* Group operating profit after exceptional items of GBP 97.5 million (2010: GBP 66.1 million)
* Adjusted profit before tax of GBP 26.3 million (2010: GBP 25.1 million)
* Net cash of GBP 37.2 million (net debt of GBP 123.4 million at 31 December 2010) due mainly to the receipt of GBP 162.8 million in VAT refunds.
* Dividend per share of 1.00p (2010: 0.74p)
 
Group key performance indicators included:
 
* Customers up 5.1 percent to more than 2.6 million.
* Customer visits up 1.5 percent to 11.5 million following product and service improvements
* Spend per visit up 1.0 percent to GBP 22.71 led by a strong performance in Mecca Bingo
* Offline-online crossover 3.1 percent driven by the Mecca brand’s internal affiliate scheme
 
Key events over the half-year included:
 
* Growth in customers and customer visits from UK brands
* Single brand strategy for casinos; plans announced for significant UK expansion of Grosvenor Casinos brand creating more than 1,400 new jobs by 2015
* European Court of Justice hearing on GBP 275 million VAT claims; rulings expected by the end of 2011
* Additional VAT claims of at least GBP 275 million disclosed
 
Chairman Ian Burke reported to shareholders: “During the first half of 2011 we have maintained the progress of recent years as rising customer numbers drive profit and revenue. We have a portfolio of some of the strongest brands in UK gaming and the ability to reach our customers through our estate of well-invested venues, our high quality websites and increasingly via mobile channels."