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UK – Rank revises its EBIT range for year end

By - 25 April 2022

British betting operator Rank Group has slashed its previously guided EBIT range of £55m to £65m for the year ending 30 June 2022 to a range of £47m to £55m.

Rank’s UK venues (Grosvenor and Mecca) were closed for the entirety of Q3 2020/21. Its Enracha venues in Spain were open for part of the prior year third quarter but under very severe capacity restrictions.

The most recent comparable non-COVID-19 affected third quarter period is therefore the three months to 31 March 2019. Against that comparative period, Grosvenor venues NGR was down 14 per cent and Mecca venues down 25 per cent.

John O’Reilly, CEO of Rank, said: “For both our UK venues businesses there was a softness in visits at the end of the quarter consistent with the rise in new COVID-19 cases reported across the UK. Enracha venues performance continued to recover, with NGR down just two per cent compared to the same quarter in 2018/19. Whilst the recovery is taking time, we believe that in the medium term there remains a strong path to recovery to the pre-COVID-19 levels.”

“UK digital NGR was down one per cent year on year. Grosvenor digital grew NGR by three per cent, as it continues to benefit from omni-channel players from our Grosvenor venues. Mecca digital NGR was down 11 per cent due to the anticipated impact of its migration onto the RIDE platform in January. The performance of our remaining digital brands continued to be mixed, with a growth of 42 per cent in our other brands operating on the RIDE platform partly offset by a revenue decline of 25 per cent in the non-proprietary brands following the introduction of affordability restrictions in H1 2021/22 by other operators. International digital was down five per cent,” he added.

“We enter Q4 at the start of a traditionally low seasonal period in our Grosvenor venues with visit numbers down. We anticipate an improvement in performance post April, but it remains to be seen how the trends in the rate of return of office workers to city centres and overseas customers to London will develop towards the summer,” he said.

Mr. O’Reilly added: “Considering the Q3 trends, notably the softness in our UK venues towards the end of the quarter and continued inflationary costs, we are updating our previously guided EBIT range of £55m-£65m for the year ending 30 June 2022 to a range of £47m-£55m. The performance of our venues softened in March, and this has continued into the first few weeks of Q4, impacting our current expectations for our full year performance. We recognise the pressures on UK consumers but are confident that the improvements we are continuing to make to the customer proposition and the investments in our venues, alongside the gradually reducing impact of the pandemic and, with it, the return of overseas customers, position us well for the year ahead.”

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