Rank Group Swings to Loss During Covid Downturn

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Rank Group has swung to a pretax loss of £98.9m from a profit of £35.7m a year before. Net gaming revenues fell by 48% to £329.6m, compared with £629.7m.

Chief executive John O’Reilly described the year as “exceptionally challenging” and said: “Frankly, we are delighted it is over. We are now well into a new financial year with our venues open and trading positively. Our venues have been performing ahead of our expectations following the easing of restrictions on the UK hospitality sector on 17 May and we anticipate further growth as travel restrictions eventually ease and tourism returns, particularly to London.”

“Closures imposed in the government’s response to the pandemic amounting to 59% of available operating days, together with capacity constraints, reduced opening hours and other restrictions during the year, have had a material impact on the group,” Rank said.

Rank said 79% of its group revenues came from its venues rather than online gaming.

The group had been “delivering strong revenue and profit growth before the pandemic”. The steps it had taken over the last 18 months would enable the group to “return to that growth trajectory as the impact of the pandemic reduces and consumer confidence for indoor leisure experiences grows”. Its online business in the UK had faced a “year of transition” as it progressed with online platform technology. However, revenue had “disappointed”.

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