Mecca Bingo Owners Rank Group Post Big Loss

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The Rank Group (LON: RNK), owners of the Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino brands, has posted a sizeable loss for the financial year having had to close its bingo and casino venues during the various lockdowns in the UK.

The gambling company, established in 1995 and headquartered in Maidenhead, reported a pretax loss of £98.9m for the year to June 30 from a profit of £35.7m the year before. Net gaming revenues plunged by 48% to £329.6m, compared with £629.7m.

Mecca Bingo Hall's reported sales for the 13 weeks to August 15 were 21% down against the same period in 2019.

Sales across its Grosvenor venues were 19% below levels from the same period in 2019, before the pandemic hit UK shores.

Despite the declines, Rank Group has said its venues have performed beyond expectations since reopening on May 17th

The Rank Group (LON: RNK) told investors in an accompanying statement that further growth is anticipated as “travel restrictions eventually ease and tourism returns, particularly to London”.

Rank also hailed “encouraging progress” since restrictions were eased.

John O’Reilly, chief executive of Rank Group (LON: RNK), said:

“The year to June 30 was exceptionally challenging for the group and, frankly, we are delighted it is over.”

“We are now well into a new financial year with our venues open and trading positively.

“Good progress is being made in our digital businesses and there is a renewed sense of confidence as we focus on the growth initiatives within our clearly defined transformation programme.”

“Our venues have been performing ahead of our expectations following the easing of restrictions on the UK hospitality sector on May 17 and we anticipate further growth as travel restrictions eventually ease and tourism returns, particularly to London.”

Online Performance Falters

The Rank Group (LON: RNK) also revealed a 6% Year-on-Year decline in revenue generated from its digital business to £136.3m.

The UK gambling and leisure giant operates, one of the UK's top bingo sites. It said that it had faced a “year of transition” as it progressed with online platform technology. However, revenue had “disappointed”.

It also said that it had been a “challenging” year for online “following the stringent application of affordability restrictions”,

During the lockdown period, the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) issued new guidance, that included affordability checks, for online gaming operators to ensure consumer protection.


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