Focus on Digital vertical pays off with revenue up 16 percent, and operating profit up 75 percent
The digital vertical again performed strongly in the half-yearly report of UK land and online gambling major Rank Group plc, achieving revenue growth of 16 percent and operating profits up 75 percent year-on-year.
Rank posted its six month results for the period ended December 31, noting the following high points:
* H1 operating profit up 25 percent at GBP 40.8 million with all brands improving period-on-period;
* Strong digital growth with revenue up 16 percent and operating profit up 75 percent;
* Improving performance across both Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca;
* New digital platform provider Bede Gaming appointed;
* New management team in place;
* Bingo duty reduction enabled investment into Mecca venues and customer prizes;
* Substantial deleveraging in the period with cash inflow from operations up 46 percent;
* Strong dividend growth with interim dividend of 1.60p, up 19 percent on 2013/14;
* Adjusted EPS up 34 percent;
* Group revenues of GBP 361.7 million up 3 percent y-o-y;
* Group EBITDA at GBP 62.1 million;
Adjusted profit pre-tax of GBP 35.8 million;
Net debt at GBP 94.9 million.
Henry Birch, chief executive, said:
"I am very pleased to be announcing a strong set of results with operating profit (before exceptional items) up 25 percent, following improvements across all parts of the business which has driven a 19 percent increase in our interim dividend.
"We have continued our focus on improving our digital business and this strategy has resulted in a 16 percent increase in digital revenues and 75 percent increase in operating profit.
"To further strengthen our offer in this important channel, we have today announced an agreement with Bede Gaming to supply our new core digital platform which will ensure the Group has a flexible and modern platform to build on.
"The first half saw three senior management appointments including two managing directors to lead Mecca and Grosvenor Casinos, and the newly created role of Group Director of Digital and Cross-Channel Services. These appointments further strengthen the Group's management team and ensure that we are well placed to take advantage of future growth."
"Rank remains in a strong financial position, possesses market-leading brands and has a clear strategy for long term growth. As a result, the Board continues to look to the future with confidence."
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