Casino and bingo giant Rank racks up big loss
GAMING giant Rank plunged more than £107million into the red after the pandemic shut its Grosvenor casinos and Mecca bingo halls.
Rank makes nearly 80 per cent of its money from its venues and it suffered as sites closed for over half the year.
Trade continued to be affected when restrictions were eased because of social distancing rules.
Rank made a pre-tax loss of £107.3million for the 12 months to the end of June, versus a £13.4million profit last year. Revenues nearly halved, falling from £629.7million to £329.6million.
Chief executive John O’Reilly said he was “really pleased” with the performance given the unprecedented conditions and the way the business and its staff adapted.
Grosvenor returned to profit within a week of reopening on May 17. However, revenues are still down 19 per cent on pre-coronavirus levels.
It generates average weekly revenues of £5.7million, with £4.4million needed to break even, despite weak trade at its London and Scottish sites.
Mr O’Reilly said: “We are part of the late-night economy and in Scotland we had curfew. London is 40 per cent
behind because of the absence of international tourists and office workers.
“Normally it’s around 42 per cent of the casino business. However, outside of London and Scotland, we were broadly level. In fact, our best-performing areas are popular staycation spots like Bournemouth.”
Mecca’s trade has been down 21 per cent compared with pre-Covid times. It
is generating average weekly revenues of £2.6million, just ahead of its £2.4million profitability threshold.
Mr O’Reilly said Mecca was hampered by Covid rules. He said: “Customers were either sat on their own or with their bubble. It really reduced the social experience of bingo. Since the restrictions were released, we’ve seen a strong return from customers.”