International edition
September 24, 2020

The consumer outlook is bleak, particularly in the UK

Spain woes hold back casino owner Rank's sales

(UK / Spain).- British bingo and casino operator Rank Group said it expected consumer outlook in 2012 to remain tough after sales growth was held back on continued weakness from its operations in Spain and lower win margin in its London venues.

T

he consumer outlook is bleak, particularly in the UK, and people across Europe are cutting spending amid rising prices, muted wages growth and government austerity.

For the 16 weeks to October 16, total group and like-for-like sales were flat, while revenue at Rank's Spanish unit was down 19 %. The company's Spanish unit, Top Rank Espana, accounted for 7 % of its total revenue last year.

"Difficult economic conditions and the effect of the full smoking ban continued to affect trading in our Spanish business," the group, which runs the Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos chains, said in a statement last Friday.

Earlier this year, the Spanish government tightened rules on smoking, joining a growing list of nations to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places.

Rank shares, which have lost 15 % of their value over the last three months, closed at us$ 0.20 on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange, valuing the firm at about us$ 787.6 million.

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