roup earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before exceptional items was also dropped 6% to £54.2 million, while group operating profit before exceptional items fell 14% to £32.7 million.
Despite the disappointing results, Rank Group was able to record an increase in group revenue, which grew 16% from £304.4 million in the previous year to £353.4 million in the latest period.
“As previously guided, the first half of the current financial year was challenging with like-for-like brand performances down on the same period last year,” Rank Group’s chief executive Ian Burke said. “Our London Park Tower casino has underperformed against a strong comparative period; this casino’s performance has been the principal cause of a 2.9% fall in London win margin and a 6% fall in London handle in the period. The very challenging bingo market has contributed to a decline in the Mecca brand’s performance as customer visits fell by 8% in the period.
“We are continuing to implement actions outlined in our Q1 IMS to drive both revenue and operating profit that will bring benefits in the second half and future years. Management anticipates operating profit in the second half, excluding the impact of the acquired casinos, will be broadly in line with the comparable period last year,” he concluded.