The Rank Group has reported a 69 percent increase in NGR for the first quarter of 2021/22, as retail revenue is bolstered by “an excellent response” from casino and bingo customers.
Rank Group has recorded a 69 percent year-on-year increase in NGR for the three months to 30 September 2021, prompting the operator to predict revenue for the year ending 30 June 2022 will hit between £700m and £750m.
The positive projection comes on the back of “an excellent response” from customers returning to retail venues, with Grosvenor recording a 209 percent rise in revenue to £79.2m for the period, while Mecca experienced a 41 percent increase to £34m.
“We have seen an excellent response from our customers as they return to our venues, with our colleagues doing a great job in ensuring they are being properly entertained within a safe environment,” said CEO John O’Reilly.
“Whilst forecasting remains difficult as we emerge from the pandemic in an environment of volatile costs and numerous supply chain challenges, we are confident that trading will continue to improve across each of our businesses during the remainder of the year.”
Though Grosvenor and Mecca earnings for the quarter remain below those achieved pre-pandemic, with revenue down 20 percent and 22 percent on Q119 respectively, an overall retail NGR uptick of 117 percent helped Rank’s total group NGR reach £163.1m.
Online growth also impacted figures, with digital operations improving 4 percent to deliver £38.2m and International Digital revenue growing 11 percent, in turn pushing digital NGR up 5 percent, year-on-year.
While acknowledging the significant improvement across both digital and retail, Rank also noted that visitation to bricks-and-mortar casinos and bingo halls still has some way to go, observing that “London continues to feel the impact of reduced tourism.”
Though regional venues are reportedly “running at close to pre pandemic levels,” performance across smaller Rank retail brands was “mixed,” with combined casino and bingo NGR declining 6 percent.
Though Mecca reported a consistent increase in customers numbers and revenue, the company reported that visits from frequent players failed to reach substantial levels.
However, Rank remained confident about the future of retail, predicting that – should no further lockdowns impact in-venue trade – pre-tax profits for the coming full year are likely to be between £50m and £75m.