Rank Group reveals ‘significant’ growth in 2014

Henry Birch, chief executive of Rank Group, has set his sights on further growth after the gambling operator announced a “significant” improvement in its performance during the 12 months through to June 30.

Full year group revenue amounted to £738.3 million (€1 billion/$1.2 billion), up 4% on the £707.7 million posted during the previous 12 months.

Statutory revenue was also up 3% year-on-year to £700.7 million, while group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before exceptional items increased 9% to £126.3 million.

Elsewhere, group operating profit before exceptional items hiked 16% year-on-year to £84 million while adjusted profit before tax jumped 19% to £74.1 million.

In addition, Rank noted that adjusted earnings per share were up 18% to 14.6p, while the operator was able to pay out a dividend per share of 5.60p, up 24% from last year.

Net debt was also cut by 61% from £137 million in the 2013-14 financial year to £52.9 million in the most recent 12-month period.

Reflecting on the results, Birch said the company is now confident of securing further growth, having started the new financial year in positive fashion.

“Our 16% profit growth has translated into 18% adjusted EPS growth and a 24% increase in our annual dividend which is reflected in a strong balance sheet and lower debt,” Birch said.

“Alongside our strong operating performance, we have made good progress on our strategic objectives that we outlined 12 months ago, and we have a clear strategy for delivering sustainable profitable growth across all our brands.

“Trading in the short seven-week period to 16 August 2015 has continued in line with the trends seen in 2014/15 and is in line with management’s expectations.”

Meanwhile, Rank has also announced a number of directorate changes, with Susan Hooper to become a non-executive director from September 1.

Hooper has held a number of senior roles with a range of companies, but most recently served as managing director of British Gas Residential Services.

She has also served in senior roles with the likes of the Acromas Group, Royal Caribbean International, PepsiCo and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Meanwhile, Shaa Wasmund has informed the Rank board that she will not be seeking re-election as a director at the operator’s Annual General Meeting in October.

Rank chairman Ian Burke said: “We are delighted to welcome Susan to the Rank board. Her extensive experience gained within large consumer-facing businesses combined with her broad commercial non-executive experience will further strengthen our board.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Shaa for her contribution to Rank. Shaa’s experience in digital media has been invaluable to the board since she joined in 2012 and we wish her all the best for the future.”

source : www.igamingbusiness.com

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