Rank Group Share Price Dips

Rank Group shares today dropped on the London Stock Exchange today after its bingo operations brought in reduced profits in the wake of the Scottish smoking ban.

Rank shares declined by 2.1% after it admitted that its operating profit at its gaming operations including bingo, casinos and interactive gaming declined by a significant 10.6% to 46.5 million, blaming increased operating costs and restructuring charges.

Rank’s gaming division crucially incorporates the companies bingo clubs in Scotland which reported a 14% drop in revenue after the smoking ban was introduced on March 26th. Overall profit at Ranks bingo operations dropped by 17% to 36 million pounds.

“The numbers imply trading remains difficult,” commented Morgan Stanley.

 Rank is currently restructuring its gaming operations and other businesses in an attempt to lessen the impact of the Scottish smoking ban and the upcoming British smoking ban on the rest of the group.

"Profits and cash flows at the core businesses remain under extreme pressure caused by the planned English smoking ban next year and likely doubling of casino capacity over the next couple of years," said Merrill Lynch.

Google News - 2006-09-01 11:34:25

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