Rank Group increases its 2015 full year dividend by 24%

DividendMax Ltd.

Rank Group increases its 2015 full year dividend by 24%

Key highlights

Operating profit up 16% with all brands in growth

Group revenue up 4%, with like-for-like revenue for Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca up 8% and 2% respectively

Strong digital growth with revenue up 21% and operating profit up 14% despite the introduction of Remote Gaming Duty ('RGD') from 1 December 2014

Migration to new Bede digital platform underway with go-live planned for Q3 2015/16

Robust balance sheet with cash flow from operations up 44% and net debt reduced by 61%

Significant progress made towards our five strategic objectives

Strong dividend growth with dividend per share of 5.60p, up 24% year-on-year

Adjusted EPS up 18%

Henry Birch, Chief Executive of The Rank Group Plc said:

"I am delighted to be announcing a significant improvement in our performance with a strong set of results and profit growth across all our brands. 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. 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. 

We are particularly pleased that the strong digital growth we reported at our interims continues and we remain on track to implement a new digital platform in early 2016. Our market-leading Grosvenor Casinos business continues to deliver consistent growth with like-for-like revenue up 8% and operating profit up 17%. Mecca has had a significantly improved year with like-for-like revenues up 2% and operating profit up 16%, driven by good digital growth, stable like-for-like revenues in our venues and lower operating costs benefiting from a reduction in bingo duty. And after several years of tough trading conditions, Enracha, our Spanish bingo business, has reported euro profits up 240%.  

We firmly believe that alongside growth in digital gambling, there will continue to be sustained demand for venue-based gambling in bingo clubs and casinos which offer an experience that cannot be digitised. Moreover, we believe that consumer trends will increasingly favour companies that can offer services across digital and retail channels and successfully offer a joined-up experience to our customers.

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.

Following our strong performance in the year, the board is pleased to recommend a significant increase to the dividend, delivering strong returns to shareholders and reflecting our continued confidence for the future."

Companies mentioned