Belfast Telegraph

Revenues rise at Mecca Bingo owner as chairman departs

Former chief executive Ian Burke announced his decision to leave to the group after 13 years.

Mecca bingo (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Mecca bingo (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Mecca Bingo owner Rank Group reported a 1% increase in revenues in the first three months of the year, as its chairman Ian Burke announced his departure.

However, like-for-like revenues for the quarter to March 31 remained flat, it said in a stock market update.

Sales at Mecca Bingo venues slipped 1% against the same period last year, as a fall in customer visits was partially offset by a rise in average spend per visit.

Rank stemmed declining revenues across its 52 Grosvenor casino venues, where sales remained flat after declines in the previous two quarters.

Strong London sales buoyed the casino arm, offsetting a “disappointing” performance across in its provincial sites.

Total digital gross gaming revenues rose 2% over the period, although this represents a slowdown from 10% growth in the previous quarter.

Grosvenor digital gross gaming revenues jumped 6%, after net gaming revenues increased by 15% following action to manage bonuses more efficiently.

Mecca’s digital arm saw gross gaming revenues remain flat, but net gaming revenue rose 10%.

Spanish online bingo platform YoBingo, which was acquired for 52 million euro (£44 million) in May 2018, “continues to perform well”, it said.

In a separate statement this morning, non-executive chairman Ian Burke announced his decision to leave the group after 13 years.

Mr Burke joined Rank as chief executive in 2006, before becoming executive chairman in 2011 and then taking a non-executive role in 2014.

He said: “I have enjoyed my time at Rank immensely and am extremely proud of what we have achieved as a company.

“I have decided to step down as chairman in the knowledge that Rank has a strong management team and board which will take the business forward through its transformation programme.”

Rank launched a three-year transformation plan in December to grow revenue, reduce costs and ensure the necessary technology and processes are in place.

The programme delivered the expected cost savings in the quarter, and the company held firm on its profit expectations for the year.