Source - SMW
Gambling company Rank reported a 27.6% fall in its adjusted pre-tax profit to £29.1m for the first half of its financial year amid "tough trading".

However, the company said it was "encouraged" by the group's improved performance in the second quarter and expected full-year performance to be in line with the current consensus.

Group like-for-like revenue also fell over the period, declining 2.4% to £366m in the six months to 31 December 2018.

After a difficult first quarter 2018/19,  the Group's performance improved during the second quarter, with like-for-like revenues down 2.4% for the first half of 2018/19, compared to the 4.7% decline seen in the first quarter of 2018/19.  

The company's digital business grew by 15.8% in the period, driven by Mecca and YoBingo!.  

However, the period continued to be difficult for the Group's UK retail businesses as a challenging consumer backdrop weighed on revenue at its Grosvenor casino and Mecca bingo businesses, with total like-for-like revenue down 4.2%. 

"The three-year transformation programme that we outlined at our Full Year results in August 2018 is now well underway with nearly 300 initiatives identified and tasked. The programme will gain further momentum in H2 2018/19 and the management team is positive about what can be achieved. While there is lots to be done to deliver the revenue improvements and cost efficiencies identified, I am confident in the outlook for Rank and excited about the opportunities that exist," said John O'Reilly, Chief Executive.

At 8:41am: (LON:RNK) Rank Group The PLC share price was -0.3p at 149.3p