BUSINESS

Rank talking to Coral again; CryptoLogic loses $2.2m; Jockey Club’s good year

TAGs: Cryptologic, Gala Coral, Jockey Club, Rank Group

cryptologic-rank-group-jockey-clubUK gaming outfit Rank Group released an interim management statement indicating 5% like-for-like revenue growth in the 18 weeks ending May 6, while total revenue rose 4%. Grosvenor Casinos revenue was up 8% on a 2% rise in customer visits and a 6% rise in spend per visit. Rank Interactive revenue rose 17%, assisted by a 19% gain at MeccaBingo.com, which helped offset a 7% decline at sportsbook Blue Square. Revenues at land-based Mecca Bingo operations were down 1% on reduced customer visits. Top Rank España revenue slipped 2% on a slumping Spanish economy. In other Rank news, the Telegraph reported that the company has returned to the bargaining table with Gala Coral in a resumed bid for Gala’s casino operations. The two sides broke off talks in late March, but apparently they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Dublin-based software outfit CryptoLogic reported a net loss of $2.2m in Q1 2012, based on an 11.5% drop in revenues to $5.3m. The company attributes the downturn to increased amortization of royalties paid to a major third party brand licensor and higher amortization charges for new games. The results are a step back for the firm, which last year recorded its first annual revenue increase in five years. Expenses rose to $7.5m from $6.5m in Q1 2011. The $35.8m takeover of CryptoLogic by Amaya Gaming Group continues apace, with 88.15% of CryptoLogic’s issued share capital having signed off on the deal.

The Jockey Club, the premier commercial British horseracing outfit, recorded an operating profit of £19.2m in 2011, up from £18.3m in 2010. The club says 61.4% of all group operating profits found their way back into purses last year. Turnover was £139.4m in 2011, a rise of £1.4m over 2010. Media rights, hospitality and sponsorship contributed to the Club’s growth. The windfall will allow the Club to boost prize money to £16.7m in 2012. Founded in 1750, the Jockey Club owns 14 racetracks, including Cheltenham, Aintree, Newmarket and Epsom. CEO Simon Bazalgette cheered the Club’s 2011 performance, which he said was accomplished “despite the challenging economic environment.” Bazalgette echoed the standard racing line that the UK government needed “to press on with a legislative framework that allows racing to receive a fair commercial return from the betting industry.”

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