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LONDON -- Shares in Rank Group (LSE: RNK.L ) climbed 3% to 130 pence after the bingo, casino, and online gaming operator announced a 35% increase in dividends. Rank, which is majority-owned by Guoco Group -- which itself is a subsidiary of Malaysia's Hong Leong Group -- said adjusted pre-tax profit rose 9% to 62 million pounds on revenue that improved 3% to 600 million pounds.
Rank, which is valued at 490 million pounds, said: "While the current economic conditions remain challenging we have continued to increase the popularity of our brands and we look forward to the future with optimism."
Those brands include Mecca Bingo, which posted flat revenue, and Grosvenor Casinos, which saw a 4% improvement in sales. However, a double-digit drop in revenue at the company's Top Rank Espana highlights the problems facing the Spanish economy.
The company said: "Tough trading conditions in Spain resulted in Top Rank Espana's revenue declining by 12.8% to 29.2 million pounds. Operating profit before exceptional items was also down 65% to 1.4 million pounds."
However, Rank's Spanish business only accounts for around 7% of turnover and 5% of profits. Consequently, its exposure to Europe's woes is unlikely to have any significant impact.
In fact, the company said, "Rank has grown revenue and operating profit during the period despite tough economic conditions," adding that "Rank's annualised dividend per share has grown at a compound rate of 31.2% since 2009."
This morning's update from Rank underlines how exciting shares can become fruitful investments for ordinary investors.
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