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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Rank mulls Hard Rock cafes sale
Hard Rock cafe
Hard Rock may be going it alone
Leisure group Rank has announced that it is considering selling its Hard Rock cafe group.

In a trading update, Rank said it had decided to review the potential options for Hard Rock to assess "if it should remain part of the Rank Group".

Rank added that its Mecca Bingo chain had seen revenues hit by the ban on smoking in public places in Scotland.

During the 13 weeks since the ban began, Rank said that revenue fell 14% at its 14 Mecca clubs in Scotland.

The clubs also saw admissions down 6% and spending per head fall 9%.

New phase

Hard Rock's like-for-like revenue - which strips out the impact of new outlets - rose 8% in the six months to 25 June.

The Hard Rock brand is seeking to expand in the restaurant, casino and hotel markets, and Rank is now looking at whether it would be better to let the business operate independently.

"Hard Rock has performed strongly as part of the Rank Group and is now entering a new phase of its development," Rank said.

Although Rank's Mecca business suffered from the Scottish smoking ban, its Grosvenor Casinos business achieved 8% growth in revenues.

However, it noted that the number of people coming to the casinos had fallen in recent weeks, as a result of the warmer weather and the beginning of the World Cup tournament.

Smoking ban crimps Rank profits
26 Apr 06 |  Business

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