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Friday, 1 March, 2002, 17:36 GMT
Gambling protects Rank's profits
News in brief
UK leisure giant Rank Group has seen a small increase in profit despite the impact of the global downturn and the 11 September attacks.

Profits before tax and one-off charges for 2001 came in at 188m ($260m), up slightly from 186m the year before.

The company said a promotional push at its bingo halls and casinos had offset a weaker performance at its Hard Rock Cafe restaurants in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks.

Profits at the Hard Rock Cafe chain, popular with tourists, fell by 18% on the year to 38m.

The company also owns Mecca Bingo Halls and Grosvenor Casinos in the UK.

Rank used to count high profile British leisure brands such as Odeon Cinemas, Pinewood Studios and Butlins holiday camps among its assets, but now focuses mainly on gaming and restaurants.

The company is rumoured to be interested in acquiring a bookmaking firm, but said it had not entered any acquisition talks.

Rank shares ended 0.5p higher at 250.5p.

See also:

02 Mar 01 | Business
Profits fall at slimmed-down Rank
15 Nov 01 | Business
Tough times at Hard Rock
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