Rank expects challenging year

Gaming firm Rank Group said it expects its earning per share to be towards the top end of analysts' forecasts for 2010, although it added that the outlook for next year remains challenging.

It said analysts' estimates for adjusted EPS were 9.5 pence to 9.8 pence, with a mean average of 9.6 pence. "The outlook for 2011 remains challenging with the increase in the standard rate of VAT and public sector redundancies likely to have a negative effect on consumer sentiment in Britain," the company said in a statement.

Rank, owner of Mecca bingo halls and Grosvenor casino chains, reported a 3 per cent gain in like-for-like revenue for the nine weeks to December. 5.

For the year to week 49, revenue was up 7 per cent or 4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.