Rank posts dip in profit

LONDON — The Rank Group has posted disappointing results for the six months ended June 30, largely attributed to a decrease in video duplication volumes.

While total sales for the group were up 4%, to $1.37 billion for the period, operating profit declined 2%, to $144 million.

Rank’s film and entertainment division — which includes video — posted sales down 5%, to $402 million, with operating profit down a dramatic 31%, to $32 million.

Rank is one of the two biggest video duplicators in the world — Technicolor being the other — and the first half of this year was lacking in strong video releases.

Film processing, however, was up 13%.

Rank’s other entertainment interests include the Odeon cinema chain and a 50% stake in Universal Studios Florida. Odeon admissions were up 11%, with concessions up 8%. Rank’s share of profit from Universal rose $1.6 million, to $11.2 million.

Earlier this year, Rank sold off distrib arm Rank Film Distributors for $48 million to Carlton Communications, but retained its famous “man striking a gong” logo. Rank’s other businesses include Hard Rock Cafes, casinos, nightclubs, restaurants and holiday camps.

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