Rank Group’s (LSE: RNK) share price was basically unchanged in Thursday business following the release of latest interims, the stock up fractionally from the mid-week close.
Rank — which operates the Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino brands — announced that while total revenues flatlined during the 46 weeks to May 14, like-for-like revenues edged 1% higher in the period.
The business had its digital operations to thank for sales not dropping sharply in the period to mid-May. Total online revenues rose 13%, driven by Grosvenor Casino where sales shot 35% higher. Digital revenues at Mecca Bingo rose by a more modest 2%.
By comparison, like-for-like revenues at Grosvenor’s venues slipped 1% as lower margins struck. Meanwhile, lower footfall at Mecca caused underlying sales here to fall 2% from a year earlier.
Still, Rank’s performance in the period was stable enough for the firm to affirm its full-year expectations.
While digital platform problems at Mecca have held sales growth at Rank back somewhat, the online sphere still offers oodles of opportunity for the Maidenhead business. Latest sales numbers from Grosvenor back this up, with the fresh platform launch last spring proving a hit with online gamblers.
And while the trading environment for venues remains extremely challenging, Rank has been able to offset the worst of these troubles thanks to the strength and stability of its Mecca brand.
Furthermore, while the company’s joint takeover bid with 888 Holdings for William Hill may have floundered, the sector remains ripe for consolidation and future earnings-enhancing deals could be just around the corner.
Regardless of any M&A action however, the City still feels Rank has what it takes to overcome a predicted 3% earnings decline in the year to June 2017 and deliver stellar long-term growth, starting with a 9% rebound next year.
Given Rank’s improving traction in the fast-growing online market, I reckon a forward P/E ratio of 13.5 times represents excellent value.
Ticket to ride
Although not as attractive from a value perspective, I reckon accesso Technology Group (LSE: ACSO) is also worthy of serious attention from growth hunters.
The ticketing and queuing system provider has long delivered exceptional double-digit earnings growth and, although bottom-line expansion is anticipated to slow to a mere 1% in the current calendar year (resulting in a ‘heavy’ paper P/E ratio of 48.8 times), accesso is predicted to get back into gear with a 23% rise in 2018.
It saw revenues shoot 10% higher in 2016, to $102.5m, thanks to a combination of new contract wins and significant deal extensions with existing clients. Consequently pre-tax profits jumped 40% to $10.1m.
The Twyford company has invested heavily in technology to keep business rolling in, and the rollout of its Passport platform with theme park giant Merlin Entertainments remains on track for completion across most sites by the close of 2017. And the acquisition of Ingresso in March further bolsters its position on the global stage.
I reckon both accesso and Rank could post explosive earnings growth in the years to come.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.