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Rank Year Profit Hit by Smoking Ban

British leisure group Rank reported a 12% decline in annual pretax profit from its ongoing business on Friday and said Scotland's smoking ban was still hurting trading at its bingo halls.

Rank, which runs Grosvenor casinos and Mecca bingo clubs, said adjusted profit before tax was 44.4 million pounds ($86.58 million) for the year to end December compared with 50.5 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue from it on going operations was 549.6 million pounds

This compared with a consensus expectation of 45.95 million pounds from revenue of 548.8 million according to a survey of six analysts polled by Reuters.

Rank said the company was set for a rocky ride in the next few months as the smoking ban, already in force in Scotland, is extended into England and Wales.

Scotland's ban on smoking contributed to a 15% drop in like-for-like revenue at its Scottish bingo halls.

"In the short term we recognise that our businesses face a number of challenges, most notably the smoking ban which will be effective across the whole of Britain from July this year," Chief Executive Ian Burke said in a statement.

Rank's shares, which have fallen around 20% in the last year, closed at 222 pence on Thursday, valuing the business at 1.18 billion pounds.

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