- Bingo hall and casino operator Rank said its business was feeling the effects of government moves to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The company said it had seen a slowdown in trading at its UK venues in the last three weeks, with a sharper decline witnesses in recent days.

Its venues in Spain and Belgium had closed following movement restrictions, though governments were providing support by subsidising payroll costs as the company temporarily laid off colleagues.

The UK government recently guided people to avoid leisure venues.

Rank said its modelling showed the impact of closures in the UK would result in monthly net cash costs of around £25m before mitigating actions, and around £17m with mitigation.

The company also said that it had tax and duty payments of around £40m falling due in April.

Rank said it had a 'strong' balance sheet, with net debt at the end of February 2020 of £32m, funded by the Stride acquisition facility of £128m.

It also had undrawn revolving credit facilities of £85m.

Total available cash and facilities after customer deposits at the end of February was £163m.

'At this stage, given the continued uncertainty, the board does not believe it appropriate to provide financial guidance for the current financial year ending 30 June 2020,' Rank said.

'The board will provide an update as and when appropriate.'

At 2:50pm: [LON:RNK] Rank Group PLC share price was -4.8p at 104.2p

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