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Promising statement lifts Rank

Shares in Rank Organisation were up sharply after the company released an upbeat trading statement. The company said sales in continuing operations were up more than 5 per cent and operating profit was 11 per cent higher in the first 10 months compared with a year earlier.

Paul Slattery at Kleinwort Benson said the statement was mainly in line with his expectations, adding that the impact of the National Lottery on the company's recreation division, which saw profits fall by around a quarter, has been brought under control. His year-end profits forecast remained at pounds 391m.

Julian Easthope at UBS said his pre-tax profit forecast is already at "the top end of the range" at pounds 410m.

The shares closed the day up 16p at 425p.