Rank needs a big idea
Friday 21 February 1997
During the reign of Mr Teare's predecessor, Michael Gifford, Rank adopted the Millwall FC approach to investor relations - "no one likes us and we don't care" - so yesterday's attempt to convince the City it was setting itself demanding but achievable return on capital targets was a positive first step towards dispelling worries, underscored by last year's expensive Tom Cobleigh acquisition, that Rank's best talent was for squandering shareholders' funds.
The PR offensive has a long way to go yet, however. Analysts still find Rank's level of disclosure unacceptably low. It suggests problems where they may not exist. When the share price has fallen a quarter in a year while the rest of the market has risen 16 per cent, these doubts need to be addressed head-on, not sidestepped.
Presentation aside, the substance of Rank's problems remains intractable. It owns a rag-bag of tired brands like Butlin's that will require heavy capital investment to bring up to date, some mature concepts like Hard Rock, which is struggling even to maintain like-for-like sales let alone grow them, and hard-pressed businesses like Mecca bingo, which is outperforming its peers but still earning less than it did before the National Lottery spoiled the party two years ago.
Getting shot of its pounds 1bn Rank Xerox stake will underpin a balance sheet that is starting to look stretched now a pounds 300m disposal programme is largely complete, but what now? For a company operating in strong growth markets, an inability to find anything sizeable to invest in is some indictment. Mr Teare has come through a sticky first year as well as he could have expected in a business he knew next to nothing about. What he, and Rank, needs more than anything now is a big idea.
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...