Rank to Appoint Finance Veteran Richard Harris as Group CFO

Land-based casino and bingo operator in the UK Rank Group announced a new addition to its executive team after Richard Harris agreed to become the new group chief financial officer.

Extensive Financial Sector Experience

Rank Group is appointing the current CFO of estate agency Foxtons Group Harris as its new CFO effective May 1, 2022. Harris will also assume a role at the Board of Directors of the London-listed gambling group.

“I am delighted to be joining Rank at this exciting time in the group’s journey. I have enjoyed meeting various members of the team and look forward to working closely with them, John and the board to deliver the group’s strategy.”

Richard Harris, Soon-to-be CFO, Rank Group

Harris, who will be replacing Rank Group CFO Bill Floydd, is a corporate finance industry veteran, having spent 11 years across a number of senior financial roles at Marks & Spencer, before joining tech firm Laird as its group financial controller, until June 2019 when he joined his current employer Foxtons Group.

Delighted to deliver the news about Richard’s appointment, Rank Group chief executive officer John O’Reilly outlined Harris’ credentials in the corporate finance sector.

“His extensive experience across a number of senior financial and operational roles will be invaluable as we continue to deliver the next phase of Rank’s transformation plan. I look forward to welcoming Richard into the group in 2022.”

John O’Reilly, CEO, Rank Group

Rank Group CFO Floydd is officially stepping down at the end of December, having spent just over three years on the position after joining the land-based gaming operator in November 2018. In the interim period from January through April, the responsibilities of a chief financial officer will be assumed by Rank Group’s director of group finance Simon Hay.

Windfall to Help Offset Closures Impact

Rank Group is among the companies that were affected by improper VAT taxation related to gaming activities, and after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) refused to appeal the court ruling in favor of the operators, the group announced it would be expecting a windfall in the region of £80 million ($110 million).

In November, Rank Group released an update on its VAT refund claim and informed all interested parties that it reached an agreement with the tax authority “on the quantum of its claim for the refund of VAT paid on slot machines in the period from April 2006 to January 2013.”

According to the agreement with the HMRC, Rank Group should receive £77.5 million ($104 million) plus interest in the region of £5.5 million ($7.4 million), while the net payment will be subjected to 19% corporation tax for both amounts.

Needless to say, Rank Group was among the most affected gambling operators from the nationally adopted approach to restrict the transmission of the coronavirus by imposing business closures and restrictions, but the business started to recover.

In the three months ended September 30, 2021, Rank Group posted a 69% increase in net gaming revenue driven mainly by a recovery of its venue business which grew 117% year-over-year.

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