Rank reported a 2% fall in underlying first-half profit to £71m and said that it expected full-year results to be broadly flat. Revenue rose by15% to £870.5m, driven by a 43% increase at Blue Square. At Hard Rock, operating profit was up 40% to £16.4m with improved like-for-like sales in restaurants and increased royalties from the casino hotels. Gaming operating profit was down 5% to £52m due to cost increases at Mecca and weaker sportsbook margins at Blue Square. Mike Smith, the company’s chief executive, said: "Development across all businesses continues apace, particularly in Deluxe Creative Services, Hard Rock hotels, and Grosvenor Casinos in the UK. "We have invested strongly in our gaming business over the last five years in preparation for UK gambling deregulation and we are well placed to benefit from the early freedoms that will come into effect from October this year and those changes that will come later." Smith added that the sale of the Deluxe Media business was "advancing" but was a "complex transaction" that would only be completed on terms that the board considered to be in the best interest of shareholders.