MECCA Bingo owner Rank reported a fall in annual profits – but said it ended 2008 in “significantly better shape” than it started the year.

The group, which has a Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casino complex at Folly Hall in Huddersfield, posted profits of £40.5m in 2008 compared with £46.2m a year earlier.

Chief executive Ian Burke said the short-term outlook was clouded by economic uncertainty, but added that Rank’s actions in response to a period of “significant upheaval” in the gaming industry had stabilised the business.

Rank reported a fall 4% fall in operating profits at Mecca Bingo after revenues declined by 5.4% to £227.6m.

Like-for-like revenues at Mecca Bingo were 3% lower in the first eight weeks of the new year.