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New licensing rules contributed to missed targets, says Ultimate

29 April 2005
New licensing rules contributed to missed targets, says Ultimate

Bar, hotel and nightclub operator Ultimate Leisure has warned it will not meet market expectations for the year to 30 June 2005.

Newcastle-based Ultimate said the competitive trading environment and delay of several key site openings had affected prospects.

The company has also only secured one new leasehold site this year. The site, which was originally due to be trading by March, will now open in December.

A lack of new sites is a concern for the operator whose business model is based on driving growth through several new acquisitions a year.

Ultimate believes the negative publicity associated with binge drinking is partially to blame, as many councils are using their new alcohol licensing powers in an arbitrary and inconsistent manner.

As a result it has walked away from a number of potential town-centre sites due to concerns that restrictions applied by local licensing authorities to combat binge drinking are too restrictive.

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