Luminar considers sale of bars and cafés division

16 March 2005 by
Luminar considers sale of bars and cafés division

Struggling bar and club operator Luminar is mulling over the future of its Chicago Rock Café and Jumpin' Jaks brands as sales continue to tumble.

A continuing poor performance from Luminar's entertainment division, which includes the company's bars and café businesses, resulted in a 4% decline in like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to 28 February.

Luminar said that its nightclub brands, which include Oceana, Liquid and Life, were doing well, but the entertainment division had failed to perform satisfactorily over the past year.

Chief executive Stephen Thomas has launched a strategic review of the entertainment division, which he admitted could result in its sale.

A further 21 non-core bars owned by the company are also under review.

Thomas said Luminar would be assessing the capital and management resources required to reinvigorate the entertainment division.

Luminar has already disposed of 15 units during this year, raising £10m, while a further 53 non-core clubs are still up for grabs.

The company has warned it expects a £50m exceptional hit on full-year results, expected mid-May, for the write-down of assets to their expected sale value.

Luminar has lost two directors this year. Finance director Andrew Burns is departing after the company's results presentation in May, and director of operations Alistair Burford quit with immediate effect on 27 January.

by Chris Druce

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