Nightclub operator Luminar Leisure has parted company with its finance director, as the company announced a pre-tax loss of £110.2m for the year.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Luminar announced this morning that finance director Robert McDonald had decided to stand down as finance director and leave the group to "pursue other interests". McDonald will be replaced by Philip Bowcock who takes up the role on 1 June.
The loss at the company came in large part as a result of exceptional items totalling £127.8m following the collapse into administration of 3D Entertainment Group in February this year, in which Luminar holds a 49% investment.
Luminar said that, stripping out exceptional items, it had made a £4.4m pre-tax profit of £4.4m from continuing operations, down 78% from the £20.3m it made last year.
Meanwhile the company blamed a combination of youth unemployment, fierce competition and severe winter weather for a 9.9% fall in sales on a same outlet basis across its 85 clubs, including a 15.4% decline in the second half of the year due to lower customer admissions.
Luminar has also slashed costs, with operating costs reduced by £6m for the year and capital investment reduced to £4.2m, down from £38.1m in the previous year.
Despite the tough trading conditions, recently-appointed chief executive Simon Douglas said: "Whilst our marketplace remains challenging, we believe there is a substantial opportunity to leverage Luminar's many strengths. By focusing on the operational basics and embracing more modern marketing methods, we will engage and entertain out customers and ensure our offer remains relevant."
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By Neil Gerrard
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