Fall in consumer spending to dent Premium Bars and Restaurants earnings

17 June 2008 by
Fall in consumer spending to dent Premium Bars and Restaurants earnings

Premium Bars and Restaurants today warned that full-year earnings will be lower than forecast due to falling levels of consumer spending.

The company, previously Ultimate Leisure, said like-for-like sales were 5% lower than last year, principally due to a fall in performance at its late-night bar business.

The depressed property market has also been blamed for the delay in the sale of four "non-core" sites, which Premium said would cost it in excess of £1m in lost profit.

However Premium's executive chairman Mark Jones said food sales growth within the business had been strong, as had the performance of its Living Room brand.

Living Room was purchased from The Restaurant Group last year and is part of a stated strategy by Premium to transform itself from a late night bar and club operator to a national food-led business.

A 14th Living Room will open in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, on 24 June.

Jones said: "In this more challenging trading environment we remain confident that the strength of our brands, our strong balance sheet and our strategy going forward, all show that the business will enable us to maximise value for our shareholders."

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By Chris Druce

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