New openings helped boost turnover by 5% at bar-nightclub operator Urbium during the first half of this year. But the associated pre-opening costs hit pre-tax profits by nearly 20%.
Urbium, which operates the eight-strong Tiger Tiger chain as well as 20 other venues, reported turnover of £32m for the six months to 27 June, against £30.6m at the same point last year.
Pre-tax profit, before amortisation, fell to £2.5m after pre-opening costs of £600,000. This compared with £3.1m last year, when there were no pre-opening costs.
Chairman John Conlan said: "The substantial costs incurred in opening four new venues masks the considerable underlying progress in group profitability made in the first half.
"Vibrant trading in London helped to increase underlying operating profits by 4%."
The company said its venues in the North of England had suffered from "weak market conditions".
Like-for-like sales in first the nine weeks since 27 June were up by 3%, Urbium added.
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