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Regent Inns's Old Orleans drags the company's performance down

25 May 2007 by
Regent Inns's Old Orleans drags the company's performance down

Regent Inns has warned short-term profits will be below expectations due to a combination of a pre-Christmas lull and delays in re-developing key Old Orleans sites.

The Walkabout owner also warned that trading in June would be lower that last year, which experienced "exceptionally strong trading" during the summer football World Cup.

While trading at its entertainment bars division was up by 2.6% for the 17 weeks ending 31 March, Old Orleans continued to bring the group down with Regent warning that the recovery in trading from the casual dining outlet "has been slower than expected".

Regent bought Old Orleans from Punch Taverns in August as part of a £26m package for Sprint Group's managed portfolio that included 29 Old Orleans restaurants and two Quincey's branded operations.

Also adding to short-term profit pressure has been investments in the bars estate and external areas ahead of the introduction of the smoking ban in England on 1 July.

However, chairman Bob Ivell added in his statement that while the full year of trading would finish below market expectations the medium term outlook remained positive.

Christmas trading gives Regent Inns a boost >>

Licensing regime costs and increased competition dents Regent Inns profits >>

By Christopher Walton

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