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Luminar remains optimistic despite no offers for entertainment division

15 November 2005

Bar, restaurant and nightclub operator Luminar still has high hopes for its struggling entertainment division, despite an apparent absence of any firm offers for it.

The company said in its interim results that bar chain Jumpin' Jaks and restaurant group Chicago Rock Café had performed "relatively poorly" over the period with like-for-like sales down 6% year on year and turnover at the entertainment division down £2.9m to £52.4m.

Luminar put its bars and restaurants on the market in June in a bid to concentrate its efforts on its traditional nightclub businesses but ring-fenced the division in July because it was unimpressed by the value of the bids received.

Since this time no official approaches for the division have been disclosed by the company, which is increasingly focusing on its nightclub assets.

However, Luminar chief executive Stephen Thomas, praised the subsequent and continuing efforts of the division's new management team to restore the "original proposition of dining, dancing and drinking".

Group turnover from continuing operations for the half year to 1 September 2005 was £154.4m (2004: £158.8m). Pre-tax profit on continuing operations after exceptional items was up £9.8m to £23.4m (2004: £13.6m), which included profit from the sale of 49 nightclubs.

Luminar currently operates 190 venues in the UK, including the Oceana, Lava and Ignite nightclubs, with 80 restaurants and bars under the Jumpin' Jaks and Chicago Rock Café brands.

by Jen Crothers

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