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Nightclub operator Luminar decides to ditch entertainment division

19 May 2006

Nightclub operator Luminar has stated its entertainment division, which contains Chicago Rock Café and Jumpin Jaks, does not form part of its long-term future.

Luminar had adopted a holding strategy for the division over the past few years and abandoned attempts to sell it last year after failing to secure a high enough bid.

Chief executive Stephen Thomas said the division remained profitable and recent move to reinvigorate the Chicago Rock Café offering had been a success.

Luminar has been moving its business towards large, branded nightclubs over the past few years with brands such as Oceana, Liquid and Lava Ignite.

Early this year the company said sales at its Jumpin Jaks bars over Christmas had collapsed as customers went elsewhere.

In a briefing note, broker Charles Stanley Securities welcomed the company's decision to dispose or demerge its entertainment division but said the full-year results were slightly below market expectations.

"Clearly the group's performance demonstrates how tough the trading environment is" said Charles Stanley analyst James Dawson.

Turnover in the year to 2 March was up 3% at £296.1m (2005: £288.1m). Pre-tax profit before exceptional items fell 13% to £45.6m (2005: £52.6m).

Bid for Luminar withdrawn >>

Sales tumble at entertainment division >>

By Chris Druce

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