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Poor weather and recession hits Luminar Group

14 January 2010 by
Poor weather and recession hits Luminar Group

Poor weather and the recession have hit profits at bar, nightclub and restaurant operator Luminar Group.

In a trading update issued this morning, the company said that pre-tax profit for the year to 25 February would be "below market expectations".

The company, which owns the international Oceana brand, as well as Liquid nightclubs, said that the general economic conditions and particularly youth unemployment had had "a significant impact on our core customers" and affected the frequency of their visits.

Meanwhile the recent bout of freezing weather has also affected footfall, the company said.

Despite the problems, Luminar indicated that average sales per customer on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve were up 1.5% on December in the previous year.

But same outlet sales for December as a whole were 13.8% down. Same outlet sales for the first 44 weeks of the financial year to 31 December were 8.1% down on the previous year.

To counteract the tough conditions, Luminar has put investment in its brands on hold and now expects investment in the current financial year to be £5m. Net borrowings at the company have also dropped and stood at £96m at the end of December, within a borrowing facility of £175m.

The company is also reported to be in "advanced discussions" with entertainment retail chain HMV which would see the two companies market each other's products, according to the Times newspaper today.

Luminar sets sights on "divorced, single and dumped" market >>

Luminar Group sells 26 bars to Cavendish >>

Luminar plans to raise £35.7m for expansion >>

By Neil Gerrard

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