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Regent Inns toasts strong Walkabout performance

07 July 2005

Regent Inns has enjoyed strong performance at its Walkabout bar chain since launching a review last autumn.

Executive chairman Bob Ivell said a rigorous review of the brand's product range, pricing and strategy was to thank for second half like-for-like sales growth of 4.6%.

Overall like-for-like sales at the group, which includes the Jongleurs comedy clubs, increased 1.8% in the year to 2 July.

Sales were particularly strong in London, where there was a 6% increase.

As a result the company's net debt was reduced further during the second half of the year to less than £60m.

Ivell said: "We are delighted with the progress achieved over the last nine months. We have restored financial stability, improved trading performance and achieved head office cost savings."

Regent has until 21 July to table a second bid for rival Urbium, owner of Tiger Tiger, after its offer made last month was rejected.

The company recently stated its ambition to become a high-street pub and bar consolidator in an attempt to strengthen its position.

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