Luminar turnaround working as nightclub operator returns to profit

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment

Nightclub operator Luminar said its efforts to turn the business around were paying off as it returned to profit in its first full year of trade
Nightclub operator Luminar said its efforts to turn the business around were paying off as it returned to profit in its first full year of trade
Nightclub operator Luminar says its efforts to turn the business around seem to be working as it posts a return to profit for its first full year of trade. 

The company, bought out of administration in 2011 by a team led by chief executive Peter Marks, has spent the last year consolidating the business and investing in its 53-strong estate to rebuild the business. 

Today chief financial officer Russell Margerrison said the group had made 'strong financial progress' as its results for the year ending 23 February delivered a pre-tax profit of £1.3m off a turnover of £89.9m. 

“This is an impressive set of results that demonstrates that the business is heading in the right direction. We have delivered strong financial progress, paid down our final deferred consideration payment ahead of schedule and are now in a position to continue to invest in our estate and our people to build a profitable future," he said. 

Turnaround

In February of this year, Marks told BigHospitality in a video interview he was 'convinced' he and his team would be able to turn the business around, but warned it would take some time. 

"We've had to fight hard for market share and we've had to refurbish our premises. We're pleased with our progress. We're probably six months behind where we would like to be but this is not a one year turnaround programme - it’s a two or three year turnaround programme," he said. 

Refurbishment

Over the year, Luminar invested £2.4m in refurbishing clubs in York, Edinburgh, Crawley, Aberdeen and Eastbourne and on acquiring the lease of the Casino nightclub in Guildford. It also spent another £1.6m on minor refurbishments, equipment upgrades and other improvements. 

Margerrison said another 17 sites would be refurbished this year with the whole refurbishment programme expected to be completed by the end of 2015.  

“When we acquired the business, one of our key priorities was to refurbish the estate which had been under-invested for many years and the quality of the experience fell way below what our customers expected. We now have a robust plan in place that will touch the majority of the estate by the end of our next financial year, together with a longer term view of re-investing to keep our brands and venues up to date," he said. 

Looking forward, the company is expecting to face challenges to the late night sector from high unemployment and rising tuition fees for students affecting its core market of 18 to 24-year-olds. However, Margerrison said actions taking to reposition the business left it 'well positioned to make further progress this year."

“This is a really solid performance which demonstrates that there is still positive upside in the UK nightclub market for professional and well-funded operators," he said. 

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