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Luminar Group Hlgs (LMR)

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Friday 25 September, 2009

Luminar Group Hlgs

Trading update

RNS Number : 6608Z
Luminar Group Holdings PLC
25 September 2009

Luminar Group Holdings PLC

Trading Update for Half Year to 27 August 2009

Luminar Group Holdings plc will announce its interim results to 27 August 2009 on 22 October 2009.

The trading environment has been difficult throughout the period with high and rising levels of unemployment amongst our core market of young people.  Nevertheless our strategy to deliver higher quality content in our venues has been successful at driving higher spend per customer, but this has been offset by admission numbers which have reduced in the later part of the period.  Trading so far in September has worsened, with weekend admissions in particular being below the board's expectations.

Overall sales in the continuing business fell by 5.9% in the 26 weeks to 27 August 2009 compared to the same period last yearin part due to the impact of a late August bank holiday which deferred some sales this year to the second half. Adjusting for the bank holiday, same outlet sales (across 87 units) for the 26 weeks fell by 4.5%. Within this total, admission revenue fell by 0.2% on footfall down by 2.9%, while drinks revenue was down by 6.6%. Gross margins continue to improve as average drink prices increase, but are lower than in the first half of last year when the retail prices of drinks were initially significantly higher.  

Following shareholder approval on 18 August 2009 the Group completed the issue of 39.5 million new shares, raising gross proceeds of £37.5 million, both strengthening our financial position and enabling us to take advantage of opportunities in our marketplace.  Our intention is to use these proceeds to invest in new capacity and we continue to actively explore profitable opportunities in key target locations, including the development of our site in Manchester which we expect to open early in 2010.

The adverse market conditions have affected trading in 3D Entertainment Group Limited ('3DE'), in which we hold a 49% shareholding and an outstanding loan note. 3DE is classified as an investment held for sale, and we are reviewing the carrying value of our investment in the light of current markets.  Should the value reduce significantly, it may no longer be appropriate to accrue interest receivable on the loan note, which totalled £1.7m for the financial year ended 26 February 2009.  We have also become aware that Eminence Leisure Limited, in which we hold a 20% equity share, is considering a creditors voluntary liquidation. Eminence Leisure Limited is a supplier of DJs and performing artists to the Luminar group and alternative arrangements are now being implemented.  It is customary to pay for certain costs of this nature in advance, however it is too early to estimate the extent to which the group may be exposed by this liquidation, if at all.

As a result of the factors outlined above there is a significant risk that the Company will not meet market expectations for the full year ending 25 February 2010 although the outcome for the full year will depend to a large extent on trading over the next quarter including the important Christmas period. Whilst oucompetitors are increasingly driving business through discounted alcohol prices and 'all you can drink' offers, our strategy is clearly differentiated by providing a higher quality proposition with strong content at reasonable prices. We remain confident that this strategy will enable us to outperform competitors and maintain our market leading position.   

25 September 2009


Luminar Group Holdings plc

Stephen Thomas, Chief Executive

Tel: 01908 544100  

Robert McDonald, Finance Director

College Hill

Matthew Smallwood

Tel: 020 7457 2020

Jamie Ramsay

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange