East Anglia: Increased profits for Liquid & Envy nightclub operator Luminar

Inside one of Luminar's Liquid nightclubs. Inside one of Luminar's Liquid nightclubs.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
10:36 AM

Luminar, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, today revealed a near-50% increase in annual operating profits after its second full year of trading following its rescue from administration in 2011.

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The group, which operates 53 venues around the UK including the Liquid & Envy clubs in Ipswich and Colchester, Evoke in Chelmsford and Bellare in Cambridge, reported revenues for the 52 weeks to February 22 of £88.263million, slightly down from £89.851m the year before.

But reduced administrative expenses left operating profits 49.3% ahead, at £6.653m against £4.457m, and pre-tax profits, after exceptional items, were more than double those of the previous year, at £3.401m compared with £1.326m.

The group invested £5.3m during the year in major projects, including the launch of multi-room PRYZM-branded sites in Bristol and Kingston. Clubs in Bournemouth, Cambridge, Lincoln, Preston and Romford also received investment and two sites wwere acquired, in Chelmsford and Dundee.

Chief executive Peter Marks said: “The strategy we adopted on acquisition continues to deliver and we are pleased with the consistent progress we are making. Luminar’s trading position continues to improve, as the effects of investment in our estate and our people together with a robust focus on cost control, improves profitability.”

Luminar was acquired by its present management in a £45m deal December 2011, two months after the company fell into administration when its bankers refused to extend a period of leniency on its borrowings.

A number of loss-making venues, including Brazilia in Bury St Edmunds, were closed by the administrators but most of the sites, including Liquid & Envy in Ipswich and Colchester, were saved.

The acquisition team was led by Mr Marks, a former executive at Luminar, together with Alex Geffert, a former head of leisure and nightclub business at Whitbread, and Joe Heanen, founder and owner of nightclubs including Mbargo, Bunker and Sodabar.

The group had been suffering for a number of years from a combination of the ban of smoking, the extension of pub opening hours and the impact of the recession on its core market of 18- to 24-year-old clubbers. However, the business is now free of bank debt and its refurbished venues are attracting more business.

Mr Marks said: “When we acquired the business, one of our key priorities was to refurbish the estate which had been under-invested for many years. Our investment programme is now starting to deliver results and we’re proud of the high quality nightclubs we now operate.

“In particular, PRYZM is at the cutting edge of UK clubs with the latest in sound technology together with luxury interiors and VIP pre-bookable booths attracting top name DJs including Duke Dumont and Zane Lowe.”

Luminar added that trading so far during the current year remained in line with expectations.

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