UK: Luminar nightclub group owners hail recovery progress

The Envy room at Liquid nightclub in Ipswich

The Envy room at Liquid nightclub in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The new owners of nightclub chain Luminar today insisted the business was back on track as it recovers from years of under-investment.

Liquid nightclub in Ipswich

Liquid nightclub in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The group now operates from 53 clubs - ranging from the Institute in Aberdeen to Cameo in Bournemouth - after being rescued from administration in a £45million deal that saved more than 2,500 jobs.

A trio of leisure industry specialists - Peter Marks, Alex Geffert and Joe Heanen - completed the deal in December 2011 before launching a refurbishment drive that will see 60% of the estate overhauled by next February.

Luminar’s chief financial officer Russell Margerrison said the estate had suffered from under-investment for many years.

He added: “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.”

The Milton Keynes-based group invested £2.4m in refurbishing clubs in York, Edinburgh, Crawley, Aberdeen and Eastbourne and on the acquisition of the lease on Casino nightclub in Guildford. A further £1.6m has been spent on minor refits, equipment upgrades and other improvements.

Profits for the year to February 23 were £1.3m based on turnover of £89.9m, despite the impact of additional tuition fees and high unemployment within the 18-24 age group on the late night sector.

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Mr Margerrison added: “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.

“We have worked hard to transform the business and whilst we’ve made solid progress, there is still a lot more to do.”

Other brands in the estate include Oceana and Liquid.