Licensing shake-up hits Regents Inns


Late night entertainment venue firm Regents Inns has revealed its turnover fell by three per cent during the last 12 months, largely due to changes to licensing regulations.

The firm, which owns the Walkabout, Jongleurs and Bar Risa businesses says that its takings were down to £127.6 million compared to last year's value of £131.3 million, also attributing the loss to "challenging trading conditions".

New licensing rules that came into force this year increased security costs for late night bars and are also said to have limited the number of young people going out during the week.

Like for like sales were down 0.4 per cent, while the group's profits dropped more than £1.5 million to £5 million.

Bob Ivell, Regents Inns' executive chairman, today dubbed the legislative changes of the last 12 months "the most significant… ever experienced by the sector".

"Our approach to these changes was to minimise risk, build on good relationship with the police and local authorities and emerge with the integrity of our brands intact and well positioned for the future," he said.

Mr Ivell added: "Events post-licensing deregulation have reinforced our belief that operators must consolidate in order to protect business value and in view of this, our previously stated objective of participating in sector consolidation remains a priority."

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