NIGHTCLUB operator Luminar said first half sales fell 21 per cent though recent trading had improved.
Luminar, which runs the Oceana and Liquid nightclubs, said yesterday it made a pre-tax profit of £1.8m in the first half of the year, compared to a profit of £5.2m a year earlier.
Sales were also down 16.9 per cent compared to last year in the seven weeks to 14 October, though performance has started to pick up since the introduction of cheaper cocktails and a partnership with the Ministry of Sound.
The company said its new management team, which includes former Barratt Developments finance director Philip Bowcock, has already made changes such as targeting more student clubbers since coming to the company in June.
The FTSE Fledgling-listed group, which has suffered from rising unemployment within its core 18-24 customer age group, said it remained exposed to pressure on personal finances given continued economic uncertainty.
Shares in the company, which has 78 venues across the UK, gained 24.5 per cent yesterday to close at 16.5p.