Ultimate Leisure to shake-off nightclub tag
Ultimate Leisure, famous for running nightclubs in the north-east, is to change its name to Premium Bars and Restaurants after a year of acquisitions that have diversified the business.
This year the operator has acquired Bel and The Dragon from Gourmet Holdings and The Living Room from the Restaurant Group (where it was Living Ventures) for £8.75m and £28m respectively.
Chairman Mark Jones said: "The name change reflects the positive strides the group has taken over the last two years and is more appropriate for the future direction and strategy of the company.
"Site refurbishments, combined with targeted investment in training and marketing, have put our core estate of bars, clubs and hotels in strong competitive positions within their local markets," he added.
Acquisitive growth has aided Ultimate during the year ending 30 June where it increased turnover by 11.8% to £36.3m, but like for like sales were only up by 1% and pre-tax profits fell from £4.7m to £4.2m.
As a result of adding Living Room and Bel and the Dragon, food now accounts for 20% of sales at Ultimate, a figure the company said it had maintained over the summer despite the impact of the smoking ban and the poor summer weather.
The company said it spent £250,000 preparing for the smoking ban in England and Northern Ireland.
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By Christopher Walton
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