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Subdued liquor spending hits Regent Inns' profits

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Regents Inns has spoken of "disappointing" trading results with end-of-year profit forecasts now unlikely.

The pub and bar operator told shareholders at its AGM today that reduced spending on liquor and increased competition in the late-night market had dented sales figures.

Like-for-like sales for the 21-week period to November 24 fell by 2.8 per cent.

A group statement commented: "We remain cautious in our outlook given the trading conditions in the late-night market, the likely slowdown in consumer spending, the full impact of the smoking ban and England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

"However, the traditionally strong Christmas and New Year trading period is ahead of us. In addition, we will continue to look at corporate activity opportunities where we believe the business is being well placed to deliver value through consolidation."

Shares in the Walkabout operator fell by 15p to 28p in total - a 35 per cent drop.