London Clubs International PLC - PRE-CLOSE STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDING 27TH MARCH 2005 - Tuesday 12th of April 2005
On 25th November 2004 we indicated that overall business levels in our
operations since the half year had been broadly in line with expectations,
although the festival of Ramadan had impacted on business in London. Since that
date, trading at Les Ambassadeurs and disruption to the operation of two of our
other London casinos, has resulted in the Group's profit expectations being
reduced for the year just ended. Group operating profit for the year as a
whole, will be significantly below last year, but not less than that reported at
the half year.
Les Ambassadeurs has enjoyed record performances in the last two financial years
and, indeed, achieved a good result in the first half of this year. However, in
the second half of the year, whilst Les Ambassadeurs continued to enjoy good
levels of drop, the results in December and January were subject to considerable
volatility and a low win percentage. Recently, results have improved
significantly and are closer to a normalised pattern, but are not enough to
offset the impact of the previous trading.
In the Group's other London operations, the Rendezvous has enjoyed a strong year
with record levels of gaming win and the Golden Nugget lease has now been
renewed following lengthy negotiations with the Landlord. This will now enable
us to carry out a much needed refurbishment.
In the provinces, both Southend and Brighton have recovered from the impact of
the new money laundering regulations introduced at the start of the year and
gaming win for these operations is ahead of last year. Since we last reported,
we have secured two further provincial licences in Blackpool and Nottingham in
addition to those already obtained in Manchester and Glasgow.
Overseas, our casino operations in Cairo have enjoyed similar levels of business
to the prior year. However, the operation in Taba was sold at the start of the
year and the weakness in the US dollar has impacted on the overall reported
results of our Middle Eastern operations.
The Emerald Casino in South Africa has achieved excellent results this year.
Business levels have improved substantially and this operation is now making an
increased and material contribution to Group profit.
The Sportsman Casino re-opened on 16th December following a four month closure.
Trading has been increasing steadily as the newly located casino re-establishes
itself in the market, but due to the extended closure period, this operation has
not made a contribution to Group profits this year.
The Group's Joint Venture, Fifty, has, as expected, experienced significant
disruption to trading during the refurbishment period, the impact of which has
primarily occurred since the half year. Consequently, for the year ended March
2005, the level of loss generated by Fifty will be higher than the previous
year. Completed in mid March, Fifty is now fully operational and business
levels both in the gaming and food and beverage operations are growing.
Membership sales are progressing very well and we remain encouraged by the
interest in this innovative casino development.
The Group's strategy to expand its operations outside of London, together with
the opportunities presented by deregulation will reduce dependence on the
performance of the high end operations. In the short term, with the return to a
normalised level of trading at Les Ambassadeurs, the relocation of the
Sportsman, the launch of Fifty, and the continuing improvement of the Emerald in
South Africa, the Board remains confident that the Company is well positioned to
make further progress in its strategic aims.
The Group will report preliminary results for the year ended 27th March 2005 in
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