Lady Luck unkind to casinos operator LCI - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

Casinos operator London Clubs International today issued a surprise profit warning following a poor run of luck for the company at the hands of punters at its Les Ambassadeurs venue in the capital.

As a result of what LCI described as 'considerable volatility and a low win percentage' - jargon for Lady Luck smiling on its customers - it cut its profit expectations for the financial year just ended.

The warning comes amid the company's high-profile relaunch of its historic luxury Fifty Casino, jointly run by tycoon Robert Earl, after an extensive ??7.5m refurbishment.

The revamping process caused significant disruption to the central London site's trading, triggering higher losses than a year ago, the company said.

On a more positive note, LCI, which famously nearly went bust four years ago after running up huge debts with its Aladdin casino in Las Vegas, said the Les Ambassadeurs results had been hit for only the first two months of the year, and it was now seeing its luck turn back to more normal patterns. The recent improvement in trading had not been enough to offset January and February's hit.

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