European Leisure back in red

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The Independent Online
EUROPEAN LEISURE has dived back into losses, with improvements by discos and snooker clubs offset by lower results from the Maygay amusement machines business, writes John Shepherd.

Losses of pounds 344,000 for the six months to December compared with profits of pounds 54,000.

However, European, owner of the Camden Palace and Hippodrome discos in London, said its future was more secure than for a number of years and trading prospects were more encouraging.

A financial reconstruction was narrowly approved in January after an acrimonious four-hour shareholders' meeting. The refinancing, which will see the banks take up to 73 per cent of the ordinary shares removed nearly pounds 22m of debt from the balance sheet.

'This would have provided gearing of approximately 100 per cent on a pro forma basis at the end of December 1993,' European said. Most borrowings are now arranged over a four-year term with fixed rates.

In addition, trading in Continental Europe has ceased and the one remaining property in France has been closed and put up for sale.

First-half turnover on continuing operations fell from pounds 32.2m to pounds 30.1m and operating profits dropped by pounds 1m to pounds 2.97m. Interest charges were reduced from pounds 4m to pounds 3.3m. The shares continue to languish at 4p.