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Riots a setback for nightclub operator

The struggling owner of the nightclub chains Liquid and Oceana yesterday warned that the riots earlier this month had had a material impact on trading.

Luminar, which has 77 clubs across the UK and also operates the Lava & Ignite brand, said trading had shown a gradual improvement in the period before the civil unrest.

The group said like-for-like sales in the 25 weeks to 20 August were down 11.7 per cent, but had improved to a 7.9 per cent decline in the 13 weeks before the riots.

Luminar has been thrown a lifeline by its banks which have granted a second extension – to 27 October – on a loan covenant test. The test was initially extended from May to the end of August to give the company more time to put a long-term recovery plan in place.

The squeeze on spending and high levels of youth unemployment have put pressure on its core market of 18- to 24 year-olds.