Measures to boost sales in the competitive town centre have started to pay off for vodka bar operator Inventive Leisure.
However the company has decided to cut back on its opening programme in the face of a continuing tough environment.
In a pre-close trading statement, the operator of the Revolution bar chain said that a decision to discount its prices during quieter mid-week periods, along with other measures to set its bars apart from the competition, has helped to reverse a sales decline.
As a result, Inventive's like-for-like sales trend has improved from a 14 per cent fall to an 8 per cent decline across the last 12 weeks.
The company said it installed TV screens in around half its bars during Euro 2004, but "the Revolution offer is not positioned around televised sport and the tournament, as expected, had a negative impact".
Excluding the weeks of Euro 2004, Revolution's like-for-like sales trend across the twelve weeks was -6.4 per cent. The company said that its 'short-term tactical discounting' has reduced margins by around 1 per cent.
Inventive is to proceed with planned Revolution openings in Leeds and Cardiff, but has dropped plans for outlets in York and Shoreditch, London. In addition, the company has been refused a licence for a planned Revolution in Nottingham, "and this site is unlikely to proceed within the financial year".
Inventive said its full-year results for the year to June 30 will be in line with current market expectations.