Despite continued tough trading late night operator Luminar said it remained "cautiously optimistic" it can end its financial year in good shape.
Speaking as the group revealed pre-tax profits for the six months to September 1 up five per cent on turnover down 2.7 per cent, Luminar's chief executive Steve Thomas (pictured)said the industry would face big challenges after the introduction of the new licensing hours but that his group would be a "net gainer".
Mr Thomas said a number of the group's clubs had been granted 3am or 4am licences. He also argued that Luminar operated a responsible drinks policy and no longer offered discounts.
Like-for-like sales in Luminar's nightclub bars grew by six per cent to £91m, while its now-ringfenced entertainment business, which includes Chicago Rock Café and Jumpin' Jaks outlets, saw like-for-like sales down six per cent to £52.4m.
Luminar has recently been linked to a number of ex-First Leisure nightclub outlets and a number of analysts believe a deal is likely.
Mr Thomas would not be drawn on the subject, beyond saying the group would not buy a unit that couldn't be branded under the Luminar banner.
Meanwhile core business like-for-like trading in the first nine weeks of the second half was down 0.5 per cent, with October "below previous trends", and unbranded units continued to suffer from the "lack of a clear proposition".
However a strong balance sheet and "sound operational plans to deal with the forthcoming changes" to the industry gave cause for optimism, Mr Thomas added.