Pub chain Regent hands finance work to Finsbury

Regent Inns, the pubs group which last summer announced a surprise profits warning that rocked the industry, has hired Finsbury to handle its financial communications.

Regent Inns, the pubs group which last summer announced a surprise

profits warning that rocked the industry, has hired Finsbury to handle

its financial communications.



Finsbury started work for the group this month, handling communications

with financial media and City analysts. Regent Inns retained Holborn PR

until December 1998. Finsbury partner James Murgatroyd will lead the

account.



Regent, which owns the Australian theme pub chain Walkabout Inns and

Jongleurs comedy clubs, had a difficult year in 1998.



The group announced last summer that it had been calculating

like-for-like sales figures inaccurately. The subsequent profits warning

had a knock-on effect on other pub operators, including Yates Brothers,

JD Wetherspoon and Slug and Lettuce.



There has since been speculation that rival pubs operation SFI Group,

which holds a three per cent stake in Regent, was planning a merger with

the beleaguered group.



Regent’s finance director, Clive Watson, left last April, having

announced his intention to leave in September 1997. Plans for him to

join Holborn as a consultant were shelved after the accounting

irregularities emerged.



Because of the controversy, Watson appointed Basham and Coyle managing

director Emma Kane to manage his own reputation.



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