The bar and restaurant operator Regent Inns this morning revealed it had suffered a 10.9% decline in like-for-like sales at its entertainment division. It blamed the challenges of the smoking ban and lack of consumer confidence for the dramatic downturn in sales at its Walkabout bars and Jongleurs comedy clubs. The announcement come in an interim management statement in which Regent said it was still in discussions with suitors for the business. Regent said: “Discussions with potential offerors are continuing to progress and further announcements will be made, as appropriate. “These discussions may or may not lead to an offer or offers being made for the entire share capital of the Company.” And it added: “The company continues to face the immediate challenges to the sector presented by the smoking ban and declining consumer confidence and, more recently, the significant increases in alcohol duty announced in the Chancellor's Budget. “The entertainment bars business, principally Walkabout and Jongleurs, has seen a like-for-like sales decline of 10.9% in the period from 30 December 2007 to 14 May 2008. This downturn in sales has principally arisen in Walkabout, whilst Jongleurs has continued to trade robustly.” It said its restaurants, primarily comprising Old Orleans, had demonstrated steadily improving sales trends since 30 December 2007, particularly in the refurbished restaurants. As at 26 April 2008 (the latest accounting period end), the net debt of Regent was £79m, a reduction of £1.6 million since the interim results announcement, and is in line with the Board's expectations. In February this year the company announced a 3.8% fall in like-for-likes across the whole of the company for the half year before December 29.