May 24, 05 | 7:52 am
Leisure group Hilton has denied claims that it is planning to sell its LivingWell health club chain.
A spokesman for the group dismissed a report that it is seeking to dispose of the business, which has just under 100 clubs in the UK.
"We have no immediate plans to sell anything," he said.
LivingWell has a number of stand-alone LivingWell Premier clubs in the UK as well as clubs within its parent company's Hilton hotels chain.
It also has 15 clubs abroad, including six in Australia and a number in Turkey, Greece and Brazil.
Hilton on Friday said that a "challenging" start to the year at its betting and gaming business had held back profits.
However, it added trading at the hotels arm - which has 500 hotels worldwide - is continuing to recover.
The group, which owns the Ladbrokes betting firm, said group profits were 4% lower in the first four months of its financial year.
It is in the process of selling a string of hotels to raise between £300m and £400m and hopes to return a large part of the proceeds to shareholders.
A newspaper report suggested the company was "quietly sounding out potential buyers".
LivingWell is likely to attract interest from private equity firms, the paper said.
There were suggestions that an Aim-listed cash shell set up by former Pizza Express chairman David Page was looking at buying it, it reported.
The Hilton spokesman described the story as "pure speculation".