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03/12/1998

Preliminary Announcement of the Results for the Financial Year ended 30 September 1998

Preliminary Announcement of the Results for the Financial Year ended 30 September 1998

Growth at Bass continues in a year of major restructuring

Financial Highlights -

  • Inter-Continental operating profits up 35 per cent in first six months of Bass ownership (acquisition of Inter-Continental for £1.765 billion)
  • Sales proceeds from disposals of £1.3 billion
  • Profit before tax and exceptional items £661 million
  • £801 million returned to shareholders
  • Adjusted earnings per share up by 3.4 per cent to 57.4 pence despite inevitable dilution from disposals
  • Dividend per share up 9.1 per cent to 30.0 pence

Bass PLC announced today, Thursday 3 December 1998, profit before tax up 75 per cent at £834 million (£477 million, 1997) for the financial year to 30 September 1998 on a turnover of £4,609 million. Profit before tax and exceptional items was £661 million. Operating profit from continuing operations grew 8.4 per cent to £722 million (£666 million, 1997). Adjusted earnings per share were 57.4 pence (55.5 pence, 1997). A final dividend of 20.9 pence is recommended for payment on 8 February 1999, which together with the interim dividend of 9.1 pence per share, amounts to 30.0 pence per share for the year, an increase of 9.1 per cent over 1997.

Commenting on the results, Sir Ian Prosser, Chairman, Bass PLC said,

"During the year we made significant progress in implementing our strategy of building leading positions in our chosen businesses - hotels, leisure retail and branded drinks. We continued the organic development of our core businesses and successfully concluded several corporate transactions designed to improve the growth profile of the Group."

"We also continued to drive the strengthening of our existing brands with a substantial and successful organic development programme of some £727 million."

He continued,

"The integration of Inter-Continental is moving forward swiftly and we have been increasingly pleased as this has progressed. Profits for Inter-Continental are up 35 per cent on the same period last year and the other brands in the Bass hotels division have produced good all round growth in operating profits."

"The growth of nearly nine per cent that Bass Leisure Retail has delivered in its underlying pub and restaurant business is a very satisfying outcome for the year in view of the pressures on consumer spending."

"Britvic experienced a very tough market but Robinsons had a good year and Pepsi increased market share."

"Bass Brewers has maintained its market share despite the product recall and I am encouraged by this result. This is a core part of our business with very strong brands and generating significant free cash flow."

He concluded,

"We have the brands, the management skills and the financial strength to continue our strategy through acquisition and organic expansion and I am confident that our actions this year will enable us to out-perform in our markets and deliver value for our shareholders."

To download the full stock exchange announcement in Adobe PDF format (62k), please click here .

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For further information please contact:

Bass PLC, Switchboard   0171 409 1919
Pugh Phillips, Group Communication   0171 409 1919
Mark Rigby, Media Relations   0171 409 8571

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