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08/12/1999

Preliminary Announcement of the Results for the Financial Year Ended 30 September 1999

Preliminary Announcement of the Results for the Financial Year Ended 30 September 1999

Financial Highlights

Bass Strategy Delivers Substantial Growth

  • Turnover* up 10.8 per cent to £4,686 million
  • Operating profit* up 14.1 per cent to £824 million, including:
     - Bass Hotels & Resorts up by 23.5 per cent
     - Bass Leisure Retail up by 10.8 per cent
     - UK Brewing up by 7.8 per cent
     - Britvic Soft Drinks up by 15.8 per cent
  • Profit before tax and major exceptional items up 4.8 per cent to £682 million on 4.1 per cent fewer shares in issue
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 8.5 per cent to 62.3 pence
  • Dividend per share up 7.7 per cent to 32.3 pence
  • Increase in property values of £682 million

* continuing operations

Bass PLC announced today, Wednesday 8 December 1999, operating profit from continuing operations up 14.1 per cent to £824 million (£722 million, 1998) on turnover up 10.8 per cent at £4,686 million (£4,231 million, 1998). Profit before tax and major exceptional items was up 4.8 per cent to £682 million (£651 million, 1998). Adjusted earnings per share were up 8.5 per cent to 62.3 pence (57.4 pence, 1998). A final dividend of 22.5 pence is recommended for payment on 7 February 2000, which together with the interim dividend of 9.8 pence per share amounts to 32.3 pence per share for the year, an increase of 7.7 per cent over 1998.

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

"1999 has been a year of considerable progress for Bass. We have continued to move the business forward in line with our strategy for growing long-term shareholder value and have delivered strong growth in the short-term."

"All of our divisions have made excellent progress and we are continuing to see the benefit of our strategy of building strong brands, maximising our operating efficiencies and investing in our growth businesses."

He continued,

"Inter-Continental is now fully integrated into Bass Hotels & Resorts and continues to perform extremely well with underlying profits up 23 per cent. We are dedicated to driving even more value out of our owned Inter-Continental assets. Bass Hotels & Resorts is the most global branded hotel business with a presence in over 90 countries and is the largest in the upscale and midscale sectors with well over 450,000 rooms worldwide."

"Bass Leisure Retail has increased its return on capital to 17.4 per cent on historical cost by delivering an impressive growth of 14.1 per cent in its ongoing profits. This reflects the success of our strategy in taking advantage of the segmentation in the industry by developing large branded managed pubs and restaurants which together with our management actions has improved margins significantly."

"Bass Brewers has grown volumes and market share in the United Kingdom in a declining market as a result of concentrating on its five main brands recognising the continuing shift in the market to large national brands. UK profits are up nearly 8 per cent and return on capital has grown to 18.9 per cent. Carling has sold over one billion pints in the past 12 months and is showing continued growth of nearly 10 per cent per annum."

"Britvic has done well to grow volume and turnover in an increasingly competitive market. This is a result of decisive management action which also improved margins so that profit is up nearly 16 per cent. Robinsons continues to increase both volume and market share."

He concluded,

"We are outperforming our leading competitors in all our key markets. We have a winning combination of strong brands and the ability to invest behind them, a combination we are confident will drive sustainable growth in shareholder value."

For further information please contact:

Bass PLC, switchboard 0171 409 1919
Pugh Phillips, Director of Group Communication   0171 409 1919
Mark Rigby, Media Relations 0171 409 8571

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