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07/12/2000

Preliminary Announcement of the Results for the Financial Year Ended 30 September 2000

Preliminary Announcement of the Results for the Financial Year Ended 30 September 2000

BASS DELIVERS 25 PER CENT PROFIT GROWTH

Financial Highlights

  • Turnover* up 22.8 per cent to £3,775 million
  • Operating profit* up 24.8 per cent to £776 million, including:
     - Bass Hotels & Resorts up by 23.7 per cent
     - Bass Leisure Retail up by 25.8 per cent
     - Britvic Soft Drinks up by 9.5 per cent
  • Profit before tax and major exceptional items up 18.9 per cent to £756 million
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 8.9 per cent to 62.2 pence
  • Dividend per share up 3.1 per cent to 33.3 pence
  • Sale of Bass Brewers for £2.3 billion shows exceptional profit of £1.2 billion

*continuing operations

note: comparisons with previous year shown on an equivalent 52 week post FRS15 basis

Bass PLC announced today, Thursday 7 December 2000, operating profit from continuing operations up 24.8 per cent to £776 million on turnover from continuing operations up 22.8 per cent at £3,775 million. Profit before tax and major exceptional items was up 18.9 per cent to £756 million. Adjusted earnings per share were up 8.9 per cent to 62.2 pence. A final dividend of 23.2 pence is recommended for payment on 19 February 2001, which together with the interim dividend of 10.1 pence per share amounts to 33.3 pence per share for the year, an increase of 3.1 per cent over 1999.

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

"During the financial year to 30 September 2000 we have achieved an excellent overall result across the Company and continued our strategy of concentrating on the development of our two core businesses of worldwide hotels and branded restaurants and pubs."

"In August we sold our brewing business for the outstanding price of £2.3 billion. The decision to dispose of this business reflects our commitment to reposition the Group in the higher growth areas of hotels and leisure retail."

Tim Clarke, Chief Executive, Bass PLC commented,

"With the sale of Bass Brewers completed, the priority is to develop our high growth global hotels and our high return pubs and restaurants businesses. We intend to continue to build their strong brands, to reinforce their market leading positions and to aim for above average growth. We have the financial flexibility to carry out our plans and make best use of opportunities to drive shareholder value."

"Over the past year our Hotels & Resorts business has performed strongly across the world and expansion has continued with the number of hotels passing the 3,000 milestone."

"Inter-Continental has grown its profits by 69 per cent since acquisition in 1998. We are moving ahead with major modernisation projects at 10 of the largest owned hotels."

"Our Leisure Retail business last year reflected the continuing polarisation between the growth in high-take branded outlets and pressures on smaller, unbranded local pubs."

"We have moved ahead rapidly on the construction programme for the brand conversion of the 550 sites in the Development Estate. We expect to have 300 converted by September 2001. It is very encouraging that the first 78 to reopen are achieving sales uplifts ahead of the 40 per cent level anticipated prior to the acquisition."

"Britvic had a good performance against a background of a challenging summer for the soft drinks industry. The acquisition of Orchid Drinks was an important one."

He concluded,

"Bass is now a substantially different company. It is well placed to outperform. We have a strong management team of experienced operators with focused strategic and financial objectives. We look forward with confidence."

- ends -

note: comparisons with previous year shown on an equivalent 52 week post FRS15 basis

Notes to editors:

Bass is an international leisure hospitality group operating in hotels, leisure retail and branded drinks.

  • Bass Hotels & Resorts is the world's leading global hotel group whose brands include Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites. It owns, operates or franchises more than 2,900 hotels and over 480,000 guest rooms in more than 95 countries around the world.
  • Bass Leisure Retail is the UK's leading managed restaurant and pub group with some 3,000 restaurants and pubs including brands such as Vintage Inns, Harvester, Toby, Browns, All Bar One, It's A Scream, O'Neill's, Edwards, Ember Inns and Hollywood Bowl.
  • Britvic Soft Drinks is one of the leading UK producers and distributors of branded soft drinks with brands such as Tango, Robinsons, Britvic and the UK licence for Pepsi.

For further information, please contact:

Bass PLC, switchboard 020 7409 1919
Pugh Phillips, Director of Group   020 7409 1919
Communication  
Mark Rigby, Media Relations 020 7409 8571

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