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26/09/2000

Trading Update Bass PLC

Trading Update Bass PLC

Bass PLC today (26 September 2000) issued a trading statement covering the first 48 weeks of the financial year to 30 September 2000.

Sir Ian Prosser, Chairman, commented: "I am pleased to report that we continue to see a strong performance from our hotel business, whilst our restaurants and pubs division has held its position well in a difficult market. Overall we are trading in line with our expectations."

"The disposal of Bass Brewers has now been completed at an excellent price and the Group is well placed to invest selectively in its two core businesses. We are looking to invest primarily in the hotels division, where we see the greatest potential for creating long term growth, based on our existing position as the leading global hotel company."

Hotels & Resorts

Inter-Continental continues to perform well with RevPAR growth across the brand of 5.3 per cent. RevPAR in the owned and leased estate has grown 3.7 per cent in North America and 9.1 per cent in Europe. On a like-for-like basis, excluding renovations and acquisitions, the North Americas grew RevPAR by 7.4 per cent. The brand has expanded further with the $75 million acquisition of the San Juan property in Puerto Rico. Good progress has also been made with the modernisation programme, with seven major projects now underway.

In North America, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn have improved RevPAR by 7.2 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively. Holiday Inn Express has increased RevPAR by 6.5 per cent and continues to add new properties.

We now have 2,254 mid scale hotels in the Americas, with 311,980 rooms, compared with 2,109 hotels and 301,475 rooms a year ago.

In EMEA, where we have 482 hotels, the performance has been very strong. The European market has shown particularly good growth, supported by the UK, which has also improved. RevPAR in the owned and leased estate is up 9.0 per cent for Holiday Inn and 4.3 per cent for Crowne Plaza.

Leisure Retail

In Bass Leisure Retail there has been a further polarisation of performance between the branded high take outlets, where profits growth has been over 10 per cent, and the smaller unbranded locals, which are dependent on beer sales. Overall divisional sales, excluding the Development Estate, are ahead by 4.3 per cent, with uninvested like-for-like sales down 2.6 per cent. Food sales are ahead by 11.4 per cent and drink by 2.3 per cent.

Amongst Bass Leisure Retail's brands, particularly strong performances have been achieved by All Bar One, Vintage Inns, Ember Inns, Harvester and Goose. In the year to date 72 new branded outlets have opened, not counting the conversions within the Development Estate, generating returns of 18 per cent.

We are progressing plans to rationalise a substantial proportion of the smaller unbranded outlets in which the declines are concentrated and which do not have development potential within our brand strategy.

In the Development Estate, acquired at the start of the financial year, we are now running ahead of the conversion programme that we set out in May. The first 51 outlets to be completed, most of which have recently re-opened, are delivering an encouraging sales uplift supporting our pre-acquisition appraisals. A further 44 sites are currently being converted. In the unconverted Development Estate, sales are down 7 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Branded Drinks

Following a strong first half Britvic has performed well against the background of a very poor summer for the soft drinks industry. As a result, volumes in the year to date are up 2.8 per cent on the comparable period last year.

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For further information, please contact:

Richard North, Finance Director 020 7409 1919
Jonathan Atack, Investor Relations 020 7409 8153
Mark Rigby, Media Relations 020 7409 8571

Appendix - US Hotels Performance - 3rd Quarter

US Hotels Performance - 3rd Quarter*

Bass Hotels & Resorts: Fiscal Year 99 / 00 U.S. Results

         
  3rd Fiscal Quarter YTD, FY 00
  Apr 00 - Jun 00 Oct 99 - Jun 00
         
Occupancy % C/Y % Pts +/- P/Y CY % Pts +/- P/Y
Holiday Inn 70 0.80 63.7 0.17
Holiday Inn Express 69.7 0.91 62.6 0.51
Crowne Plaza 76.3 5.29 70.6 2.94
         
Ave Rate $ $ C/Y % Growth C/Y % Growth
Holiday Inn 81.22 5.0 78.67 4.8
Holiday Inn Express 70.32 5.8 67.81 5.9
Crowne Plaza 111.83 3.3 111.53 4.5
         
RevPAR $ $ C/Y % Growth C/Y % Growth
Holiday Inn 56.83 6.2 50.10 5.1
Holiday Inn Express 49.01 7.2 42.42 6.8
Crowne Plaza 85.30 10.9 78.70 9.1
         
  YTD, CY 00    
  Jan 00 - Jun 00    
         
Occupancy % CY % Pts +/- P/Y    
Holiday Inn 65.8 0.34    
Holiday Inn Express 64.6 0.49    
Crowne Plaza 72.5 3.68    
         
Ave Rate $ $ C/Y % Growth    
Holiday Inn 79.87 4.8    
Holiday Inn Express 68.85 5.8    
Crowne Plaza 111.74 4.8    
         
RevPAR $ $ C/Y % Growth    
Holiday Inn 52.55 5.4    
Holiday Inn Express 44.48 6.7    
Crowne Plaza 81.03 10.4    
         
System Size as of 30th June 2000    
         
  Hotels % Growth    
Holiday Inn 1,087 -1.6    
Holiday Inn Express 977 15.8    
Crowne Plaza 74 9.3    
         
  Rooms % Growth    
Holiday Inn 209,548 -1.5    
Holiday Inn Express 76,152 15.3    
Crowne Plaza 21,811 6.2    

* Based on returns submitted by franchisees up to the date of this announcement.

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