WHITBREAD PLC: RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF RECESSION
WHITBREAD PLC: RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF RECESSION LONDON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Whitbread PLC today announced
unaudited results for the first half of its financial year to Aug. 31 1991.
Profits before tax at 142.5 million pounds sterling were 7 percent down on the same period last year with earnings per share declining to 23.58p. Turnover rose to 1061.5 million pounds. An interim dividend of 4.55p per share will be paid on Jan. 3, 1992 to all shareholders on the register at the close of business on Dec. 5, 1991. This represents an increase of 6 percent on last year's interim dividend. Group Chief Executive Peter Jarvis said: "This is the first time in 16 years that Whitbread has declared a fall in profits and it is mainly a result of the decline, in real terms, of consumer expenditure. I am confident that once there is the slightest hint of sustained economic upturn we shall return to our pattern of growth." Jarvis said his confidence was based on the resilience shown by Whitbread's operations in the face of tough trading conditions. "We outperformed the market in managed pubs, restaurants and shops. "Thresher demonstrated its unique grasp of drinks retailing, not just in its financial performance, but also by winning the coveted High Street Wine Merchant of the Year' award in the U.K. The acquisition of nearly 700 outlets announced in October will confirm our leadership of this sector. "Whitbread Inns, our 1,600 managed pubs, increased food turnover by over 10 percent and our restaurant businesses performed well despite the pressure on their customers' disposable incomes. Our hotels were about in line with the depressed U.K. market. Travel Inn was the highlight, achieving occupancy rates of over 80 percent throughout the period. "The Whitbread Beer Company achieved volumes better than the market, maintained margins in take-home against a background of heavy discounting and achieved notable results in the free trade where competition is fierce. "Beer Company profits, however, have been held back by the need to make a further charge for bad debts. This is a result both of the prolonged recession adversely affecting the trading performance of our customers and the fact that many free trade loans were secured against property which has fallen in value. The outlook for such debts appears to have worsened in recent weeks and while the extent of the full year provision will only become clear in the months ahead, the likelihood is that it will be greater than the 8 million pounds we charged last year. "For the future, Whitbread's range of popular brands led by Heineken, Stella Artois, Boddingtons Bitter and Murphy's Stout, coupled with our marketing strength in key regions and our efficient production and distribution, mean we are in a powerful competitive position in the changing beer market." Jarvis said that to conform with its obligations under the new regulations, Whitbread is working to achieve a smaller but more contemporary and commercial tenanted pub business characterized by positive working partnerships with its licensees. "Our strategy remains unchanged -- a focus on beer, pubs and chain leisure retailing coupled with continued investment in our estate and on the training of our people. "If there is one benefit we have gained from the recession it is the experience it has given all our people to compete in an extraordinarily difficult trading climate by striving to improve service to our customers. That, coupled with the strength of our businesses, is what will give Whitbread an edge as consumer confidence returns." Copies of the interim report will be sent to shareholders and will be available to the public from the Company Secretary at Brewery, Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD. WHITBREAD GROUP Interim Announcement of Unaudited Profit and Interim Dividend (In millions of pounds sterling) Six months Six months Year to to 8/31/91 to 9/1/90 3/2/91 TURNOVER Turnover including share of assoc. undertakings 1,161.1 1,142.8 2,248.2 Share of associated undertakings (99.6) (107.6) (188.4) Turnover excluding share of assoc. undertakings 1,061.5 1,035.2 2,059.8 Trading profit 135.8 139.1 265.1 Profit on disposal of retail properties 17.9 13.2 36.3 Income from associated undertakings 6.2 7.5 9.0 Interest (net) (17.4) (7.0) (18.9) Profit before tax 142.5 152.8 291.5 Taxation (33.9) (38.3) (71.1) Profit after tax 108.6 114.5 220.4 Share Ownership Scheme, less tax -- -- (4.6) Minority interests (3.2) (3.7) (5.6) Profit before extraord. items 105.4 110.8 210.2 Extraordinary items, less tax 8.2 (10.3) (58.3) Profit attrib. to shareholders 113.6 100.5 151.9 Ordinary interim and preference dividends 20.6 19.3 Interim dividend - pence per share 4.55 4.30 Earnings per share - basic 23.58p 24.99p 47.29p - fully diluted 23.32p 24.68p 46.72p NOTES: The profit and loss account for the year to March, 2 1991 is an extract from the statutory accounts which have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The Auditors' Report on the Statutory Accounts was unqualified and did not contain a statement under S.237(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985. Comparative figures for the 6 months to Sept. 1 1990 have been restated so as to account for Whitbread Investment Company, PLC as a subsidiary undertaking, in accordance with the Companies Act 1989. WHITBREAD GROUP OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS (In millions of pounds sterling) Six months to 8/31/91 9/1/90 Turnover: Beer and other drinks 449.4 442.8 Pub partnerships 127.4 142.6 Managed retail estate 665.9 625.9 Discontinued businesses 2.5 17.4 Total 1,245.2 1,228.7 Less: Inter-operational sales (183.7) (193.5) Total 1,061.5 1,035.2 Profit: Beer and other drinks (A) 39.1 41.3 Pub partnerships 33.7 32.4 Managed retail estate 61.7 67.8 Discontinued businesses 0.4 1.0 Total 134.9 142.5 Profit on disposal of retail properties 17.9 13.2 Income from property development and investments 9.2 8.4 Total 162.0 164.1 Central services costs (10.1) (11.9) Net interest (cost)/income (A) (9.4) 0.6 Total 142.5 152.8 (A) -- A charge for interest of 8.0 million pounds (1990: 7.6 million pounds) has been charged to "Beer and other drinks" to reflect the net cost of financing trade loans to customers. The above figures exclude the turnover of associated undertakings. -0- 11/20/91 /CONTACT: Fiona Davis-Coleman of Whitbread, in London, 44-71-606-4455, ext. 2563/ CO: Whitbread PLC ST: IN: FOD SU: ERN TS -- NY001 -- 5236 11/20/91 08:17 EST
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Nov 20, 1991|
|Previous Article:||JACOBS AWARDED CONTRACT FOR $10 MILLION POSTAL FACILITY|
|Next Article:||INAMED REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS|