Bass ends 'period of great change' for the business

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Bass has signalled an end to its drive to shake up its business which saw the disposal of more than a third of its pubs.But the company added it was...

Bass has signalled an end to its drive to shake up its business which saw the disposal of more than a third of its pubs.

But the company added it was still selling another 87 outlets as part of the natural development of its portfolio, which now stands at 2,625.

The group reported it was ready for a period of consolidation and growth after producing pre-tax profits up 69 per cent to £536m for the six months to April.

Chairman Sir Ian Prosser said the company would continue to put money into its pubs, completing a year-long £300m investment programme by the autumn.

He said investment in its branded outlets, such as O'Neill's and All Bar One, was producing high returns, with the branded estate expanding by 69 to 625 in the six months to April.

Sir Ian admitted the company had been through "a period of great change" but predicted it would now see growth in all of its sectors around the world.

The remaining pubs and Bass Leisure Entertainments, which includes the newly acquired Browns restaurant chain, have been merged into a new division, Bass Leisure Retail.

This follows the disposal of 1,722 pubs, including 238 managed houses and all of its 1,428 leased pubs to Hugh Osmond.

The division's turnover was up 11 per cent, with food sales rising 22 per cent and drinks sales five per cent.

Bass blamed the decline in the beer market on its branded drinks division suffering a slight drop in turnover to £933m. Volumes for Carling were up 11 per cent and Grolsch 26 per cent.

Related topics: Other operators

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