Bass has reported operating profit at its hotels up by 23.5% and pub profits up by 10.8% in the financial year to 30 September 1999.
The performances contributed to a 14.1% rise in overall operating profits for the group to £824m. Pre-tax profit before exceptional items rose by 4.8% to £682m on turnover up 10.8% to £4.69b.
Commenting on the results, chairman Sir Ian Prosser said: "Inter-Continental is now fully integrated into Bass Hotels & Resorts and continues to perform well, with underlying profits up 23%."
The Inter-Continental hotel chain was bought by Bass in 1998, making this its first full financial year under Bass ownership. Revenue per available room increased by 5.1% over the year.
Prosser said Bass had achieved cost savings of £20.9m since the acquisition and had improved operating margins. It will invest £246.2m over the next three years in modernising and expanding Inter-Continental.
Crown Plaza has added new hotels in Chicago and San Francisco and now has 73 properties in North America and 69 elsewhere.
Holiday Inn hotels in the USA saw revenue per available room rise by 5.3%.
Bass now has 2,799 hotels in more than 90 countries, but owns only 83 of the properties.
In pubs, Bass has concentrated on expanding its larger, branded outlets such as All Bar One and Vintage Inns, of which it opened 68 during the year. Food sales rose 13.1% and now account for 22.5% of total sales.
Bass sold off 217 pubs which were not making enough money and tough conditions in the pub and restaurant sector forced it to cut central administration costs by £10m a year, Prosser said. The first eight weeks of the current financial year had seen strong trading, he added.
by David Shrimpton