Haslemere reports operating profit up 4.5%, dividend up 8.6% and total performance of 17.8% on share

Haslemere reports an operating profit of £57.8 (?95.0)2 million for the year ended 31 December 2001 which is 4.5% higher than the £55.31 (?90.9) million for the period ended 31 December 2000. The full annual report and accounts will be issued to shareholders on 29 March 2002, and will be available on our website from the same date.

?In the twelve months to last December, a period in which the UK FTSE 100 Index fell by approximately 16% and the return on government securities was very low, Haslemere is pleased to report a total return to investors of more than 20.1% in Euros and 16.9% in Sterling.?

?The successful outcome to 2001 for Haslemere proves, we believe, the strength of our approach to carefully quantified investment decision taking and the durability of the performance of the portfolio of assets which the company has accumulated over the last five years.?

On 7 March 2002, the Company announced that a conditional agreement had been signed to sell RREEF US, the US based real estate investment management firm and main asset of RoProperty Holding BV (Â'RoPropertyÂ'), to Deutsche Bank. Haslemere NV owns approximately 36% of RoProperty. The net proceeds to the Company will amount to US$ 150 million, after transaction and other costs. The transaction, which is subject to the approval of RREEF?s clients, clearance from the appropriate antitrust authorities and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close before the end of April 2002. Given the sale and purchase agreement of RREEF US, the investment in RoProperty has been taken up in the balance sheet of the Company at its fair value which reflects the expected net proceeds of the sale. The resulting increase of £75.3 (?123.7) million in value has been credited to reserves as a revaluation surplus.

Net profit
Haslemere NV achieved a net profit of £70.9 (?116.5) million for the financial year to 31 December 2001. This was ahead of the forecast made for £68.0 (?111.8) million in the interim statement, which was re-affirmed with the third quarter results, with much of the excess coming from a higher than expected share of profit from RoProperty. The net profit for the 10 month period ended 31 December 2000 was £71.9 million (?118.2 million). As expected, the net profit was down because the contribution from RoProperty was lower than the exceptional result for 2000. Profit from Operations (net profit, less profit from RoProperty) increased by 4.5% from £55.34 (?90.9) million to £57.8 (?94.2) million.

Financing costs for the year of £35.7 (?58.7) million are lower than the annualised equivalent of £37.0 (?60.8) million for 2000, reflecting the benefit of lower interest rates on variable rate borrowings.

Management costs increased to £4.0 million (?6.6) million compared to an annualised £3.6 (?5.9) million for 2000.

Earnings per share amounted to £3.02 (?4.97) on the weighted average number of shares in circulation during the year. The company?s established dividend policy is to pay out its cash profit as a single cash dividend. For this purpose, cash profit is taken to mean the total net profit after tax, less that part of net profit which represents the non-distributed income from RoProperty. On this basis, the management board is pleased to recommend a dividend of £2.79 (?4.59) per share on the reduced number of shares in circulation following share buy-backs, an increase of 8.6% compared with the time adjusted dividend for the 10 month period ended 31 December 2000.

(source: Haslemere)

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