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Benchmark Group PLC (BMK)

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Monday 01 March, 2004

Benchmark Group PLC

Interim Results

Benchmark Group PLC
01 March 2004

EMBARGOED UNTIL 7.00AM MONDAY 1 MARCH





                                INTERIM RESULTS

                   For the Six Months Ended 31 December 2003



Benchmark Group PLC ('Benchmark'), the specialist Central London property
investment and development company, announces results for the six months ended
31 December 2003.



Financial Highlights


                                                                                    30 June 03
                                                                      31 Dec 03       (audited)
                                                                     (unaudited)     (restated)         %
Total properties owned including share of
  joint ventures (£ million)                                              657.4          730.8      (10.0)
Adjusted net assets per share - diluted (pence)                           281.1          279.5        0.6
Net gearing excluding share of joint venture net debt (%)                  65.3           95.2      (31.4)
Net gearing including share of joint venture net debt (%)                 126.4          171.0      (26.1)




                                                                  Six months to  Six months to
                                                                      31 Dec 03      31 Dec 02
                                                                    (unaudited)    (unaudited)           %
Net rental income including share of
  joint ventures (£ million) +                                             29.3          26.3         11.4
Profit before tax (£ million) +                                            11.9           3.6        230.6
Profit after tax and minority interests (£ million) +^                     14.9           1.4        964.3
Earnings per share (pence)                                                 15.3           1.5        920.0
Adjusted earnings per share (pence)**                                      14.0           3.6        288.9
Dividend per share (pence)                                                 1.95          1.95            -



*   Net of deferred tax on capital allowances

**    Net of deferred tax on capital allowances, post-tax losses on the sale of
properties and provision against investments

+   Includes lease assignment premium received of £7.9 million, of which our
share is £4.0 million

^   Includes release of tax provisions of £8.5 million



Corporate Highlights



•                     Profit after tax and minority interests increased to £14.9
million from £1.4 million previously, the increase is mainly due to the £7.9
million lease assignment premium received from Visa International at 99/121
Kensington High Street, W8, of which our share is £4.0 million, and the release
of tax provisions of £8.5 million.  Correspondingly, the earnings per share
increased to 15.3p from 1.5p previously.



•                     The value of the investment properties showed a net
reduction of £7.5 million based on independent valuation over the 30 June 2003
figures, representing a 1.3% decline or a total of 7.0% over the 12 months from
31 December 2002.



•                     The diluted adjusted net assets per share of 281.1p as at
31 December 2003 represent a 0.6% increase over the restated 30 June 2003 figure
of 279.5p (278.4p before restatement).



•                     Total disposals of £87.0 million in the six months to 31
December 2003 (2002: £29.0 million).  This has resulted in the net gearing
reducing to 65.3% as at 31 December 2003 compared to 95.2% as at 30 June 2003.
If our share of the joint venture net debt is included, the net gearing falls to
126.4% from 171.0%.



•                     An interim dividend of 1.95p per share has been declared
(2002: 1.95p).





For further information:
Benchmark Group PLC                              Tavistock Communications Ltd
Nigel Kempner, Chief Executive                   Jeremy Carey / Molly Dover
Tel: 020 7659 0500                               Tel: 020 7920 3150
www.benchmarkgroup.plc.uk
www.benchmarkdirect.com





The Company will make a presentation to analysts at 11.00 am on Monday 1 March
2004 at 1 Cornhill, EC3.  A copy of the slide presentation is available on
www.benchmarkgroup.plc.uk.





Chairman's Statement





RESULTS



Profit after tax and minority interests for the six months ended 31 December
2003 was £14.9 million (2002 - £1.4 million).  The increase is due mainly to the
recognition of our share of a lease assignment premium and the release of £8.5
million tax provisions.



During the period under review a premium of £7.9 million was received from a
tenant, Visa International Service Association, who assigned its leases on the
offices it occupied at 99/121 Kensington High Street, W8.  Our share of the
premium received is £4.0 million.



DIVIDEND



The Directors have declared an interim dividend of 1.95 pence per share (2002 -
1.95 pence per share) - which will be paid on 14 April 2004 to shareholders on
the register at 19 March 2004.



THE MARKET



Over the past few weeks we have continued to see increasing interest from
potential occupiers seeking modern offices in the West End at today's relatively
low net effective rents and we have seen some existing occupiers, who had been
seeking to reduce their space currently occupied, withdrawing their surplus
space from the market.  With a shortage of new developments this should, over
the next 12 months, produce a better balance of supply and demand and a gradual
reduction in incentives being offered to tenants.  Prime office rents in Mayfair
and St James's fell some 8% since January 2003, and this is a much reduced rate
of decline than over the previous year.



The strength and length of the West End office market recovery will depend on
the quality and sustainability of global economic growth, led by the United
States of America, and its effects on the UK economy.



Investment interest in the West End, particularly from overseas private
investors, has remained strong especially as many investors can begin to sense
the bottom of the cycle and imminent rental growth.



LETTINGS



During the six month period ended 31 December 2003, we concluded four office
lettings extending to 20,600 sq ft at rents totalling £590,000 per annum.



Since 31 December 2003, we have contracted further lettings of 39,200 sq ft at
rents totalling £1.3 million per annum.  These include 20,900 sq ft of offices
to Lloyds TSB Bank plc at 125 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2, concluding the letting of
the first phase of the refurbishment, as well as the last remaining office suite
at Medius on Wardour Street, W1, which is now fully let.  In addition we have
recently exchanged contracts for the sale of 17,600 sq ft of vacant offices at
Cubitt House, The Halkins, SW1 on a long leasehold basis.  Following these
transactions, our vacancy rate has fallen to around 9%, based on our share of
the portfolio.



ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSALS



There were no acquisitions by the Company during the period while disposals
amounted to £87.0 million.  The disposals during the period included 120
Cheapside, 4 Wood Street, EC2, New Chapter House, Bishopsgate, EC2 and 158/164
Bishopsgate, EC2.  Also during the period Spirella House, Oxford Circus, W1 was
sold to WEL Property Limited Partnership.  The book loss on the disposals
totalled £1.6 million.



DEVELOPMENTS



The construction of 60,000 sq ft of offices, retail and leisure space at Golden
Square, W1 has progressed well and within budget and practical completion is
scheduled for October 2004.  A pre-letting campaign for the retail and leisure
element is planned to start in May 2004.



At Melrose House, 4/6 Savile Row, W1, we have resolved all of the conditions
under the development agreement with the freeholder, The Pollen Estate, and are
scheduled to start on site in August 2004 to produce 33,000 sq ft of new office
and retail space due for completion in April 2006.



At 99/121 Kensington High Street, W8, we now have possession of 140,000 sq ft of
offices, following an assignment by Visa of its leases and we are preparing the
plans for a refurbishment scheme.



THE WEST END OF LONDON PROPERTY UNIT TRUST ('WELPUT')



In October 2003, WEL Property Limited Partnership ('WEL Property') completed the
acquisition from the Company of Spirella House, Oxford Circus, W1 in return for
an increase in the Company's interest in WEL Property.  At the same time the
Schroder Exempt Property Unit Trust subscribed for £11.5 million of units in
WELPUT.



On 31 December 2003, Allied Dunbar redeemed 18,541 of its units in WELPUT.  As a
result of these transactions the Group's effective interest in WELPUT is 56.6%
(30 June 2003 - 55.3%).



NET ASSET VALUE AND GEARING



The adjusted diluted net asset value per share as at 31 December 2003 was 281.1
pence (30 June 2003 - 279.5 pence).



DTZ Debenham Tie Leung Limited valued our investment properties, including those
held in our joint ventures with JER Partners, and CB Richard Ellis valued the
properties in the West End of London Property Unit Trust ('WELPUT'), on the
basis of market value as at 31 December 2003.  The value of the property
portfolio in which the Company has an interest at 31 December 2003 fell by £7.5
million, a decline of 1.3%, compared with the valuation of the same interest as
at 30 June 2003.  However, the increase in the retained profit of the Company
for the six month period more than offset the fall in the valuation of the
investment property portfolio.



As at 31 December 2003 the Company had net borrowings of £175.7 million compared
with £253.7 million as at 30 June 2003.  As a consequence, the gearing of the
company has fallen to 65.3% (30 June 2003 - 95.2%).  If our share of the net
borrowings in joint ventures is included, then net gearing has fallen to 126.4%
(30 June 2003 - 171.0%).







Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan

Chairman

27 February 2004





Consolidated Profit and Loss Account

Six months ended 31 December 2003






                                                                   Six months to   Six months to       Year to
                                                                       31 Dec 03       31 Dec 02     30 Jun 03
                                                                      (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (audited)
                                                          Note             £'000           £'000         £'000


GROSS RENTAL INCOME
Group and share of joint ventures                                         24,367          28,977        56,850
Less:  share of joint ventures                                            (7,802)        (11,016)      (20,410)
                                                                          16,565          17,961        36,440
NET RENTAL INCOME
Group and share of joint ventures                                         29,345          26,269        51,650
Less:  share of joint ventures                                            (6,868)        (10,385)      (18,808)
                                                           2              22,477          15,884        32,842
Administration expenses                                                   (2,249)         (2,526)       (5,527)
GROUP OPERATING PROFIT                                                    20,228          13,358        27,315
Share of operating profit in joint ventures                10              5,613           9,097        16,224
TOTAL OPERATING PROFIT                                                    25,841          22,455        43,539
(Loss)/profit on disposal of investment properties         3              (1,152)            760        (3,678)
Share of profit/(loss) on disposal of investment
  properties in joint ventures                             3                  88          (1,094)       (3,128)
Provision against investments                              4                   -          (1,260)       (1,260)
PROFIT ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES BEFORE
  INTEREST                                                                24,777          20,861        35,473
Group net interest payable and similar charges             5              (6,824)         (8,199)      (15,890)
Share of net interest payable in joint ventures            10             (6,070)         (9,089)      (16,698)
PROFIT ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES BEFORE
  TAXATION                                                                11,883           3,573         2,885
Taxation                                                   6               7,367          (1,605)        1,078
PROFIT ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES AFTER
  TAXATION                                                                19,250           1,968         3,963
Minority interests                                                        (4,331)           (520)       (1,116)
PROFIT FOR THE FINANCIAL PERIOD                                           14,919           1,448         2,847
Dividends                                                  7              (1,891)         (1,899)       (4,905)
RETAINED PROFIT/(LOSS) FOR THE PERIOD                                     13,028            (451)       (2,058)
EARNINGS PER SHARE  - BASIC                                8                15.3p            1.5p          2.9p
                    - DILUTED                              8                14.1p            1.5p          2.9p
ADJUSTED EARNINGS PER SHARE                                8                14.0p            3.6p         10.7p



All income was derived from within the United Kingdom from continuing
operations.





Consolidated Balance Sheet

As at 31 December 2003


                                                                                            As at         As at
                                                                            As at       31 Dec 02     30 Jun 03
                                                                        31 Dec 03      (unaudited)     (audited)
                                                                       (unaudited)      (restated)    (restated)
                                                          Note              £'000           £'000         £'000
FIXED ASSETS
Investment and development properties                      9             405,008         508,682       482,611
Joint ventures
  Share of gross assets                                                  265,229         367,736       295,491
  Share of gross liabilities                                            (185,820)       (282,507)     (224,374)
                                                           10             79,409          85,229        71,117
Investments                                                                1,160           1,159         1,160
Other tangible assets                                                        400             582           510
                                                                         485,977          595,652      555,398
CURRENT ASSETS
Debtors                                                                    9,973          18,090        13,770
Investments                                                                  916             916           916
Cash at bank and in hand                                 13(e)            16,553           6,501         4,999
                                                                          27,442          25,507        19,685
CREDITORS - AMOUNTS FALLING DUE
  WITHIN ONE YEAR                                                        (31,961)        (31,660)      (31,632)
NET CURRENT LIABILITIES                                                   (4,519)         (6,153)      (11,947)
TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT LIABILITIES                                    481,458         589,499       543,451
CREDITORS - AMOUNTS FALLING DUE
  AFTER MORE THAN ONE YEAR                                              (192,232)       (257,931)     (258,668)
PROVISIONS FOR LIABILITIES AND CHARGES                     11             (9,446)        (10,817)      (10,028)
NET ASSETS                                                               279,780         320,751       274,755
CAPITAL AND RESERVES
Called up share capital                                                   60,912          60,906        60,908
Share premium account                                      12            151,497         151,490       151,492
Revaluation reserve                                        12              1,580          75,962        17,222
Other reserves                                             12                 51              51            51
Profit and loss account                                    12             54,795          21,117        36,921
EQUITY SHAREHOLDERS' FUNDS                                               268,835         309,526       266,594
Minority interests                                                        10,945          11,225         8,161
TOTAL CAPITAL EMPLOYED                                                   279,780         320,751       274,755
NET ASSETS PER SHARE - BASIC                               8               275.8p          317.6p        273.6p
                     - DILUTED                             8               275.8p          317.6p        273.6p
ADJUSTED NET ASSETS PER SHARE - BASIC                      8               281.1p          322.9p        279.5p
                              - DILUTED                    8               281.1p          322.4p        279.5p
          







Consolidated Statement of Total Recognised Gains and Losses

Six months ended 31 December 2003


                                                              Six months to     Six months to         Year to
                                                                  31 Dec 03         31 Dec 02       30 Jun 03
                                                                 (unaudited)       (unaudited)       (audited)
                                                                      £'000            £'000            £'000
Profit for the financial period                                     14,919             1,448            2,847
Share of deficit arising on revaluation of
  investment properties                                             (8,129)          (68,370)        (107,470)
Tax on realisation of revaluation surpluses on
  investment property disposals                                     (2,667)             (551)          (2,780)
Total recognised gains and losses for the period                     4,123           (67,473)        (107,403)
Prior period adjustment                                              1,055
Total recognised gains and losses since
  last annual report                                                 5,178





Note of Historical Cost Profits and Losses
Six months ended 31 December 2003


                                                           Six months to      Six months to          Year to
                                                               31 Dec 03          31 Dec 02        30 Jun 03
                                                              (unaudited)        (unaudited)        (audited)
                                                                   £'000              £'000            £'000
Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                     11,883              3,573            2,885
Realisation of property revaluation surpluses
  in prior periods                                                 7,513              2,492           22,132
Historical cost profit on ordinary activities
  before taxation                                                 19,396              6,065           25,017
Historical cost profit/(loss) retained after tax,
  minority interests and dividends                                17,874              1,490          (14,514)







Reconciliation of Movements in Shareholders' Funds
Six months ended 31 December 2003


                                                                               Six months to           Year to
                                                              Six months to        31 Dec 02         30 Jun 03
                                                                  31 Dec 03       (unaudited)         (audited)
                                                                 (unaudited)       (restated)        (restated)
                                                                     £'000             £'000             £'000
Total recognised gains and losses for the period                     4,123           (67,473)        (107,403)
Dividends                                                           (1,891)           (1,899)          (4,905)
Issue of shares                                                          9                 -                4
Increase/(decrease) in shareholders' funds                           2,241           (69,372)        (112,304)
Opening shareholders' funds (originally
  £265,539,000 before adding prior period
  adjustment of £1,055,000)                                        266,594           378,898          378,898
Closing shareholders' funds                                        268,835           309,526          266,594







Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
Six months ended 31 December 2003


                                                                       Six months to  Six months to     Year to
                                                                           31 Dec 03     31 Dec 02    30 Jun 03
                                                                          (unaudited)   (unaudited)    (audited)
                                                              Note             £'000         £'000        £'000
NET CASH INFLOW FROM OPERATING
  ACTIVITIES                                                  13(a)           24,631         9,939       24,998
DISTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM
  JOINT VENTURES                                                               1,322           184        1,941
RETURNS ON INVESTMENTS AND SERVICING OF
  FINANCE
Interest received                                                                129           161          441
Interest paid                                                                 (6,894)       (8,106)     (16,332)
NET CASH OUTFLOW FOR RETURNS ON
  INVESTMENTS AND SERVICING OF FINANCE                                        (6,765)       (7,945)     (15,891)
TAXATION
Corporation tax paid                                                          (2,423)       (5,868)      (6,727)
CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
Property additions and other capital expenditure                              (5,304)      (10,782)     (16,030)
Disposals and other capital receipts                                          74,707        19,292       20,085
Purchase of other fixed assets                                                      -         (413)        (425)
Repayment of loan notes by associate                                                -        1,848        1,848
NET CASH INFLOW FOR CAPITAL EXPENDITURE                                       69,403         9,945        5,478
ACQUISITIONS AND DISPOSALS
Investment in joint ventures                                                  (5,175)       (7,738)     (11,640)
NET CASH OUTFLOW FOR ACQUISITIONS
  AND DISPOSALS                                                               (5,175)       (7,738)     (11,640)
EQUITY DIVIDENDS PAID                                                         (3,012)       (3,020)      (4,905)
CASH INFLOW/(OUTFLOW) BEFORE MANAGEMENT
  OF LIQUID RESOURCES AND FINANCING                                           77,981        (4,503)      (6,746)
MANAGEMENT OF LIQUID RESOURCES
Increase in blocked deposits                                  13(b)          (11,100)            -            -
NET INFLOW FROM MANAGEMENT OF
  LIQUID RESOURCES                                                           (11,100)            -            -
FINANCING
Issue of shares                                                                    9             -            4
(Decrease)/increase in debt                                   13(b)          (66,436)        5,832        6,569
NET (OUTLFOW)/INFLOW FROM FINANCING                                          (66,427)        5,832        6,573
INCREASE/(DECREASE) IN CASH IN THE PERIOD                     13(b)              454         1,329         (173)





Notes to the Accounts



1            ABRIDGED ACCOUNTS

The results for the six months ended 31 December 2003 do not constitute full
statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985.



The Accounting Standards Board (ASB) has issued a non-mandatory statement '
Interim Reports', which seeks to codify best practice in the presentation of
interim results.  The Interim Results, which incorporate the revaluation of
investment properties as at 31 December 2003, have been prepared having regard
to the guidance in the ASB statement and on the basis of the accounting policies
set out in the Group's audited accounts for the year ended 30 June 2003 except
for the treatment of investments held long term which have been restated to
their net asset value.  This compares with such investments previously being
carried at cost less provisions to reflect any impairment in value.  The effect
of this change in accounting policy is to increase shareholders' funds by
£1,055,000 as at 31 December 2003, 30 June 2003 and 31 December 2002.  The
change of accounting policy does not affect the profit and loss accounts as
previously reported.



The comparative figures for the financial year ended 30 June 2003 are extracted
from the Group's statutory accounts for that financial year.  Those accounts
have been reported on by the Company's auditors and delivered to the Registrar
of Companies.  The report of the auditors was unqualified and did not contain a
statement under Section 237 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 1985.



The Interim Results for the six months ended 31 December 2003 were approved by
the Directors on 27 February 2004.





2          NET RENTAL INCOME


                                                                   Six months to   Six months to       Year to
                                                                       31 Dec 03       31 Dec 02     30 Jun 03
                                                                     (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (audited)
                                                                           £'000           £'000         £'000
Group gross rental income                                                16,565          17,961        36,440
Lease assignment premium received                                         7,918               -             -
Ground rents                                                               (930)         (1,067)       (2,015)
Irrecoverable property costs                                             (1,864)         (1,165)       (2,267)
Amortisation of leasehold properties                                       (432)           (450)         (890)
UITF 28 adjustment                                                          436             (10)          306
                                                                         21,693          15,269        31,574
Property advisory and management fees                                       784             615         1,268
Net rental income                                                        22,477          15,884        32,842





3          (LOSS)/PROFIT ON DISPOSAL OF INVESTMENT PROPERTIES


                                                                   Six months to   Six months to       Year to
                                                                       31 Dec 03       31 Dec 02     30 Jun 03
                                                                     (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (audited)
                                                                           £'000           £'000         £'000
Aggregate consideration                                                  87,036          29,046        78,445
Less:  sales costs                                                         (741)           (373)         (963)
Net proceeds                                                             86,295          28,673        77,482
Less:  historical cost of properties                                    (80,881)        (27,715)      (73,525)
Historical cost profit                                                    5,414             958         3,957
Less:  net surpluses recognised in prior periods                         (7,055)         (2,492)       (7,392)
                                                                         (1,641)         (1,534)       (3,435)
Less: loss on retained interest                                             196               -             -
Less: permanent impairment in properties
  disposed of post period-end                                                 -               -        (4,671)
                                                                         (1,445)         (1,534)       (8,106)
Add: write back of accruals                                                 381           1,200         1,300
                                                                         (1,064)           (334)       (6,806)
Attributable to:
Group                                                                    (1,152)            760        (3,678)
Share of joint ventures                                                      88          (1,094)       (3,128)
                                                                         (1,064)           (334)       (6,806)



4                     PROVISION AGAINST INVESTMENTS

In the year ended 30 June 2003, provision has been made against investments to
reflect the Directors' estimate of current values.



5                     GROUP NET INTEREST PAYABLE AND SIMILAR CHARGES


                                                                   Six months to   Six months to       Year to
                                                                       31 Dec 03       31 Dec 02     30 Jun 03
                                                                     (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (audited)
                                                                           £'000           £'000         £'000
Amounts payable on bank loans and overdrafts                              5,277           6,693        13,015
5.75% Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 2013                               1,449           1,449         2,875
                                                                          6,726           8,142        15,890
Amortisation of loan issue costs                                            227             232           459
                                                                          6,953           8,374        16,349
Interest receivable                                                        (129)           (175)         (459)
                                                                          6,824           8,199        15,890



6                     TAXATION


                                                                    Six months to   Six months to     Year to
                                                                        31 Dec 03       31 Dec 02   30 Jun 03
                                                                       (unaudited)     (unaudited)   (audited)
                                                                            £'000           £'000        £'000
Taxation based on profit for the period:
Corporation tax at 30% (2002 - 30%)                                        2,003           1,232         2,536
Tax arising on capital items                                                (323)           (135)       (1,034)
Release of prior year provisions                                          (8,465)           (140)       (2,140)
Current tax (credit)/charge for the period                                (6,785)            957          (638)
Deferred taxation (credit)/charge on revenue profit                       (1,983)            592         1,204
Deferred taxation on permanent impairment on
  property values                                                          1,401               -        (1,401)
Group tax (credit)/charge                                                 (7,367)          1,549          (835)
Share of tax in joint ventures                                                 -              56          (243)
                                                                          (7,367)          1,605        (1,078)



Factors affecting the tax (credit)/charge for the period

The tax assessed for the period is lower than the standard rate of corporation
tax in the UK of 30% (31 December 2002 - 30%).  The differences are explained
below:


                                                                   Six months to   Six months to       Year to
                                                                       31 Dec 03       31 Dec 02     30 Jun 03
                                                                      (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (audited)
                                                                           £'000           £'000         £'000
Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                             11,883           3,573         2,885
Profit on ordinary activities multiplied by the standard rate
  of corporation tax at 30%                                                3,565           1,072           866
Capital allowances                                                          (753)           (694)       (1,544)
Additional/(reduced) tax on property sales                                   666             (35)        1,007
Expenses disallowed                                                          188             810           930
Lease assignment premium                                                  (1,986)              -             -
Release of prior year provisions                                          (8,465)           (140)       (2,140)
Share of tax from joint ventures                                               -             (56)          243
Tax (credit)/charge on profit on ordinary activities                      (6,785)            957          (638)



7                     DIVIDENDS



An interim dividend of 1.95p (31 December 2002 - 1.95p) per share is payable on
14 April 2004 to shareholders on the register at 19 March 2004 based on
97,458,188 ordinary shares of 62.5p each (31 December 2002 - 97,450,278) in
issue.



8                     EARNINGS/NET ASSETS PER SHARE



Earnings per share

Earnings per share of 15.3 pence (year ended 30 June 2003 - 2.9 pence, six
months ended 31 December 2002 - 1.5 pence) are calculated on the weighted
average number of shares in issue during the period of 97,456,541 (30 June 2003
- 97,450,290, 31 December 2002 - 97,450,246) and attributable earnings of
£14,919,000 (30 June 2003 - £2,847,000, 31 December 2002 - £1,448,000).



Diluted earnings per share of 14.1 pence are calculated on the weighted average
number of shares in issue during the period of 112,959,595 and attributable
earnings of £15,953,000.  For the year ended 30 June 2003 and the six months
ended 31 December 2002, neither the conversion of the 5.75% Convertible
Unsecured Loan Stock 2013 nor the exercise of outstanding share options result
in a dilution to the stated earnings per share.



Adjusted earnings per share are calculated after adjusting for the effect of
property disposals, provisions against investments and deferred tax on capital
allowances.  Adjusted earnings per share of 14.0 pence (year ended 30 June 2003
- 10.7 pence, six months ended 31 December 2002 - 3.6 pence) are calculated
based on the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period of
97,456,541 (30 June 2003 - 97,450,290, 31 December 2002 - 97,450,246) and after
making the following adjustments to attributable earnings:


                                          Six months to 31 Dec 03 Six months to 31 Dec 02    Year to 30 Jun 03
                                                      (unaudited)           (unaudited)              (audited)
                                                        Pence per             Pence per              Pence per
                                                £'000       share     £'000       share       £'000      share
Earnings attributable to ordinary
  shares                                      14,919        15.3     1,448         1.5       2,847        2.9
Adjustments:
  Loss on sale of investment
   properties                                  1,064         1.1       334         0.3       3,435        3.5
  Provision for impairment on
   investment properties sold
   after the year end                              -           -         -           -       4,671        4.7
  Share of loss on sale of joint
   venture trading properties                      -           -         -           -       1,128        1.2
  Provision against investment                     -           -     1,260         1.3       1,260        1.3
  Capital accruals written back                    -           -         -           -      (1,300)      (1.3)
                                              15,983        16.4     3,042         3.1      12,041       12.3
  Tax on adjustments                          (1,715)       (1.8)     (135)       (0.1)     (2,773)      (2.8)
                                              14,268        14.6     2,907         3.0       9,268        9.5
  Deferred tax in respect of capital
  allowances                                    (591)       (0.6)      592         0.6       1,204        1.2
Adjusted earnings                             13,677        14.0     3,499         3.6      10,472       10.7



Deferred tax is excluded, as the Group's experience is that it is very unusual
for capital allowances to be claimed back through balancing charges on the
disposal of a property.



Net assets per share



Net assets per share of 275.8 pence (30 June 2003 (restated) - 273.6 pence, 31
December 2002 (restated) - 317.6 pence) are calculated based on the number of
shares in issue at 31 December 2003 of 97,458,188 (30 June 2003 - 97,452,344, 31
December - 97,450,278) and net assets attributable to shareholders of
£268,835,000 (30 June 2003 (restated) - £266,594,000, 31 December 2002
(restated) - £309,526,000).



Neither the conversion of the 5.75% Convertible Unsecured Loan Stock 2013 nor
the exercise of outstanding share options result in a dilution of the net assets
per share of the Group as at 31 December 2003, 30 June 2003 or 31 December 2002.



Adjusted net assets per share are calculated after adjusting for the deferred
tax liability in respect of capital allowances, as the Group's experience is
that it is very unusual for capital allowances to be claimed back through
balancing charges.  Adjusted net assets per share are based on the number of
shares in issue at 31 December 2003 of 97,458,188 (30 June 2003 - 97,452,344, 31
December 2002 - 97,450,278) and are calculated as follows:


                                                 As at 31 Dec 03         As at 31 Dec 02       As at 30 Jun 03
                                                                              (restated)            (restated)
                                                       Pence per  (restated)   Pence per (restated)  Pence per
                                               £'000       share       £'000       share      £'000      share
Net assets attributable to
  ordinary shares                            268,835       275.8     309,526       317.6    266,594      273.6
Adjustments:
  Deferred tax in respect of capital
  allowances                                   5,144         5.3       5,123         5.3      5,735        5.9
Adjusted net assets attributable to
  ordinary shares                            273,979       281.1     314,649       322.9    272,329      279.5





As at 31 December 2003 and 30 June 2003 there is no diluting effect to adjusted
net assets per share.  As at 31 December 2002 diluted adjusted earnings per
share were 322.4 pence (restated) based on adjusted net assets of £364,041,000
(restated) and shares in issue of 112,911,457.



9          FIXED ASSETS - INVESTMENT AND DEVELOPMENT PROPERTIES

All properties were valued as at 31 December 2003, by qualified professional
valuers working for the company of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, Chartered Surveyors
('DTZ'), acting in the capacity of External Valuers.  All such valuers are
Chartered Surveyors, being members of the Royal Institution of Chartered
Surveyors.



All properties were valued on the basis of Market Value.  All valuations were
carried out in accordance with the RICS Appraisal and Valuation Standards.  Our
valuation report is dated 10 January 2004 (the 'Valuation Report').  Paul
Wolfenden has been the signatory of valuation reports provided to Benchmark
Group PLC for the same purpose as the Valuation Report for a continuous period
since July 1996.  DTZ has been carrying out valuations for Benchmark Group PLC
for the same purpose as the Valuation Report for the same period.



Historically, DTZ has acted as letting agents for the Group on a number of
properties.  In addition, DTZ has also historically provided ad-hoc investment,
acquisition, disposal and building consultancy advice, however DTZ has not
provided any such services throughout the twelve month period prior to 31
December 2003.



DTZ Debenham Tie Leung is a wholly owned subsidiary of DTZ Holdings plc.  In DTZ
Holdings financial year to 30 April 2003, the proportion of total fees payable
by the Group to the total fee income of DTZ Holdings was significantly less than
5%.



Analysis of property portfolio:
                                                                                      Our              Under
                                                                                    share         management
                                                                                    £'000              £'000
100% owned                                                                        405,008            405,008
BJER 1 & 2                                                                        111,786            223,676
WELPUT                                                                            140,609            248,260
Total                                                                             657,403            876,944



10         JOINT VENTURES
                                                                                                £'000
At 1 July 2003 at valuation                                                                    71,117
Net equity investments                                                                         16,675
Deficit on revaluation of investment properties                                                (6,558)
Share of retained loss for the period                                                            (369)
Distributions received                                                                         (1,456)
Share of net assets at 31 December 2003                                                        79,409



Summarised aggregated financial statements:


                                                   Benchmark     Benchmark     WEL Property
                                                       JER 1         JER 2         Limited
                                                     Limited       Limited Partnership and      Total      Total
                                                 Partnership   Partnership          WELPUT       2003       2002
                                                       £'000         £'000           £'000      £'000      £'000
Percentage interest at period end                      50.0%         49.9%          56.6%*
Profit and loss accounts -
  Group share
Period from 1 July 2003 to
  31 December 2003
Operating profit                                      1,836           253           3,524      5,613      9,097
Profit/(loss) on disposal of investment
  properties                                              6             -              82         88     (1,094)
Net interest payable                                 (2,544)         (646)         (2,880)    (6,070)    (9,089)
(Loss)/profit on ordinary activities before
  taxation                                             (702)         (393)            726       (369)    (1,086)
Taxation                                                  -             -               -          -        (56)
(Loss)/profit for the period                           (702)         (393)            726       (369)    (1,142)



Balance sheets - Group share
As at 31 December 2003                                                                        Total      Total
                                                                                               2003       2002
                                                      £'000        £'000           £'000      £'000      £'000
Investment properties at valuation                   85,841       25,945         140,609    252,395    349,379
Trading properties                                        -            -               -          -      6,425
Cash                                                  1,408          587           7,903      9,898      8,958
Other current assets                                    813          408           1,715      2,936      2,974
Current liabilities                                    (692)      (2,664)         (8,487)   (11,843)   (33,273)
Borrowings                                          (59,298)     (21,288)        (93,391)  (173,977)  (249,234)
                                                     28,072        2,988          48,349     79,409     85,229



*The Group has a 27.2% interest in WEL Property Limited Partnership ('WEL
Partnership') and a 40.4% interest in WELPUT which has a 72.8% interest in WEL
Partnership giving an effective economic interest of 56.6%.  Under the terms of
the WEL Partnership deed and the WELPUT Trust deed, Benchmark does not control
or have the right to control either entity.  However, in view of Benchmark's
effective joint control it has accounted for its WELPUT interests as a joint
venture in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 9 - Associates and Joint
Ventures.



The investment properties are stated on the basis of their market values as at
31 December 2003.  The valuations were carried out by DTZ Debenham Tie Leung
Limited (BJER 1 & 2 portfolios) and CB Richard Ellis (WELPUT portfolio),
Chartered Surveyors, acting as External Valuers and in accordance with the
Appraisal and Valuation Manual of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.



All joint venture borrowings are non-recourse to the Group.



11            PROVISIONS FOR LIABILITIES AND CHARGES



Deferred tax in respect of short term timing differences.
                                                                                           £'000
At 1 July 2003                                                                            10,028
Released during the period                                                                  (582)
At 31 December 2003                                                                        9,446




                                                                      2003                  2002
                                                                     £'000                 £'000
Group
Potential tax on unrealised investment
  property surpluses                                                 3,241                 3,241
Capitalised interest                                                 1,061                 2,453
Capital allowances                                                   5,144                 5,123
                                                                     9,446                10,817



There was no net unprovided deferred tax on unrealised investment property
surpluses as at 31 December 2003.



12            RESERVES
                                                   Share  Revaluation        Other   Profit and
                                                 Premium      Reserve     Reserves loss account        Total
                                                   £'000        £'000        £'000        £'000        £'000
At 1 July 2003 (as reported)                     151,492       16,167            51      36,921      204,631
Prior period adjustment (note 1)                       -        1,055             -           -        1,055
At 1 July 2003 (as restated)                     151,492       17,222            51      36,921      205,686
Premium on shares issued                               5            -             -           -            5
Share of deficit arising on revaluation
  of investment properties                             -       (8,129)            -           -       (8,129)
Revaluation surpluses realised
  on investment property disposals                     -       (7,513)            -       7,513            -
Tax on realisation of revaluation
  surpluses on investment property
  disposals                                            -            -             -      (2,667)      (2,667)
Profit for the financial period                        -            -             -      14,919       14,919
Dividends                                              -            -             -      (1,891)      (1,891)
At 31 December 2003                              151,497        1,580            51      54,795      207,923



13         NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED CASH FLOW STATEMENT



(a)            Reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flows

                                                          Six months to      Six months to           Year to
                                                              31 Dec 03          31 Dec 02         30 Jun 03
                                                            (unaudited)        (unaudited)         (audited)
                                                                  £'000              £'000             £'000
Operating profit                                                 20,228            13,358            27,315
Depreciation                                                        110                86               170
Amortisation of leasehold properties                                432               450               890
Decrease/(increase) in debtors                                    3,504            (2,322)           (1,352)
Increase/(decrease) in creditors                                    357            (1,633)           (2,025)
Net cash inflow from operating activities                        24,631             9,939            24,998



(b)            Reconciliation of net cash flow to movement in net debt

                                                         Six months to      Six months to            Year to
                                                             31 Dec 03          31 Dec 02          30 Jun 03
                                                           (unaudited)        (unaudited)          (audited)
                                                                 £'000              £'000              £'000
Increase/(decrease) in cash in the period                         454              1,329               (173)
Increase in liquid resources in the period                     11,100                  -                  -
Decrease/(increase) in debt in the period                      66,436             (5,832)            (6,569)
Movement in net debt                                           77,990             (4,503)            (6,742)
Net debt at start of period                                  (253,669)          (246,927)          (246,927)
Net debt at end of period                                    (175,679)          (251,430)          (253,669)



(c)            Analysis of net debt
                                                                  As at                                As at
                                                              31 Dec 03                            30 Jun 03
                                                            (unaudited)          Cash flow         (audited)
                                                                  £'000              £'000             £'000
Cash at bank and in hand                                         5,453                 454            4,999
Cash in blocked deposit account                                 11,100              11,100                -
                                                                16,553              11,554            4,999
Debt due after more than one year                             (192,232)             66,436         (258,668)
Net debt                                                      (175,679)             77,990         (253,669)



(d)                            Significant non-cash transactions



During the period the Group contributed a property, Spirella House, W1 to WEL
Property Limited Partnership in return for an increased interest in the
partnership.



(e)                            Cash subject to restriction



Included within cash in the balance sheet as at 31 December 2003 of £16,553,000
is £11,100,000 of cash held in a blocked deposit account in a subsidiary
company.





14            REPORT CIRCULATION

Copies of the Interim Report are being sent to shareholders and will be
available from the Company's Registered Office at 11 Grafton Street, London, W1S
4EW







Independent Review Report by KPMG Audit Plc to Benchmark Group PLC



INTRODUCTION

We have been engaged by the Company to review the financial information set out
in the consolidated profit and loss account, consolidated balance sheet,
consolidated statement of total recognised gains and losses, note of historical
cost profits and losses, reconciliation of movements in shareholders' funds,
consolidated cash flow statement and notes 1 to 14 and we have read the other
information contained in the interim report and considered whether it contains
any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the financial
information.



This report is made solely to the Company in accordance with the terms of our
engagement to assist the Company in meeting the requirements of the Listing
Rules of the Financial Services Authority.  Our review has been undertaken so
that we might state to the Company those matters we are required to state to it
in this report and for no other purpose.  To the fullest extent permitted by
law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Company
for our review work, for this report, or for the conclusions we have reached.



DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES

The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is
the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the Directors.  The Directors
are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing
Rules which require that the accounting policies and presentation applied to the
interim figures should be consistent with those applied in preparing the
preceding annual accounts except where they are to be changed in the next annual
accounts in which case any changes, and the reasons for them, are to be
disclosed.



REVIEW WORK PERFORMED

We conducted our review in accordance with guidance contained in Bulletin 1999/
4: Review of interim financial information issued by the Auditing Practices
Board for use in the United Kingdom.  A review consists principally of making
enquiries of group management and applying analytical procedures to the
financial information and underlying financial data and, based thereon,
assessing whether the accounting policies and presentation have been
consistently applied unless otherwise disclosed.  A review is substantially less
in scope than an audit performed in accordance with Auditing Standards and
therefore provides a lower level of assurance than an audit.  Accordingly we do
not express an audit opinion on the financial information.



REVIEW CONCLUSION

On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that
should be made to the financial information as presented for the six months
ended 31 December 2003.



KPMG Audit Plc

Chartered Accountants

London

27 February 2004






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