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Benchmark Group PLC (BMK)

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Wednesday 17 May, 2000

Benchmark Group PLC

Statement re 121 KHS Ltd

Benchmark Group PLC
17 May 2000


                   BENCHMARK ACHIEVES
            SIGNIFICANT RENTAL UPLIFT ON ITS
             KENSINGTON HIGH STREET HOLDING

                                              17 May 2000

Benchmark Group PLC ('Benchmark'), the specialist central
London   property  investment  and  development  company,
announces  that  its subsidiary 121 KHS Ltd  ('KHS')  has
completed a series of transactions at its property 99/121
Kensington  High  Street, London  W8  (formerly  Derry  &
Toms).

KHS  has  accepted a surrender from Storehouse Properties
Limited of the lease of its BhS store in Kensington.   It
comprises  110,000  sq  ft (10,220m2)  on  lower  ground,
ground,  first and second floors.  Storehouse  Properties
Limited had been paying a rental of £1.39m p.a. and  will
receive  a premium payment for the surrender based  on  a
formula  linked to the increase in value of the  property
after   taking   into   account  final   costs   of   the
refurbishment works.

The  store  will  be  split into  two  units,  for  which
planning and listed building consents have been obtained,
and building work has already commenced.

The  new  store  to be created at the junction  of  Derry
Street and Kensington High Street will comprise 41,000 sq
ft  (3,809m2).  It has been pre-let to Gap for a term  of
20  years with rent reviews at 5 yearly intervals with  a
tenants' option to break the lease at the 15th year.  Gap
anticipates commencing trading in Spring 2001.

The other new store next to Marks & Spencer will comprise
50,500   sq  ft  (4,687m2)  on  basement,  ground  floor,
mezzanine  and two upper levels.  It has been pre-let  to
H&M  Hennes  Limited ('H&M') for a term of 20 years  with
rent  reviews  at  5  yearly intervals.   H&M  anticipate
commencing trading in Spring 2001.

The  two  new  lettings will produce a  total  rental  of
£3.82m p.a.

The  surrender and the two new lettings have been carried
out   in   conjunction  with  obtaining  the  appropriate
consents   from   the  freeholder,  the   Crown   Estate.
Previously KHS held a lease of the entire property for an
unexpired term of 82 years from the Crown Estate  with  a
rental payable of £50,000 p.a. without review.  The lease
has  been  amended so that KHS will now pay an additional
rent to the Crown Estate equating to 11.25% of the retail
rents received from the these two retail lettings.
                                                   
Nigel Kempner, Chief Executive of Benchmark said, 'We are
delighted  with  the  Kensington transactions,  where  we
worked  with  Storehouse to maximise  the  value  of  its
position,  whilst at the same time enabling us to  create
exciting  major  new retail additions to Kensington  High
Street  at today's market rents.  We have liaised closely
with  the  Crown  Estate  who  has  worked  speedily   to
facilitate  this  transaction.  We have  replaced  £1.39m
p.a.  of  income with £3.82m p.a. of income from Gap  and
H&M  which I believe will add considerable value  to  our
interest after costs. These new lettings go a long way to
reinforcing the position of Kensington High Street  as  a
premier retail destination.'

Richard Din of H&M Hennes said, 'Benchmark have given  us
a  chance  to  open  our  largest  store  in  the  UK  on
Kensington  High Street which will be able to  carry  our
full retail range.'

121  KHS  Ltd  is 50.1% owned by Benchmark and  49.9%  by
Deutsche Bank AG.
                           
For further information, please contact:

Benchmark Group PLC
Nigel J Kempner
Chief Executive
Tel: 020 7287 6881

Tavistock Communications
Jeremy Carey or Karen Roberts
Tel: 020 7600 2288

                                                       

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