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GUS reports net sales up 9% for year ended 31 March, 05

May '05
uk's leading luxury retailer gus plc announced its reports for year ended 31 march 2005.

strong financial performance
10% increase in profit before amortisation of goodwill, exceptional items and taxation to £910m (2004: £827m)

profit before tax increased to £693m (2004: £692m)

5% increase in basic earnings per share before amortisation of goodwill and exceptional items to 63.8p (2004: 60.7p)

basic earnings per share 42.3p (2004: 47.4p)

9% increase in full year dividend to 29.5p (2004: 27.0p)

10.3% post-tax return on capital (2004: 10.2%)
record profits again at argos retail group, experian and burberry
arg: sales up 7% and profit up 10% before one-off charges*

experian: sales up 18% and profit up 16% for continuing activities at constant exchange rates

burberry: sales up 10% and profit up 21% at constant exchange rates

further initiatives to enhance shareholder value

lewis: sold remaining stake

burberry: demerger later in year

arg and experian: - driving sustainable growth is key
- future separation

one-off charges have been made covering the argos oft fine (£16.2m) and homebase reorganisation costs (£18.3m). excluding these one-off charges, group pbt was £945m (up 14%) and basic eps before amortisation of goodwill and exceptional items was 66.2p (up 9%).
sir victor blank, chairman of gus, commented:

"the board has drawn its conclusions from the strategic review about future group structure and has started to take actions accordingly. it recognises that there is no strategic logic in maintaining arg, experian and burberry within the same group in the long term. while the separation of arg and experian will be undertaken at the right time in the future, the board has decided that it is appropriate to demerge burberry later this year to give our investors a direct interest in burberry's exciting future."

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