Allied Domecq's Chief Executive, Philip Bowman said:

"We have delivered double digit earnings growth during a period of dramatic change. This strong performance has been achieved through the effective implementation of our business strategy. We have focused on profitable volume through the management of product mix, pricing and enhanced marketing investment, up 9%, principally behind key brands.

Our Spirits and Wine business continues to perform well, driven particularly by the strength of Ballantine's, Kahlúa and Beefeater. Our Quick Service Restaurants business has produced excellent results with a 14% growth in trading profit, in part from the turnaround of our international business from loss to profit. The initiatives to revitalise the Baskin-Robbins brand are generating results in line with our expectations.

We have significantly re-focused the business through the disposal of the UK Retail assets, John Bull Pubs and Panrico. We have strengthened our capabilities in Asia Pacific through our investment in Jinro Ballantines.

Over the past year, we have set out to be a dynamic marketing-led brands business and we have accelerated the pace of change across all aspects of the business to achieve this. We have a great portfolio of brands and will continue to generate value for our shareholders through enhancing the returns from our existing assets and by strengthening our brand portfolio and distribution capabilities through acquisition and joint venture.

The directors are recommending a final dividend of 7.0 pence per share giving a total for the year of 11.0 pence per share."

Highlights

2000 1999 %growth
Profit before tax (including Panrico) £413m £362m 14
Trading profit £487m £430m 13
Profit before tax £404m £349m 16
Normalised earnings per share 27.4p 24.2p 13
Marketing investment behind Spirits & Wine £301m £275m 9
Return on investment 9.3% 8.3%

Unless otherwise stated, profits and earnings exclude those of discontinued operations.