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Golf News: - Posted 31st March 1998

ClubCorp to buy into PGA European courses

By Jim Armitage, City Staff, PA News

London - Golf course operator PGA European Tour Courses today said its recovery programme was approaching completion.

The golf group said it had sold its property portfolio and was concentrating on major flagship courses, marking a change in its previous plan to buy up to 20 courses by the millennium.

It sold its Tytherington Club in Cheshire last December at a profit of 771,000.

Executive chairman Richard Thompson also announced his intention to sell his 22.9% stake in PGA to the British arm of US group ClubCorp. A further announcement was expected on the stock market later today.

The company produced pre-tax profits in the year to December 31 of 1.2 million, significantly down on the 2.8 million produced in the same time last year.

Turnover stood at 10.56 million, up from 4.9 million.

The company, based in Chobham, Surrey, said the Woburn Golf and Country Club in Bucks, in which it bought a 50% stake last year, brought in 263,000 profits before tax.

A "satisfactory" performance was seen from its Middlesex course, Stockley Park, which proved popular for golf days, the company said.

But Collingtree in Northants suffered from the poor state of the greens. A new general manager and head green keeper had been appointed to Collingtree, the company said.

In its overseas business, the company said it was preparing its Stockholm course for the Scandinavian Masters golf tournament in July this year at a cost of 500,000.

In Spain, the company's championship golf course PGA Golf de Catalunya will be completed this year at a total cost of 4.4 million, the company said.

A further 500,000 will need to be spent on it this year.

The company will not be paying out a dividend.