Bob Mackenzie, NPC's chief executive, said: 'Green Flag has made great strides under NPC's stewardship, and is on the threshold of an exciting future. However, its ability to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead, and realise its full potential, will be considerably enhanced as an independent company. We believe a demerger to be the most effective method of achieving this objective and ensuring that shareholder value is maximised.'
His announcement coincided with the publication of NPC's interim results for the half year to September 26, 1997, which revealed business growth for Green Flag, but flat profits due to a major systems modernisation programme, and significant spending on brand promotion.
Overall, NPC's pre-tax profits rose by 25.6% to £26 million (1996: £20.7m), on turnover up 4.2% to £183.9 million (£176.5m).