Results for the year to December 31, 1998 showed that an increase in income of 14% to £310.9 million (1997: £271.2 million) and a 45% rise in pre-tax profits to £24.7 million (£17.0 million) were wiped out by exceptional charges. The demerger of RAC Motoring Services from the Royal Automobile Club and wrangles with shareholders over who benefited from any sale created a one-off cost of £29.9 million, leaving an annual loss of £13.2 million (1997: £4.2 million).
At the presentation of the results, the firm revealed that a shortlist of potential buyers which had numbered 27 has now been whittled down to single figures. A spokesman for RAC Holdings told FNN: 'We cannot comment on market speculation. We are continuing our twin track approach and a decision will be made at the end of May.'