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Posted on September 22, 2006 | Tags:
Hard Rock to Occupy Space Adjacent to Fanueil Hall
Orlando, Fla., September 22, 2006 – After 17 years in Copley Square, Hard Rock Boston is on the move across town! Hard Rock International today announced its Boston cafe is relocating to the vibrant Fanueil Hall area, and will be housed on 20 Clinton Street. The original Hard Rock Cafe Boston opened at Copley Square in June 1989 and became a fixture in town hosting millions of guests, as well as thousands of concerts and special events.

Scheduled to open in summer 2007, the new Hard Rock Cafe Boston will be one of the city’s largest entertainment destinations, with more than 16,000-square feet of space, including a 400-seat restaurant, a live music area for concerts and special events and a Rock Shop featuring Hard Rock’s iconic merchandise.

“We are thrilled to announce this strategic move to the exciting Fanuiel Hall area of Boston,” said Hamish Dodds, president and CEO Hard Rock Cafe International. “We have enjoyed great success in Boston and at this new location we will benefit from the enhanced traffic, and rock Boston with great live music and our celebrated dining experience.”

Hard Rock International has enjoyed recent success with cafe relocations to better reach our target consumers. Most recently, in 2005, Hard Rock moved its New York Cafe from 57th Street to the heart of Times Square and has enjoyed tremendous success as a premier destination for special events, while improving the overall guest experience.

Additional “in-city” moves have included San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ and Orlando, Fla.

The Copley Square location will remain open for guests until the opening of the new cafe in 2007.

In addition to a state-of-the-art facility which is also dedicated to and designed for live music, the cafe will also feature rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia from Hard Rock Cafe’s unmatched collection, including artists with Boston ties, such as Aerosmith, Boston and The Cars, among others. Additionally, Boston-specific pieces of memorabilia from the Copley Square location will have the opportunity to be showcased in the new cafe.

The new Boston cafe’s Rock Shop will offer favorite collectible Hard Rock Cafe Boston merchandise, along with a new selection of rock ‘n’ roll-inspired items.

About Hard Rock International
With 124 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes, seven Hotel & Casinos and one stand-alone Casino in 43 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally-recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by The Rank Group Plc (RNK.LSE). For more information on Hard Rock, visit www.hardrock.com.
Posted on September 18, 2006 | Tags:
Global 35th Anniversary Celebration to Continue with Performances by Mötley Crüe, Staind, Cheap Trick and Bryan Adams
Orlando, Fla., September 18, 2006 – To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Hard Rock International is bringing its worldwide Ambassadors of Rock Tour overseas and back again. After amazing shows in London, Chicago and Singapore, Hard Rock today announced the remaining tour stops with some of the world’s top artists.

Hard Rock’s 10-city Ambassadors of Rock Tour kicked off at Hyde Park Calling in London with legendary performances by Roger Waters, The Who, The Zutons and Starsailor; blew away fans in the “Windy City” of Chicago with The Panic Channel and Rose Hill Drive; and the “Tide [was definitely] High” with Blondie in Singapore earlier this month. Hard Rock is continuing the momentum for the remaining seven cities on the tour, which will feature top acts at each stop, including Mötley Crüe, Staind, Cheap Trick and Bryan Adams.

“Hard Rock’s 35th anniversary is shaping up to be one of the top music tours of the year, with great shows in great venues around the world,” said Hamish Dodds, president and CEO, Hard Rock International. “Our Ambassadors of Rock Tour is reaching millions of fans around the world and we are thrilled to partner with some of the world’s top bands and artists, as we celebrate our 35th!”

WHERE CAN I GET MORE VACATION?!?!
Allison Swengel, grand prize winner of Hard Rock’s Ambassadors of Rock Tour sweepstakes, is literally running out of vacation days. The 38-year-old from Altamonte Springs, Fla. won travel and VIP tickets to each tour stop, and after visiting London, Chicago and Singapore, calling out “sick” from the other side of the world isn’t going over too well at her job. Swengel plans on attending the shows in New York, Orlando and Tokyo before calling it quits.

NEW YORK
The one-and-only Mötley Crüe will rock Times Square as the Ambassadors of Rock Tour makes its way to New York City. On Monday, September 18, Mötley Crüe, who is also kicking off the Route of All Evil tour with Aerosmith in September, will take the stage at Hard Rock Cafe New York, performing legendary hits such as “Dr. Feelgood” and “Shout at the Devil.” Mötley Crüe will take time out of the band’s packed tour schedule to celebrate the company’s 35th anniversary and to rock one of the world’s most historic stages, in the former Paramount Theater, joining such greats as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

ORLANDO AND HOLLYWOOD, FL
“It’s Been a While” since Staind rocked Hard Rock Live. The four-piece alternative metal band will perform on September 26th at Hard Rock Live Orlando, followed by a September 27th performance at the Hard Rock Live venue, located in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Fla. Staind, currently on tour performing hits from the band’s newest album Chapter V, will rock the stage at the Hard Rock Live venues in Orlando and Hollywood, Fla., along with special guests, Three Days Grace, Hinder and Black Stone Cherry.

NAGOYA, TOKYO and OSAKA
Japan will be rockin’ as Hard Rock welcomes legendary rock band Cheap Trick to the Ambassadors of Rock Tour. Hard Rock will bring Cheap Trick to the stage for four live concerts, including performances at the Shibuya Kokaido concert venue in Tokyo on October 13th, Diamond Hall in Nagoya on October 15th, IMP Hall in Osaka on October 16th and the Koseinenkin Kaikan venue in Tokyo on October 17th. Cheap Trick will be performing hits from the band’s latest album, Rockford, as well as the hit singles, “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender.”

CARACAS
Last stop . . . Caracas! On October 31st, Hard Rock will bring legendary singer/songwriter Bryan Adams to Anfiteatro Del Sambil in Caracas for the final leg of the Ambassadors of Rock Tour. Bryan Adams will perform timeless hits, such as “Summer of ‘69” and “Heaven,” as Hard Rock’s Ambassadors of Rock Tour comes to a close.

MAKING HARD ROCK HISTORY IN . . .
LONDON . . . Hyde Park kicked off the tour in July with Hard Rock Presents Hyde Park Calling Festival, a two-day concert event, featuring rock legends Roger Waters and The Who. The festival was billed as one of London’s premier music events, with more than a dozen top bands performing on two stages. In addition to renowned bands and an on-site Hard Rock Cafe, the festival included a market area, performance art, a healing area and a “chill out” zone.

CHICAGO . . . Celebrating 20 great years in the “Windy City,” Hard Rock Cafe Chicago welcomed the Ambassadors of Rock Tour on August 7. Partnering with Blender Magazine, Hard Rock presented The Panic Channel, featuring Dave Navarro and the sounds of Rose Hill Drive.

SINGAPORE . . . One of rock’s all-time greats and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Blondie rocked the stage of Hard Rock Cafe Singapore on September 11. In an unforgettable evening, Blondie performed fan favorites, including “Rapture,” “Call Me,” “Heart of Glass” and “Tide is High” at the Singapore cafe.

ROCKING THE WORLD FOR 35 YEARS
From a humble beginning, a simple cafe in London, Hard Rock has grown into one of the top global brands with cafes, hotels and casinos around the world. In addition to the Ambassadors of Rock Tour, Hard Rock will celebrate its 35th anniversary with limited-edition Ambassadors of Rock merchandise, including apparel, glassware and other collectibles, and of course, Hard Rock’s world-famous pins.

About Hard Rock International
With 124 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes, seven Hotel & Casinos and one stand-alone Casino in 43 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally-recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by The Rank Group Plc (RNK.L). For more information on Hard Rock, visit www.hardrock.com.
Posted on September 15, 2006 | Tags:
Hard Rock International Announces Opening of Hard Rock Cafe Narita
Orlando, Fla., September 15, 2006 – Japan will be rockin’ as its eighth Hard Rock Cafe opens for business. Hard Rock International is proud to announce that Hard Rock Cafe Narita has officially opened its doors at the AEON Narita Shopping Center in Uingutsuchiya Narita City, Chiba. The newest Hard Rock Cafe in Japan, ideally located a short distance from the Narita International Airport, will offer guests great American fare, a rock 'n' roll atmosphere and the authentic experience that has made Hard Rock world-famous.

To celebrate its arrival, Hard Rock Cafe Narita will host an unforgettable grand opening celebration, featuring legendary rock band Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick will travel to Japan for a live performance at Hard Rock Cafe Narita on October 18th, rockin’ out hits from the band’s latest album, Rockford, as well as the timeless singles, “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender.”

”Narita is a vibrant city containing one of the world’s busiest airports and the gateway to the Orient, which is ideal for the Hard Rock brand,” said Hamish Dodds, president and CEO, Hard Rock International. “The area is constantly bustling with energy, whether shopping, conducting business, touring the classical Japanese pagodas and halls or enjoying the entertainment scene at night.”

The 5,000-square foot cafe will feature pieces from Hard Rock’s world-renowned memorabilia collection, including items representing rock legends – such as a velvet-covered riding helmet worn by The Who’s Keith Moon on the cover of the LP “Who Are You” and a black felt hat worn by Jimi Hendrix, as well as items from contemporary stars – like a black bustier worn by Madonna during her “Who’s That Girl” tour and a Taylor acoustic guitar owned by Jesse Carmichael of Maroon 5.

The cafe will also include a Rock Shop, carrying much-loved and collected Hard Rock merchandise, including items such as T-shirts, pins, leather jackets, key chains, watches, shot glasses and more. The Narita Rock Shop also offers city-specific merchandise, which can only be purchased at this location – an exclusive quality that enhances each item’s appeal. Fans will also be able to acquire Hard Rock’s signature collectible pins, including new, limited-edition Narita pins, which reflect the spirit of the city and the authenticity of Hard Rock’s merchandise.

About Hard Rock International
With 124 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes, seven Hotel & Casinos and one stand-alone Casino in 43 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally-recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by The Rank Group Plc (RNK.L). For more information on Hard Rock, visit www.hardrock.com.
Posted on September 01, 2006 | Tags:
Orlando, Fla., Sept. 1, 2006 - Hard Rock International today announced its mid-year earnings for 2006 as part of a report issued by its parent company, The Rank Group Plc (RNK.LSE).

Total revenues for the first half of 2006 were $240.8 million, increasing by 7.0 percent versus $225.0 million for the same period in 2005. Operating profit showed an increase of 11.4 percent with $34.1 million for 2006 versus $30.6 million for the same period in 2005.

"We are pleased to announce another strong mid-year earnings report with solid revenue and operating profit performance and growth in the first half of the year," said Hamish Dodds, president and CEO of Hard Rock International. "The Hard Rock brand continues to deliver strong operating results through aggressive marketing, strategic planning and enhanced operations functions."

Company-Owned Cafes
Revenue from company-owned cafes rose from $205.3 million to $216.8 million, and operating profit from $23.4 million to $24.8 million. Sales in same-store company-owned cafes were up 8.2 percent during this period, with food and beverage sales up 9.6 percent, and merchandise sales up 5.2 percent.

Hotels and Casinos
Revenue from hotels/casinos rose from $14.5 million to $16.3 million and operating profit from $11.8 million to $14.0 million, enhanced by solid performance from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa respectively, as well as consistently strong performance by Hard Rock Hotel Orlando and much improved performance by the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.

Additional Marketing Efforts Yield Results
Hard Rock celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2006 with the Ambassadors of Rock global concert series - featuring top artists including The Who, Roger Waters, Texas, Razor Light, Motley Crue, The Panic Channel and Blondie, among others. The marketing efforts included in-cafe support, promotional partners and a sweepstakes featuring the ultimate rock 'n' roll road trip around the world as the grand prize.

The Company also successfully promoted its retail locations - Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel Rock Shops with new fashion-focused and artist-inspired offerings, which proved to be strong performers.

Refining the Business and Its Locations
A streamlined menu and new pricing, both introduced in 2005, continue to drive sales of food and beverage. Furthermore, through an improved retail range and sharper marketing, Hard Rock is increasing diner to merchandise conversions.

The performance of the Hard Rock Cafe New York location, which was moved from West 57th Street to Times Square last summer, is also a major contributor to first-half growth. Not only has the new location performed strongly from a financial perspective, but has provided numerous high profile media opportunities, including the launch of Howard Stern's Sirius Radio Show, ESPN's New Year's Eve party and live music from James Blunt, Camp Freddy, McFly, Hoobastank and Sheryl Crow, among others.

Hard Rock has also just announced plans for the Boston cafe to be relocated to the high-traffic and vibrant Faneuil Hall area, near the entrance of Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Hard Rock will continue to look at similar relocation opportunities in major metropolitan cities around the world.

After reevaluating current locations, the decision was made to close the Austin (TX) Cafe, as well as the Bristol Bar in the United Kingdom.

Franchise Cafes
Royalties and fees from our franchise cafes increased by 48.1 percent to $7.7 million and operating profit rose 58.5 percent to $6.5 million.

While there were no franchise cafe openings during the first half of the year, several openings are scheduled for the second half of the year including the Hard Rock Cafe Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which already opened in July 2006. Additionally, new franchise cafes are planned in the second half of the fiscal year, including the first Hard Rock Cafe in India, to be located in Mumbai, as well as Narita, Japan; Warsaw, Poland; Margarita Island, Venezuela and Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

The strong growth in franchise cafe income was due in part to fees relating to Hard Rock Music Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina which broke ground in July 2006. The park, which is due to open in 2008, will feature more than 40 attractions including rollercoasters and a live music venue.

Hotels & Casinos
Equity distributions rose by 12.8 percent as a result of a solid performance from Universal Rank Hotel Partners, which has an ownership interest in the three hotels (including The Hard Rock Hotel) at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

In August 2006 Hard Rock announced that it would dissolve its Lifestar joint venture with Sol Melia, the Spanish hotel group. As a consequence, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid will not open as previously announced. The Paramount Hotel in New York, originally part of the original Lifestar venture, is currently being managed by Lifestar on an unbranded basis while the parties explore a potential sale based on the strong performance of the New York real estate market. All other hotel development plans are unchanged by the dissolution of Lifestar.

Future openings include the first Hard Rock condo-hotel in San Diego, California and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi (which was closed in 2005 as a result of damage from Hurricane Katrina). Both properties are expected to open in 2007.

Hard Rock re-acquired a number of territorial operating and development rights relating to the Hard Rock brand previously held by third party licensees/franchisees in addition to the territory rights held by Lifestar, including, Hard Rock Cafe and Hard Rock Hotel development rights in Australia, (including three operating cafes in Sydney, Melbourne and Surfer's Paradise); and Hard Rock Hotel development rights in the Middle East.

About Hard Rock International
With 122 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes, seven Hotel & Casinos and one stand-alone Casino in 42 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally-recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by The Rank Group Plc (RNK.LSE). For more information on Hard Rock, visit www.hardrock.com.
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