HOLD IN INTEREST RATE FOR LATE PAYMENTS
December 12 2003 The Better Payment Practice Group (BPPG) advises businesses that the
interest rate for companies wishing to apply the late payment legislation
will remain at 11.75% for the period 1st January to 30th June 2004.

The late payment legislation provides businesses with a statutory right to
claim interest and compensation on overdue commercial debts.

The late payment interest rate is set twice a year and is calculated by
adding 8% to the reference rate, which is the Bank of England base rate on
30th June and 31st December. This interest rate is applicable for the
ensuing six-month periods, i.e. 1st July to 31st December and 1st January to
30th June respectively.

Statutory interest on an overdue invoice can be determined by using the
online calculator at the BPPG's website, www.payontime.co.uk. The website
also contains a wide range of credit management advice and information to
help businesses prevent and overcome late payment of commercial invoices,
plus a Guide to the UK's late payment legislation.