WITH the full report and accounts Imperial Chemical Industries produced a most in- formative ten-year table. This discloses that over that period sales have risen from £352 million to £624 million. Earnings have gone up by only 1.9 per cent, whereas dividends have increased from 4.4 per cent to 10 per cent, which sug- gests that profits will have, to move up faster over the next ten years. However, with the economy booming and further price cuts ex- pected in some of the group's products, plus a £100 million spending programme on capital account, there is every reason to expect another good year. This great company's £1 ordinary shares yield 4.5 per cent at 44s. on the 10 per cent dividend and are worth a place in any portfolio.
An extract of the report from Tate and Lyle appeared in last week's issue, from which share- holders learned with regret that Sir Ian Lyle was relinquishing the chairmanship (to become president) in favour of Mr. John Lyle. The chair- man mentioned particularly the fluctuating price of .sugar during 1963, which twice went above £100 per ton and is now back to £62 per ton. This price increase naturally assisted the profits derived from sugar production, but this accounts for only 32 per cent of the group's activities; 58 per cent came from sugar refining. However, indications are that the company will have another successful year. The total dividend is 14 per cent for 1963, and it is intended to make a two-for-five scrip issue. The comparable divi- dend on the larger capital will be 9.9 per cent, but, with a twofold dividend cover, there is room for a slightly higher payment. The £1 ordinary shares at 39s. give a good return of 5 per cent.
Lubok Investments has a large holding in the equity of Third Mile Investment Trust and about 60 per cent of its portfolio is in investment trusts. Since the rights issue of one for two at 2s. 9d. each on the 6d. units was made last October and the interim dividend of 12.5 per
cent, a final dividend of 20 pe•r cent is now declared for 1963. If the dividend of 32.5 per cent is maintained for the current year, the 6d. shares at 2s. 10-id. will yield 5.7 per cent.
The Leicester Permanent Building Society in- creased its funds by £18.5 million in 1963 to over. £105 million and thus becomes the eighth in the UK to pass the £100-million mark. Mort- gages advanced by £11.2 million and savings invested in the Society by £17.7 million. The new head office at Oadby opens shortly; during the past year five new branches were opened,
Once again the National Mutual Life Assur- ance Society has done record business for 1963. The Society's invested funds now exceed £30 million, increases of £3 million were made in equities and £1 million in mortgages and loans. The gross yield on these funds was as good as 6i- per cent. The Society's new business was well maintained with 2,746 new policies effected for net sums assured of £8.771 million.
The Earl of Derby, chairman of TWW, makes it clear to shareholders that the terms under which the company will operate in future are made more severe by the new Television Act, Which requires a much higher rental charge to the ITA and a new levy on advertising receipts. He points out that 1963 has been an eventful year and one of promise for the future. During that year WWN, operating television programmes in the north and west of Wales, was acquired, and an increased interest was taken in Dollond and Aitchison, the opticians and photographic retailers. Through one of its subsidiaries, Don- mar Productions, the group owns the Piccadilly Theatre in London. A total dividend of 95 per cent is being paid on the 2s. 6d. ordinary shares, which at 18s. 6d. give a high yield of 13.3 per cent. The shares are a fair speculation and could very well improve from their present price.