10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 51



EXPANSION OF BUSINESS MR. C. W. REEVE, C.B.E., Chairman and Managing Director, addressing the twenty-sixth annual general meeting of the Associated Equipment Co. Ltd., held in London, said that among the handicaps under which the road transport industry suffered, he deplored the absence of a clear-cut Government policy for the establishment of new national roads, and emphasised that while road mileage in 40 years had increased by less than one half of one per cent., the number of vehicles using the roads had increased from a few score thousands to millions.

The relations with labour continued satisfactory, every branch of the company's business showed expansion, and while the Rearmament Programme had not benefited the company, it had affected it unfavour- ably, both as to labour and raw materials. Increased profits were witness of the more numerous orders received.

The company's property and assets had been maintained in excellent condition, considerable sums having been expended in the replacement of machinery and plant and building developments. Provision had been made on a more generous scale for depreciation, while the reserve for taxation included the prospective National Defence Contribution.

The directors now proposed the payment of a final dividend (free of tax) of 13d. per £s unit of stock, making for the year a total dividend (free of tax) of ad. per £i unit of stock; • that was equal to so per cent., subject to tax for the whole year. There would then remain to be carried forward to next year's accounts a sum of £260,000 as against a figure of £255,000 brought in.

Current liabilities, considered in relation to current assets (£1,515,438) showed that the latter exceeded the current liabilities by £1,149,517. The reserves having been strengthened by the transfer of ,CIoo,000 to depreciation and £ soo,000 to general account. there was, after deducting the proposed dividend payment, a total amount of £1,190,000 in the form of reserves and undistributed profits, as compared with £985,000 at the end of the 1936 accounting period.

The report was unanimously adopted.