12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 40

Financial Notes


AMONG the relatively few really satisfactory reports recently issued by industrial companies, that of Tate and Lyle stands out very prominently, the good results being largely due to the very sound financial policy adopted in the previous year, for the company then had to face an unprecedented drop in the price of raw sugar and full provision was made for the .depreciation of stocks, leaving nothing to be covered in the following year. Hence, in the year to September 30th, when -there was a recovery in sugar values, the company was able to replace the amount which it had drawn from the dividend reserve in the previous year and to put aside 1350,000 in all to various reserves, while giving shareholders the excellent dividend of 13A per cent., compared with 10 per cent. in the previous year. At the annual meeting, Sir Ernest .Tate, the chairman of the company, said that they had suffered front very keen competition during the year, but they had been able to maintain the output and keep costs of production low. A gratifying feature of the position, he said, was the increasing proportion of raw sugar given to the-company from the home- grown beet factories, for they had always contended that the most economic and satisfactory. method of working was for the home-grown factories to use their plant to extract raw sugar from as large a quantity of beet as possible, leaving the refining to the old-established sugar refineries specially equipped for the purpose. He also considered the- general statistical position of the sugar industry to be showing steady