CONSOLIDATED GOLD FIELDS OF SOUTH AFRICA
THE annual general meeting of the Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa, Limited, was held on December 5th at the Chartered Insurance Institute, Alderrnanbury, London, E.C.
Mr. H. C. Porter, the chairman, who presided, said: In the profit and loss account of New Consolidated Gold Fields, Limited, dividends, profits, &c., amount to £739,218, against £1,070,327, a decrease of £331,109. Profits on sales of Investments declined by £140,201, while the revenue from dividends, which has increased continually for the last six years, shows a decline this year of £156,361, the main reason being the absence of a dividend from Gold Fields American, which last year paid £169,125.
The profit carried to the appropriation account at £663,639 compares with £997,048 last year, mainly due to the reduction in dividends and profits on sales already mentioned. In order to reduce holdings to market prices, or directors' valuation in the case of unquoted securities, it has been found necessary to provide the sum of £1,370,000 as a reserve for depreciation. Towards providing this amount Li,000,000 has been transferred from general reserve.
Bringing in the balance of £228,228 from last year, and after pro- viding out of profits the balance of the £370,000 still required to meet depreciation, there remains an available balance of £282,651, out of which a dividend of is. per share, less tax, has been declared, costing £12o,626 and making, with the interim dividend of 9d. per share, Is. 9d., or 81 per cent., for the year, against 161 per cent, last year.
There is available a sum of £39,602 to the credit of your company's profit and loss account, representing the accumulation of interest paid on the current account between the two companies. It has been decided that the charging of interest in this case is unnecessary and it has ceased from July ist, 1939. This balance, with the dividend from the new company just mentioned, enables us to recommend a final dividend of is. 3d. per share, making 2s., or to per cent., for the year, against 161 per cent, last year. This dividend, less tax, will cost £150,555, and the carry-forward will be reduced to £9,673.
Important changes have been made in the form and scale of taxation applicable to the gold mining industry in South Africa. In my address last year I referred to the intention of the Union Government to appro- priate the whole of the proceeds of the sale of gold over a price of 150s. per ounce.
For some months no executive action was taken on these lines, presumably because consideration was being given to the strong repre- sentations which were being made that such an appropriation, being in effect a tax on revenue instead of on profit, was fundamentally unsound.
The report and accounts were unanimously adopted.