pRE-TAX profits of Guest, Keen and Nettle- folds at 121.866 million for 1962 show a drop for the third successive year, and the net
figure is down from £9.655 million to £9.627 million, but the dividend is held at 16 per cent and is still covered twice by earnings. It appears that the aggregate profits from the overseas companies rose from 14.6 million to £7.1 million, mostly due to the almost doubled profits from John Lysaght in Australia. This increase went some way towards the 16 per cent decline in profits at home which was mostly due to steel products. The chairman, Mr. K. S. Peacock, is not particularly encouraging in reviewing the company's overseas interests in Australia, India, Pakistan, Holland, Scandinavia, South Africa and Rhodesia. GKN has still to spend £25 mil- lion on capital account, while the return on present assets continues to fall. A major turn- round in the engineering and steel industries would, of course, change this picture. In the meantime the £1 shares at 72s. do not yield more than 4.4 per cent.
At the opening of the new and delightful head office building of Redlands Holdings at Reigate last week, the chairman, Mr. Alexander F. F. Young, disclosed that the highest monthly sales figure reached by the group (then the Redhill Tile Company) in 1931/32 was £2,390, whereas tile turnover for the year ended March 31, 1963, was over £26 million. Redlands has made very rapid progress since 1955. Turnover, trading and net profits have expanded six times. Its largest recent acquisition was the non-cement interests of Eastwoods from Rugby Portland Cement. The company has a bright future and should be able to continue its profitable progress. At 23s. 6d. the 5s. shares, with the 14 per cent dividend covered twice by earnings, yielding 3 per cent, have a forward look about them.
Group trading profit from United Drapery Stores for the year ended January 26, 1963, showed a very satisfactory increase at £11.259 million against £10.427 million. The after-tax profit was £5.147 million. The dividend is in- creased by 2-1- per cent to 32f per cent. A one- for-two scrip issue is proposed. This well-man- aged company under the chairmanship of Mr.
Joseph Collier is still going ahead. Group turn- over figures for the first quarter of the current year are up on the previous year. The 5s. shares at 48s. yielding 3.4 per cent have good prospects.