ANOTHER record year for The Bowater Paper Corporation in 1965, under its chairman, Sir Christopher Chancellor, CMG. Pre-tax profits were up at £16,379,000 and, after allowing for corporation tax at 40 per cent, the net profit of £7,891,000 compared with £6,378,000 in 1964. Bowaters, in February 1966, acquired Hugh Stevenson and Sons, manufacturers of paper- board boxes and fibreboard containers. With Bowaters Canada Corporation, the parent or- ganisation has made an agreement with Bathurst Paper of Montreal, jointly to acquire a con- trolling interest in Bulkley Valley Pulp and Timber of Houston in British Columbia. In 1965 output at nearly every factory and mill reached new records. The chairman also states that the downtrend for newsprint, three years ago, was reversed, sooner than expected, last year. In his report to shareholders, Sir Christopher gives good reasons for his confidence in the future. The group, with its very wide overseas interests and diversification in the paper industry at home, offers investors a good long-term investment in the £1 shares at 57s., yielding 5.2 per cent on the 15 per cent dividend. An extract of the chair- man's report appeared in last week's SPECTATOR.
The accounts of Ghia&Id Securities cover a period of seventeen months (against twelve) to the end of 1965. The net profit after tax is £99,167, from which three interim payments are made, amounting to 42 per cent. Redevelop- ment, plus the temporary cost of borrowing, have affected the company's income during the period under review, but it would seem that the company can look forward to a higher gross income in the current year. This may be some- what discounted in the current price of the 5s. shares at 31s. 6d., yielding 4.7 per cent, but the outlook is favourable.
During 1965 the Bampton Property Group substantially increased its holdings of freehold and leasehold properties and its gross rental income. During the past year further arrange- ments have been made for long-term finance by the issue of a £550,000 61 per cent debenture stock, 1990-95. The chairman, Mr R. C. Bamp- ton advises that both Bampton Homes and the dealing company, Freeway Properties, are mak- ing satisfactory progress. Pre-tax profits of £178,265 compare with £156,265 for 1964, and after-tax profits are £99,189 against £79,716. The dividend of 11 per cent is repeated on the in- creased capital and not less than this rate, the chairman anticipates, will be paid for the current year, provided corporation tax does not exceed 40 per cent. The £1 shares at 34s. 3d. return 6.4 per cent.
Correction : In last week's report on the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the words in brackets, lines 5-6, column 2, should read 'this time including the Hang Seng Bank accounts.'