1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 31


Shareholders in Debenhams, Ltd., will welcome not only the excellent profit disclosed for the year to July 31st but also the concise way in which the preliminary statement is set out. Net profit has declined from £555,112 to £527,371, but that is a very modest setback in a period in which political crises have interfered with quality trade. Nor have conditions been helpful to the Debenhams group in its important export business. On the ordinary capital, which is very highly-geared, the dividend is maintained at 20.83 per cent., and on this occasion it is covered by earnings of 33 per cent. Out of the surplus of profit, £50,000 goes to reserve, bringing it up to £460,000, or not far short of the issued ordinary capital of £500,00o. In my view Debenhams 61 per cent. First Preference, at 19s. 6d., the Second 61 per cent. Preference at 17s. 6d., and the Los. Third 7 per cents. at 7s. are all worth holding as high- yielding investments. As a speculation the Is. ordinaries, at 2S. 41d., yield roughly 8} per cent. CUSTOS.