TAntiference Group is just about holding its own with pre-tax profits of £225,727 for the year ended March 31, 1965, against £240,790. The company is mainly concerned with the manufacture of 'Uniray' TV aerials, but also covers aluminium garden furniture and tubing, bed table trays, spectacle frames and plastic binding, which was used for the company's attractively arranged company report. The chair- man, Mr. N. M. Best, has voting control through his restricted ordinary share holding of £475,000, on which he receives a dividend of 1} per cent. He states he has no intention (this year or next) of converting. his holding into ordinary shares. which again receive 20 per cent. Profits are said to be moving up this year on last year's figures, but, even so, for a business of this nature the Is. shares at 2s. 41d., yielding 8.4 per cent, look fairly valued.
Mr. N. L. Smith, chairman of United Gas In- dustries, speaks confidently of the upward trend of profits continuing (unless there is a marked recession) and, in spite of a heavy toll being taken by corporation .tax, there should be no difficulty in holding the 20 per cent dividend in future. UGI manufactures gas and electricity meters, space heaters and appliances and has in- teres:s in general engineering and a company of letterpress colour printers., Pre-tax profits have climbed steadily since 1961, from £277,410 to £665,785 for the year ended March 31, 1965. The company has acquired new London head- quarters in Bentinck Street, where the very proMising new 'Firebird' gas-file models can be seen. The 5s. shares at 17s, 3d., yielding 5.8 per cent, have promise over the long term.
Thc! great Halifax Building Society made little change in its mortgage advances at £82,780,000 for the six months ended July 31, 1965, as com- pared with the previous six months, but they were up on the corresponding period of the previous year. Offers of new advances are now being made at the rate of £13,750,000 per month. The net inflow of receipts improved to £33,020,000 against £25,480,000, so that the Society's overall position has been strengthened and will, as has been seen, allow an extension of its mortgage loans.
Matthews Holdings benefited more from their diversified interests and not so much from their major interest in meat trading, which, in fact, was partly responsible for bumping up the bank overdraft from £520,000 to £1.2 million. However, the chairman, Lieut.-General Sir Ernest Wood, looks for a significant increase during this year in the profit from this section, which accounted for .79.1 per cent of group sales. Profits after tax rose from £52,268 to £59,370,. and the dividend has been increased from 12-1 per cent to 131 per cent. The 2s. shares at 5s. 9d. yield 4.7 per cent.