21 JANUARY 1938, Page 40


GRATIFYING RESULTS THE thirtieth ordinary general meeting of the United Serdang (Sumatra) Rubber Plantations, Limited, was held on January 19th, at 19 Fenchurch Street, London, E.C.2.

Mr. H. Eric Miller (the Chairman) said that last year he had ven- tured the hope that the year to August 31st, 1937, would prove satisfactory, but the actual results had exceeded his expectations, and it was gratifying to present accounts showing a profit of £245,44o, after providing the L25,000 written off mature areas, as compared with £142,911 for 1935-36 when £2o,00o was written off mature areas. They proposed to transfer L20,000 to taxation reserve and to pay a final dividend of to per cent., making x5 per cent. for the year, as compared with a distribution of to per cent. for 1935-36.

They had been enabled in their financial year to ship 1o,688,941 lbs. leaving them with a balance of 569,769 lbs. harvested prior to August 3 st.last which they carried forward at bare cost of collection, manufacture and distribution. The average net sale price of 9d. per lb. for the year showed an increase of almost 2d. per lb. over the previous year. Cost of production per lb. of rubber showed a small reduction.

Of the older rubber, since 1930, when the work was commenced on an experimental scale, they had replanted a total of 1,345 acres.

As compared with rubber, their interest in gambier, palm oil and kernels was less important, but those subsidiary products had all contributed to the profits of the year. Their output of palm oil steadily expanded and about three-fourths of their 1937-38 output had already been disposed of at remunerative prices. Of the-1937-38 rubber crop they had sold to date, including contracts for forward delivery, 3,250,000 lbs. at an average price equivalent to over rod. per lb. London landed terms.

The desirability of renewing the Regulation Scheme for a further period of years finds the widest possible acceptance, and rightly so, because in this era of overwhelming Government expenditures the world cannot afford to have major primary industries languishing in depression.

The company was in a position of solid financial strength. They had even during periods of depression spent mnoey judiciously to improve their estates, so that, although many of their trees had passed their prime, they could still give a good account of themselves and they had a fair proportion of high quality younger ones coming on. They had a considerable area of plantable reserve- land and the money too, so that, when new planting was again justified, United Serdang would be able to retain its position as one of the leaders of the industry.

The report was unanimously adopted.