The Report of Courtaulds, Limited, for the past year confirmed the unfavourable anticipations which had been formed as a result of a knowledge of the extent to which the artificial silk industry has been affected during the past year, and especially during the past six months, both by trade depression and by uncertainty with regard to the continuation of the Safeguarding Duties. Concerning these, the Chairman, Mr. Samuel Courtauld, uttered a word of warning at a meeting a year ago, viheri he eiplained that the artificial silk industry had been so stimulated by the Safe- guarding Duties that their removal must have an exceedingly damaging effect upon trade. As a matter of fact,- of course, the duties have not been removed, and there seems to be considerable doubt as to whether they will be, but the uncer- tainty, coming at a time when trade is already depressed has, to sonic extent affected the situation. The Report of _Cour- taulds showed that the profits, after charging expenses, depreciation, etc., amounted for the year to _28,748,828, of which £1,651,856 has been allocated to writing down the company's Continental industrial investments, leaving a balance of £2,091,971. A final dividend is recommended on the Ordinary shares of 6 per cent., free of tax, making a total dividend for the year of 10 per cent., free of tax, leaving a balance of £686,687 to be carried forward. This reduction in trading profit is accounted for by the directors by the unsatisfactory state of business in the Country. A year ago the profits amounted to over 25,000,000, and the dividend was 15 per cent., tax free. It may, however, be well to remember that two years ago the company doubled its 'capital by an issue of bonus shares; and consequently the 'present dividend of 10 per cent., tax free, is equivalent to a 20 per cent. dividend, tax free, on the old capital of two years ago.
* * * *