Not the least interesting statement at the recent annual meeting
of Mitchells and Butlers, the Midland brewers, was the Chairman's explanation of the creation of a Property Reserve Account of £15o,000. Sir William Waters Butler stated that this Fund would be available to meet expenditure on properties which did not add to capital value so far as the Company's trade was concerned. We have, said Sir William, " felt it advisable to establish this Property Reserve Account in consequence of the great and growing expenditure we are called upon to make in connexion with our properties ; this includes the alteration, extension or rebuilding of old properties and the building of new properties in the place of licensed properties demolished in connexion with slum clear- ances or street widenings." Sir William, however, made it clear that while this Fund had been created to be available for meeting expenditure in adding to capital value, the Board was not suggesting a revaluation of the whole of the Company's licensed properties. Indeed, he said, " we are fully satisfied by a careful analysis of all our properties and their earning power that the trade value of the properties in the aggregate is in excess of their total book values." As had been previously announced, the profit statement for the past year was a good one, but in the course of his speech the Chairman referred to the appearance of various forms of undesirable competition.