It is not -often that a material reduction in trading profit Is accompanied by an increase in the dividend. That -has been the experience, however,• in- the case of the Burmah Oil Company, the recent final dividend for the past year having been increased from 12/ to 15 per cent., making 20 per cent. for the year instead of 17i per cent., although the profit after providing depreciation was /1,524,635, compared with 11,869,495 for the previous year. The amount available for distribution was also increased by a reduction in the amount placed to reserves, including taxation, to 1220,000 instead of £670,000 in the previous year. In view of these circumstances, it- is not surprising that the Directors accompany the increase with the notification that it should not be taken as an indication of an early improvement in trading conditions, but more as a mark of confidence in the strength of the company's resources and the secure foundations of its business to bring it soundly through today's difficult conditions. At the same time, the company is, of course, in an exceedingly strong financial position, for the balance-sheet shows that the Government Securities aggregate just over 17,000,000, as compared with
just under 14,000,000 a year ago. - A. W. W.