31 JULY 1964, Page 23

Company _ Notes


TN spite of an increase in turnover from £115 1million to £130 million, Fitch Lovell, the large wholesale and retail provision merchants and manufacturers, report a lower net profit after tax at £1.2 million against £1.8 million. The dividend is held at 161 per cent (still covered 2.4 times) and the 1 per cent bonus is also repeated. For the year ended May 2. 1964, it is proposed to make a scrip issue of one for five. I would think that the group's retail profit margin should be higher this year and that the 2s. 6d. shares at 9s. 3d. are fairly valued, yielding 41 per cent.

A final dividend of 7 per cent from John Brown and Company, shipbuilders and engineers, maintains the total at 11 per cent for the year ended March 31,.1964. Group trading profits fell by over £2 million and the net profit was down from £2.2 million to £1.3 million. These poor results were not unexpected as the chair- man Lord Aberconway warned shareholders in June of severe losses on ship contracts. Unless he can give shareholders a more hopeful view for the future at the annual general meeting in August, there is no good reason yet.to buy the £1 shares at 38s. 6d., yielding 5.6 per cent.

Centrovincial Estates, a fast-growing commer- cial property development group, made a net profit of £93,000 for the year ending March 25, 1964, against £54,000 previously. It is a little disappointing to know that its decentralised office developments are not yet fully let, especially Regal House at Twickenham and York House at Wembley. Developments in hand amount to £9 million. The able chairman, Mr. Joseph Gold, is not too concerned about the present situation as he anticipates that earnings will grow rapidly over the next four years. The price of the 4s. shares at 20s. suggests that investors do not take such an optimistic view. A one-for-five scrip issue is proposed and a main- tained dividend of 21.9 per cent is forecast on the larger capital. This makes the ordinary shares yielding 5 per cent a fair purchase or the un- secured loan 1988/93 at 96 has possibilities.