3 MAY 1940, Page 32




THE 14th annual general meeting of the United Molasses Company, Ltd., was held on Fiiday, April 26th, at the Waldorf Hotel, Aldwych, London, W.C. Mr. F. K. Kelberg, Chairman and Managing Director, who presided, said: As the directors' report deals so fully with the figures of the profit and loss account and of the balance-sheet, I am sure that it is not your wish that I should take up your time by repeating the explanations contained in the report. The directors in their report also deal so fully with the general position of the company that I propose to confine my remarks to bringing the report up to date on a few points of special interest. All the company's tankers are safe and continue to render invalu- able services under the direction of the Ministry of Shipping.

Final agreements have not yet been reached with the Ministry of Supply and Ministry of Shipping. I am satisfied, however, that the amounts included in the accounts as being due from the two Ministries will prove substantially correct and err, if anything, on the conservative side.

The outlook for the company's international business has not been improved by recent developments on the Continent and with the re- opening of navigation on the St. Lawrence River our Canadian sub- sidiary will increasingly feel the handicap of the withdrawal of the company's tankers from the trade between the British West Indies and Canada. Nevertheless, in spite of the many handicaps and un- certainties facing the company in consequence of the war, the present outlook, taking the company's activities as a whole, does not appear unfavourable

In regard to the prospects for the latter part of the current year, it would be foolhardy to attempt to prophesy, but estimates of trading results since January 1st show that present earnings are at a rate which, if maintained, will amply cover the established annual rate ox dividend on the Ordinary cvital.

It may interest stockholders to know that the agency remuneration due to the comminy from the Ministry of Supply for the period from January 1st to the present date represents less than zo per cent. of the company's estimated total earnings for this period. Expressed as a percentage, the remuneration amounts to less than 5 per cent. per annum of the value represented by the capital assets and the stocks of molasses taken over by the Ministry.

At a time when the country is fighting for its very life it is dis- tasteful to have to discuss profits arising out of dealings ;or and on behalf of the Government and I mention these figures merely to put on record how modest the remuneration is that the company is re- ceiving for the services rendered to, and the large and world-wide facilities placed at the disposal of the Ministry. The report and accounts were unanimously adopted.