KENWOOD Manufacturing, makers of kit- chen equipment, are at last over their troubles which resulted in a net loss of £277,019
in 1962. Now the company's future looks set fair. The net profit for the year to July 31, 1964, was £344,257, borrowings are down from around £800,000 to a mere £20,000, and ordinary share- holders, who have been without a dividend for the past two years, are now to receive 30 per cent. NQW that losses brought forward have been absorbed, future profits will attract tax, but if results, for the current year are at least as good as the last, then the dividend will still be covered twice by earnings. The Is. shares, now 6s. 3d., are worth holding for the interim report next May, when an interim dividend will be considered by the board. By then the chair-, man, Mr. Ian T. Morrow, will have nine months' trading figures before him.
Forbuoys, the multiple tobacconists, con- fectioners and newsagents, can generally be
relied upon to produce good figures. For the year ended June 30, 1964, they have done it again, but this time better than usual. The trading profit is up from £278,138 to £347,815 and the net profit from £123,637 to £157,397. During the past year fourteen new branches have been added to the group. The company is now trading from 170 shops. The dividend has again been, stepped up, this time to 27+ per cent from 211 per cent. There is also to be a one-for-seven
scrip issue. The chairman, Mr. J. B. Brock,
advises that sales for the first three months of the current year have gone up by no less than £179,500 on the same period in the previous year. The company should be able easily to absorb rising costs and at least maintain the dividend on the larger capital. Expansipn is still going on, so that the 5s. shares, now 38s., have plenty of promise for the future and if the dividend is maintained, will be yielding Over 4 per cent.
Spark Holdings has not made any real for- ward progress since 1962, when pre-tax profits
rose to £636,650. For the year ending April 30, 1964, these were £619,497 and the net profit was £286,841. The group's interests consist of engin- eering (of which Hall and Kay is by far the largest company), metallurgical and foundry, merchanting, textiles and printing. The engineer- ing division still seems to have its problems, but in the textile division 'Bonsoir' clothing did particularly well. The liquid position has been improved by a £750,000 debenture issue to. take care of bank loans, so the way is now clear for future expansion. It is hoped that once again the upward trend will continue; the chair- man, Mr. John G. Lawson, believes that it will. The dividend, which has been increased from 40 per cent to 45 per cent, looks safe for the future. For the past three years there has been a scrip issue; this year it is omitted. The 2s. shares at 13s. give a fairly generous yield of almost 7 per cent.