11 AUGUST 1961, Page 24

Company Notes

THE Institute of Directors' Export Action Now Committee' have issued a valuable sur- vey on fifty-two firms with fewer than 300 em- ployees which discloses their indifference to exports. I am concerned with those companies who are export-minded and intend to spotlight one of them weekly in these notes.

F. Perkins Limited of Peterborough is the world's largest manufacturer of diesel engines for driving lorries, tractors, pumps, generators, agricultural equipment, cars and boats, etc. Already 77 per cent. of Perkins's production is exported to 166 countries and territories. For those countries which are not financially able (or for policy reasons) to buy direct from the UK, Perkins provides a special kind of service, which has resulted in manufacturing facilities being provided in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, India, Italy, Greece, Spain and Yugoslavia. Per- kins's newest products are gas turbines, whiCh may eventually' be used on long-distance high- speed trucks. It also manufactures an ad- vanced range of petrol marine outboard en- gines. This company with a future is a subsidiary of Massey Fergusson Holdings.

Next week I will deal with Leyland Motors, to be followed by Metal Industries.

In 1941 Nchanga Holdings went into full production as a Rhodesian copper mine. Mr. H. F. Oppenheimer, the chairman, gives a most interesting review of this great company's twenty years' growth. Points of interest are that during that period £47 million has been spent on the mine, of which £38 million has come from profits. Since 1951 the large sum of £58 million has been paid in local taxes and about £6/ million has been paid towards the cost of the Kariba hydro-electric scheme. Nchanga is noW the second largest copper producer in the world. The net profit for the year to March 31, 1961, was £12.45 million, against £13.64 million, and, with a slightly lower price for the metal this year, a fall in profits can be expected. Assuming that this might necessitate a cut in the dividend from 7s. per share (as paid in 1960) to 6s. per share, an excellent return of 12 per cent. would still be obtainable (if you are prepared to accept the political risk) on the £1 ordinary shares, which, at 49s., are now yielding 14.3 per cent.

During the past year Sterling Industries Limited has been approached with takeover bids by Vokes Ltd. and by the Cayzerinterests, both of which were resisted. The chairman, Mr. R. A. Harding, states that as a result of the sale of Dualloys Ltd., and the Exactor factory, the bank overdraft and mortgage loans have been extinguished, so that for the first time in twenty years the company has no outstanding charges. The company is engaged in hydraulic engineering, powder metallurgy and the manu- facture of process timers, all units now being concentrated at Crewkerne in Somerset, which should ensure more profitable working in the future. The net profit (after tax) for the year to March 31, 1961, was £10,876. An amount' of £48,512 is being carried forward; there are still arrears of preference dividends from 'December 31, 1939, to be met. The Ss. ordinary shares last changed hands at Is. lid.