12 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 23

Company Notes


T first sight the preliminary figures from .n,Purnell and Sons, the colour printers, may appear disappointing, with pre-tax profits falling from £1.18 million to £1.09 million for 1962. However, the chairman's statement reveals that the modernisation of the group's factories and extension of its printing capacity will not be fully reflected until 1964. By then the profits from Gale and Polden, the Aldershot printers

of the Spectator and the Queen, will be included. There should be no difficulty in maintaining the dividend of 22.5 per cent (increased by 2.5 per cent and covered 2.2 times by earnings). The 5s. shares at 22s. 6d., yielding 5 per cent, are a sound and promising investment.

The 1962/63 accounts of Furness Withy are disappointing in that they do not reveal very much more than an increase in the capital and revenue reserves from £26.2 million to £28.1 million. Nor do they throw any light on the trade investments, which are shown at cost at £3.05 million and must be worth far more. The company has a 49 per cent interest in Houlder Line which, together with other interests, must give an asset value for the equity at 84s. per share. The most hopeful aspect is the company's interest in insurance broking, which it intends to increase. The net profit for the year to April 30, 1963, increased to £602,000 against £164,000 and the dividend is held at 8 per cent. The £1 shares at 31s. 6d. yield just over 5 per cent, not an exciting return for a shipping share, especially as the chairman sees no prospect of an improvement in the outlook for shipping.

Last year the chairman of Regional Properties forecast the dividend for the year ending March 31, 1963, when the capital was increased to £1 million. This has been exceeded by the equivalent of lf per cent by the final payment of 12-1 per cent, making a total payment of 22+ per cent on the Ordinary and 'A' Ordinary shares. Property ownership for investment is the com- pany's business. It holds a mixed portfolio, com- prising approximately 56 per cent in residential flats and 42 per cent in offices, shops and com- mercial properties. The company is well managed and has a consistently good dividend record. The 5s. shares at 21s. 9d., yielding 4.8 per cent, are a sound investment.