14 APRIL 1961, Page 39

Company Notes

Ma. R 1 DYSON, chairman of The British Wagon Cu. Ltd., strikes a confident note for the future in his report to shareholders for the year 1960 In common with many other hire- pur,hase finance houses, this company, in which he R ova! Bank of Scotland has a 40 per cent. interest r.as suffered a severe decline in profits, the net amount bemg down from £369,675 in 1959 te £234,002 for 1900. This fall was due to keener cornpetiOn for business. the increased cost of financing business b■ rink borrowings (during last year the Bank rate rose from 4 per cent. to 6 per cent.) and the necessity for provid- ing larger sums for had and doubtful debts. The chairfnan reports that seven new branches were opened last year and one this year. which will help the company's growth in the future. The first three months' trading for 1961 shows a satis- factory increase. Although earnings on the ordinary capital have fallen from 23.7 per cent. to 14.3 per cent., the 124 per cent, dividend has been maintained. At 64s. x.d., yielding 3.9 per cent., the fl ordinary shares of this very soundly based company are a worthwhile investment.

Mr. Philip S. Heilman, chairman of Transport Development Group, gives shareholders a most optimistic report for the future together with record figures for 1960. He says the group 'is not a collection of concerns--but an integral and powerful team of companies concentrating in a limited field in which all are specialists. The report gives an informative brief summary of the company's many subsidiaries and illustrates the rapid growth which has occurred over the past five years in the company's business of haulage, storage and lighterage. The group profit for the year (pre-tax) was £932,200 and the net profit £492.295. which covers the 14 per cent. dividend (on the increased capital) 1.9 times. There is also to be a one-for-four scrip issue. This company seems likely to have another successful year, so that it would not be unreasonable, once again, to look for an increase in the dividend. The 5s. ordinary shares, at 25s. 6d. x.d., yield 2.7 per cent.

Mr. F. C. Thrush, chairman of City and Country Properties, reports to shareholders at the company's first annual general meeting; the accounts cover the period from July 14, 1960. to September 30, 1960. He points out that their most important holding at the present time is the Petticoat Lane site, which, when fully developed, will produce a very substantial increase in the company's income. In March, 1960, the company acquired, on very favourable terms, various freehold properties in London, Cardiff and Yeovil and in January, 1961, the business of W. A. Hill and Sons, civil engineers and build- ing contractors at Colchester. The full benefit of these acquisitions is not reflected in the accounts. The profit for the above-mentioned period was £99,338, of which £49,060 was absorbed by tax, leaving a net amount of £50,278. With an increasing revenue to look forward to the patient shareholder will have a promising investment in the 2s. ordinary shares at 9s. yield ing 3.6 per cent.-two interim dividends totalling 20 per cent. have been paid, equivalent to 16.5 per cent. for twelve months.