1 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 31

Company Notes


As we go to press, Sir Edward Lewis, chair- man of Decca, will have given shareholders a full report on the company's results for the year ended March 31, 1963, and his appreciation of the future. The last balance sheet is obviously not a true guide, at this date, to the future ex- pansion of the company's interests in gramo- phone records, navigation aids, television and electronic equipment, as the liquid position has been run down. But the feature of the accounts was the 20 per cent increase in exports to £9.8 million. It is reasonable to expect an upturn in the US record business and an improvement in the UK television side of the business. Earnings of 54.6 per cent, which could be improved, cover the dividend of 26.6 per cent. The lOs'. 'A' ordinary shares at 81s. are now below their high point of 90s. for 1963 and are a sound long-ter'm investment.

In our last issue there appeared an extract of the accounts and report by Mr. Jack Bridgeland, the chairman of British Land Company. The gross rental income for the year to April 30, 1963, exceeded £1 million for the first time. Net profits increased by 25 per cent to £258,000. The company's prospects are very promising, as the 'acquisition of the Clarendon Property Com- ,pany and the completion of developments at Palmers Green, Edenbridge and Coventry and also the letting of what was formerly Denham Studios will add to the future gross rental. The company's latest venture is a one-sixth interest in an office block, to cost £A5 million in Sydney, Australia. The 5s. ordinary shares at 8s. 71d. on the 9.5 per cent dividend give a good return of 5.3 per cent.

The 5s. shares of Land Investors, now I Is., came to the market this March. The accounts made up to April 5, 1963, cannot reflect the potentialities of the group which owns first-class office and commercial properties around Lon- don. The Norwich Union Life Assurance Society have agreed to provide finance of up to £5 million for long-term development. The fact that the share capital can be doubled by the con- version of the £1 million 5s. deferred shares (all held by the directors) into ordinary shares is probably why the price of the 5s. ordinary shares does not go ahead. These shares should prove an excellent investment on the forecast dividend of 10 per cent for the current year, 12 per cent for 1965 and 14 per cent for 1966.