21 JUNE 1963, Page 27

Company Notes

By LOTIIBURY FOR the fourth successive year F. Francis and Sons.(Holdings) maintains the dividend at 23 per cent. This company manufactures tin boxes, steel drums, crown corks, plastiC bottles and bottle caps, electrical lifts and die castings. Over the past few years large sums have been spent on capital account which have resulted in substantially increased profits from five com- panies in the group. Drastic action was taken in regard to RDM Closures to stop the loss in this subsidiary, but Keighley Lifts was respon- sible for increased profits. Another subsidiary Sagar-Richards is doing well, it is probably the largest producer in the world of aluminium bronze die castings. The chairman, Mr. Frank Fox, is quietly confident that when the small amount of deadwood is cut out, the company is well placed to forge ahead. The company has over the past live years a good profit record. The net profit after tax amounted to £213,000. The 5s. shares at 19s. 6d. yielding 5.7 per cent are fairly valued and have reasonable prospects.

First accounts, since it became a public company, come from Time Products, importers and distributors of a large number of well-known Swiss watches in the UK. Pre-tax profits for 1962 were £137,000. the net Iigurc was £75,000. The interim dividend of 71- per cent is followed by a final of 121 per cent. The chairman reports that the Christmas trade was a little disappointing but with the recent acquisition of the old- established company of Hirst Brothers and a planned increase in sales from Global Clocks and Watches of continental clocks, he is optimistic about the results for 1963. This young company looks like going ahead. The competi- tion is keen but the 2s. shares at 8s. yielding 5 per cent on the 20 per cent dividend,' have possibilities.

The main cause of the very sharp fall in pre- tax profits from Pollard Ball and Roller Bearing from £549,009 to £234,000 in 1962 was a setback in the profits of the subsidiary R. & J. Dick, which distributes the company's transmission bearings. The chairman, Mr. J. L. King, now states that operating costs of this company are expected to be lower and that the US and Can- adian subsidiaries are expected to make a better contribution to profits this year. Because the turnover of Pollard Bearings for the first twenty weeks of 1963 is substantially higher than for the same period of the previous year, it was decided, to maintain the dividend (which was not fully earned) at 20 per cent. The recent heavy capital expenditure should now be bearing fruit. How- ever, if the upturn is sustained, it would be un- wise to expect any improvement in the divi- dend. On the short term any recovery is fully taken care of in the price of the 4s. shares at 23s. 6d. yielding only 3.4 per cent.