25 OCTOBER 1963, Page 32

Company Notes


THE board of directors, of whom Mr. James Scriingeour is chairman, of Hume Holdings is to be congratulated on its very full report to shareholders for the year ending June 30. 1963. The company's interests are fairly wide- spread over property investment and develop- ment, financing and underwriting, hire purchase and engineering. Gross profits increased from £134,000 to £268,000 and partly reflect the new finance made, available by the recent one-for- three rights issue and the Li million debenture issue. Now, another rights issue of three for ten is being made, to be followed by a one- for-three scrip issue. The • new 2s. 6d. shares will be consolidated into 5s. units. The 2s. 6d. shares at 8s. 6d. yielding 3.4 per cent on the fore- cast dividend of 6 per cent on the larger capital are a promising long-term investment. Since the acquisition of Kenwell Properties Holdings and Rio de Janeiro Land, Mortgage and Investment Agency by London Shop Properties the portfolio has been considerably strengthened. The group have control over 500 shops, one hundred 'flats and thirty commercial properties, with a fair number of development 'schemes in hand, spread over three years. The property investment portfolio now stands at £5 million. Future income will benefit from these planned developments under the able chairman- ship of Sir Cyril Black. The 5s. ordinary shares at 14s. 1 id. yield 4.2 per cent on the dividend of 11.5 per cent. Increased turnover to a record level did not help Scribbans-Kemp, the cake, biscuit and chocolate manufacturers. The 15 per cent pur- chase tax on chocolate biscuits hit the com- pany hard. Consequently the biscuit factory at Cricklewood has been closed and 'production has been concentrated at the Grimsby factory. The disposal of the Cricklewood unit realised £1.215 million and will result in a considerable saving of overheads. This has considerably strengthened the balance sheet and probably justifies the maintenance of the dividend of 10 per cent (short-earned this year) for the fifth successive year. The 5s. shares at 7s. 9d. yielding 6.2 per cent are naturally speculative at this stage.

The acquisition of Southern Areas Electric Corporation by Adamant and Western Engineer- ing has raised the assets of the group by over £2 million. It is now proposed to change the name of the company to Adwest Group. It manufactures electrical, light engineering and agricultural equipment. Trading profits for the year to June 30, 1963, have increased to £735,000 from £622,000 and the net profit is up from £174,000 to £204,000. The dividend of 15 per cent is maintained from earnings of 25 per cent. The 5s. shares at 18s. 3d. yielding 4.1 per cent have promising prospects.

Pre-tax profits for the year ended April 30, 1963, of Victoria Property and Investment fell from £297,000 to £220,000. But the outlook for the current year is far more promising, states the chairman, Mr. F. R. Norton. Certain residential

properties have now been sold and the proceeds reinvested in industrial and commercial proper- ties, so that 38 per cent of the portfolio is now

non-residential. The proposed £21 million deben-

ture issue should be profitably employed, so that a dividend of 18 per cent is forecast for 1963-64. The dividend for the past year is 16 per cent. On the forecast dividend of 18 per cent the 2s. shares yield 5.8 per cent.