3 JULY 1936, Page 42


BUSINESS on the Stock Exchange shows little sign of a return of the activity which occupied dealers a few months ago, but the turnover is probably up to the normal for the time of year. The summer holiday season is already beginning to cast a shadow over markets, and although the European political situation may be said to have taken a slight turn for the better, the outlook in this direction remains sufficiently obscure to restrict new business in securities, and this week the City has been paying considerable attention to events at Geneva. Similarly, the recovery in the exchange value of the French franc, and a more settled appearance in the " gold bloc " countries, still leave many Stock Exchange observers with the impression that the financial improvement may not prove by any means permanent. After their sharp decline last week, however, British Government and other stocks of the gilt- edged type have become steadier, partly on the more general realisation that the recent firmness of bill rates in Lombard Street was nothing more than a seasonal movement before the end of the half-year, and did not betoken an early end of the period of cheap money.

* * * *


As befits the Chairman and Managing Director of an under- taking of the wide ramifications of the General Electric Company, Lord Hirst of Witton, speaking at the annual meeting on June 25th, dealt with a number of matters outside the immediate business of the company. Questions of oversee trade and political trends, however, have a very considerable bearing on the fortunes of every great industrial enterprise, and it is satisfactory to note that Lord Hirst's view of them is, on the whole, not unduly pessimistic. As far as the affairs of the G.E.C. are concerned, one of the most notable parts of his address was the reference to the immediate causes for the substantial increase in business and profits during the past year, indicating the company's ready response to improving industrial conditions. Firstly, the company has always been soundly based both financially and industrially, while during the depression the work of research was carried on, and the organisation was thus ready for trade recovery. Lord Hirst also made a reference to the care which has been taken to foster and maintain good relations with buyers in oversell markets, and especially in the Empire, with the result that, despite the severe handi- caps now imposed on oversee trade, the volume of the company's export business increased by 20 per cent. last year to a new high record level, while the British Empire now absorbs about 75 per cent. of its oversee shipments.

* * * *


Although, owing to labour and mechanical difficulties, the year 1935 yielded a reduced profit to the Sons of Gwalia Ltd., this veteran West Australian mining concern has a -- (Continued on page 40.)

Financial Notes

(Continued from page 38.)

remarkable record of dividends to its credit, and even under the unfavourable conditions prevailing last year, provided shareholders with a dividend equivalent to 45 per cent. on the 10s. shares. After recounting some of the adverse circumstances of the past year, Mr. C. Algernon Moreing, the Chairman, gave shareholders attending the annual meeting an encouraging account of the current position at the mine. The deductions which were drawn from the more important development work completed during 1935 have been confirmed by further work during the first five months of the current year, and satisfactory new ore-bodies have been opened up.

* * * * THE Oirrwox FOR JOHN ISMAY.

Some of the factors which contributed to the increase of nearly £10,000 to £43,329 in the profits of John Ismay and Sons Ltd. during the past year were commented upon at the annual meeting. Mr. John Ismay, the Chairman and Managing Director, reminded shareholders that the com- pany's main manufacturing interest is now in the Ilford lamp undertaking. Although the results of mantle manu- facture were rather disappointing, the decline in this direction was more than made good by a big expansion in sales of /amps. Productive capacity at Ilford was increased by the company during the year, but further extensions are necessary, and plans for the new buildings are already in hand. While Mr. Ismay was able to give a good account of the company's export achievements during the twelve months to March 81st last, he is confident of the future, believing that any reduction in profit due to increasingly keen competition will be more than offset by a larger turnover and economies in working: * * * * LOBITOS DIVIDEND PROSPECTS.

This week's annual meeting of the Lobitos Oilfields Company, which is reported elsewhere, put a much better complexion on the dividend outlook than was conveyed by the directors' report. Mr. H. C. R. Williamson, who presided, stated that the dividend was maintained for 1935 at 7/ per cent. because the directors, from what they know of current prospects, are fairly confident of maintaining the distribution for 1936, and are not without hope of being able to increase it. Mr. Williamson also gave an interesting and satisfactory account of the refinery which the company has established at Ellesmere Port. A. H. D.