3 MARCH 1939, Page 52


THE feeling of relief which followed the publication of the first financial results from the West End stores has not been strengthened by the Selfridge figures. Net profits of Selfridge and Co. before allowing for taxation fell by £77,446 to £370,644, a drop of approximately 17 per cent., which is somewhat sharper than the average decline shown by London stores. In addition, a larger sum has to be provided to implement the guarantee to the shareholders of William Whiteley—£50,741, against £38,709—and the charge for taxation has risen from £80,0o0 to £105,000. Thus, when all charges and sums to be written off have been taken into account, the net balance avail- able for the shareholders is down by £14o,000 at £166,946. The company has transferred £75,000 from reserve, but has only provided the preferred ordinary dividend for the eight months ended September 30th. The 6 per cent. tax free preference dividend is, of course, paid in full.

The ordinary shares go without a dividend, whereas last year they received 8 per cent., and it looks as though holders will have to face at least one more bleak year, for the board ascribe their decision not to provide the preferred ordinary dividend in full to the need to provide a still larger sum to meet the liability under the William Whiteley guarantee for the year ended January 1st, 1939.