4 AUGUST 1961, Page 26

Company Notes

ASSOCIATED British Picture Corporation has achieved a sharp recovery in profits for the year ended March 31, 1961. The net

profit of the group (before tax) was £4,929,959, an increase of £1,979,132 and close on the

record net profits attained in 1959; but these ex. cellent figures had little effect on the price of the 5s. ordinary shares. The after-tax profit was £2,284,500 against £1,466,572. The remission of the entertainments tax helped the company enor- mously in regard to the production and distribu- tion of films and the cinema section of the business, which contributed about 46 per cent. of the trading profit, the balance arising from television. At the company's well-known Elstree Studios two outstanding films have been made—The Rebel and The Long and the Short and the Tall. During the year twenty-six cinemas were closed, but there are as many as 313 still in operation. Two of the new and popular bowl- ing centres were opened at Dagenham and Wylde Green (Birmingham), while two more at Leyton- stone and Levershulme are being converted for this game. The chairman, Sir Philip Warter, pays tribute to the Independent Television Authority for its past help and co-operation, and states that business so far for the current year is being well maintained. Ten years ago the net ordinary dividend absorbed £391,000; this year the 60 per cent. distribution (the same as last year) takes £946,000. There is to be a one-for-one share issue. The 5s. shares, now 49s. against a high for 1961 of 62s., give just over 6 per cent.—a fair return.

Weston-Evans (Holdings), like other com- panies in the engineering field operating in or near Manchester, is suffering from a shortage of skilled labour. In spite of that the group achieved a 60 per cent. expansion in trading profits for the year ended March 31, 1961— these amounted to £244,005, a record. The group operates as engineers to the paper and textile trades and last year acquired Thomas Bradford and Co., laundry engineers. This concern's works at Salford will be closed and moved to Clifton, where the group is extending its existing works at a cost of about £60,000. It also has a sub- sidiary in America and has a good record for export—an important point to be noted. The total dividend of 30 per cent. is equivalent to 371 per cent. as against 25 per cent., as the capital was increased by a bonus issue last year. The chairman, Lieutenant-Colonel W. D. Gibbs, is confident for the future provided the company can get over its labour difficulties. The 4s. or- dinary shares at 15s. offer a fair return of 8 per cent.; the dividend is covered by earnings of 72 per cent. Last week the proposal to increase the capital of Colvilles by £151 million was overwhelminglY approved at the extraordinary general meeting. It is encouraging to know from the chairman. Sir Andrew McCance, that the long-term pros- pects for the company are good. Since the an' nouncement of the rights issue—three for eight at 57s. 6d.—the shares have had a big fall. ri he new shares at around 41d. premium, free 01 stamp, look a worth-while buy; the last call is due on August 16. The old shares at 55s. 9d• x.d. yield 5.7 per cent.