5 JULY 1963, Page 32

Company Notes


THE chairman of Midland Tar Distillers attri- butes the fall in trading profits from £367,000 to £323,000 for the year to March 31, 1963, to three main causes: I. The very bad weather conditions in the first three months of this year, making sales of road tar practically non-existent,

coupled with the fall in prices in the tar acid group. 2. Increased purchases of crude oils. 3. The delayed benefits which were expected to arise from the installation of the new pyridine .

plant. However, the first two reasons should be corrected this year and the third has already been partly overcome. An encouraging point for the future is that the new Schenectady-Midland plant is now completed and in operation. The maintained dividend of 124 per cent looks assured for the current year. The £1 shares at 40s. yield 61 per cent.

Since the sale of Harpenden Rubber Estates last August, Sempah (Holdings) has benefited to the extent of £289,000. The disposal of this has. been been the subject of some dispute recently amongst shareholders. A decision has now been made to re-invest the money so that it should be • possible to maintain the dividend of 20 per cent paid for 1962. This rate was reduced from

324 per cent because the company only received an interim dividend from Harpenden before its sale. Jointly with M itre Trust, Sempah has, through General Industrial Holdings, suffered a loss: But the chairman now believes that the current year will produce a small profit from this interest.

Actually Sempah is now a subsidiary of Mitre Trust. The former company's 2s. shares at 5s. 9d. yield 7.1 per cent. The interests and prospects of the company have now changed so much that these cannot be fairly assessed until the next accounts arc presented.

Another advance in profits comes from Threltalls Cheaters (brewers) for the year to

March 31, 1963, with group profits amounting to £2.611 million. This is an excellent result as the company is heavily represented in the depressed

Merseyside area, but adverse business there was probably offset by better profits from the Cheshire and Lancashire areas. No strict com- parison in profit figures can be given, as since the merger between Threlfall and Chesters in April, 1961, the Birkenhead Brewery was taken over in 1962 and A. J. Ley, wholesale and retail wine and spirit merchants, was also acquired. These additions should effect economies and increase trading profits, especially from the North Wales area where A. J. Ley is represented. A drop in unemployment in the Liverpool area should also help. The 5s. shares at 27s. yield 4 per cent on the 22 per cent dividend—last year's 23 per cent dividend included a 1 per cent centenary bonus. The company has a very good growth record. The shares are an excellent investment in the brewery market.