5 MAY 1939, Page 44



STANDARD PRODUCTION INCREASED THE 19th ordinary general meeting of the Pataling Rubber Estates, Limited, was held on May 3rd in London. Mr. H. Eric Miller (the Chairman), in moving the adoption of the report and accounts, said that a year ago when they were con- sidering the satisfactory results of the 1937 operations, he said it was a matter for regret that prospects were much less favourable. The market price of rubber at that time was, in fact, less than 6d. per lb. Bearing that figure in mind, the average net sale price recorded for the 1938 crop, equivalent to 8id. per lb., London landed terms, had worked out much better than at that time seemed probable. The strong financial position of the company enabled them to suspend sales while the market was unduly depressed, and this policy was gradually rewarded as a result of the drastic con- traction in the permissible rate of export Only a much smaller crop could be accounted for; the 1938 figure of 2,85i,116 lbs. compared with 4,138,577 lbs. for 1937. Special cultivation measures were being continued in both the old and younger areas, and having the labour available to speed up this work, they carried through a larger programme in 1938, the cost of which had been charged to revenue account.

The directors recommended a final dividend of 44 per cent., subject to income-tax, making 74 per cent. for the year. The divi- dend was just half that distributed on account of 1937, and bearing in mind the fact that the present issued capital of the company was substantially less than the amount of money actually sunk in the estates, it could not be called a handsome return. Nevertheless, the earning of it redounded to the credit of the estates staff, who were competent and conscientious.

In these uncertain times it was impossible to see far ahead, but the Pataling Company had always enjoyed high repute and would give as good an account of itself as circumstances, beyond their control, permitted. In conclusion, he would add that, as a result of representations to the proper authority, the company's standard production for 1939 had been raised by nearly too,000 lbs. to 5,281,301 lbs.

Mr. D. S. Gardner, in seconding the motion, gave an account of his visit to the company's estates and said it was a great pleasure to express the opinion that all the estates were in first-class order.

The resolution was unanimously adopted.