5 MAY 1961, Page 30

Company Notes

ACHILLE SERRE, the dyers and cleaners,

have reorganised and consolidated during the past year to some advantage. Their central factory at Walthamstow now takes work from all the fifty-three receiving shops, which frees one of the factories at Wembley, owned by their sub- sidiary, Scottish Dyers and Cleaners (London). This factory has now been re-equipped as a model laundry for the Industrial Overall Con- tract Supply and Hire Service. The company have acquired Forum Cleaners and Dyers and the Bedford Dye Works, owning forty-eight receiv- ing shops. Two laundry units will be in full operation by the end of this year. These changes have resulted in an increased trading profit of £174,870 against £162,603, and a net profit after tax of £86,447 on the capital as increased by the issue of shares for new acquisitions and a rights issue. The 5s. ordinary shares at 14s. 6d. return 5.9 per cent. on the 17.5 per cent. dividend.

Brigadier F. C. Hopton Scott forecast at last year's annual meeting of Lubok Investments that the company might make a bonus issue in the future. This occurred last November on a one- for-one basis, and the issued capital is now £48,000. Gross investment revenue rose from £16,786 to £19,811 in 1960; the net profit before tax was £13,675. A final dividend of 15 per'cent. is to be paid on the increased capital; an interim of 25 per cent. was paid on the smaller capital. From the spread of investments 56 per cent. are in commercial and industrial quoted stocks, 20 per cent. in investment trusts. This small trust should continue to grow; assets have expanded to £348,218, giving a net asset value of 3s. 7d. for each 6d. stock unit: these now stand at 3s. x.d.

Birmingham Sound Reproducers, manufac- turers of automatic record changers and gramo- phone units, have had a record year. This com- pany was mentioned by Custos last week; we would like to endorse his recommendation. Pre- tax profits are up from £1.39 million to £1.53 million and the net profit from £787,000 to £860,000. Two companies, Tape Heads of

Birmingham and P. A. Marriott of Wembley, have been acquired, but their contributions to the record profits are not stated. This company, since it was made public in 1957, has had a wonderful profits record. Last year the capital was increased by a one-for-two issue, before which an interim of 15 per cent. was paid. There is now to be a final of 30 per cent. The 5s. ordinary shares at 41s. 6d. yield 4.7 per cent.

The year 1960 opened well for Hoffmann Manufacturing on the consumer side of their business, but this has since slackened off in respect of bearings for motor-cars and household appliances; but orders for the capital goods industries have been building up. The group is well able to cater for any increased demand for their products, having spent, from their own resources, £1,067,000 on new plant and mach- inery at Chelmsford and Stonehouse. The net profit after tax for 1960 was £1,049,390. The total dividend is 201 per cent., which, on the larger capital, is equal to an increase of 5 per cent.; at their present price the shares yield 3.1 per cent.

Mr. Edward du Cann, MP, chairman and managing director of Unicorn Securities, intro- duces a novel feature this week by guaranteeing investors against loss in his new block issue of £2 million units in Falcon Trust. These units are being is.sued at 5s. 4d. to give a return of £4 16s. 9d. and, by paying an additional 3d. per unit, you are insured against any loss (on the cost price) if you hold the units for ten years and they are then below 5s. 4d. The portfolio covers 170 securities mostly spread amongst the capital and consumer goods industries. If, as we believe, these have been well selected and 95 per cent. of them are in ordinary shares, this offer should have a very wide appeal.