5 SEPTEMBER 1958, Page 30


AMALGAMATED ANTHRACITE HOLD- INGS extend beyond their interests in the distribution of coal in Southern, North-West England and Wales; in fact their industrial divi- sion now covers the manufacture of carbon black, carbon paper, cutlery, conveyor equipment, builders' supplies and electronics. This diversifica- tion of interests has enabled the company to earn record profits during 1957, when the retail coal trade and building trades had a difficult year. It is therefore encouraging to learn from the chair- man, Mr. John Waddell, that he expects better results for the current year in the retail coal trade, which, after twenty years,. has been freed from government control. He expects easier trading conditions in 1958 and says that `for the first half

of the current year, in practically all sections of our trading operations we are ahead on the previous year.' There has been a 16 per cent. expansion in the trading profit of the group. Earnings amounted to 29.8 per cent, on the ordinary capital on which a dividend of 121 per cent, against 10 per cent. is to be paid. In view of the company's current prospects the Is, ordin- ary shares cannot be considered dear at 1 s. 3d, to yield 10 per cent.

Pinchin Johnson and Associates has reported record sales at home and overseas, but profit mar- gins further declined due to competition and rising costs, which have been common to the paint industry. Sir Horace W. Clarke, the chairman, advises shareholders that the extension to the Silvertown factory is nearly completed, that plans are in hand here and at Birmingham for further development, and that a new synthetic resin plant is now in full production at Sydney, Australia. The consolidated net profit for the year to March 31, 1958, was £1,810,474 as compared with £1,641,294; all subsidiaries (except the French company) contributed to this. The chairman points out that the tax burden has again increased, being 61.9 per cent, for 1957-58 as against 58.3 per cent, for 1956-57. The final net profit is £591,032. A reduction in stocks of £272,000 has reflected an improvement in the liquid position, and cash balances have increased by £469,000. £100,000 has been transferred to general reserves, which now stand at £1,814,767. After payment of a total ordinary dividend of 16+ per cent, a sub- stantial amount of £697,148 is carried forward. The 10s. ordinary shares at 19s. yield £8 4s. 9d. per cent.

Hecht Levis & Kahnl & Co. has been engaged as traders in crude rubber from the Far East for over 100 years, and has recently diversified its interests. This change should go a long way to level out the wide profit fluctuations of the past. No doubt the French subsidiaries have experienced a difficult year; it will be interesting to have the chairman's comments on this side of the business and also to learn when he expects the company's investment in the Rubber Cor- poration of America to become profitable. This re-organisation has produced a 25 per cent, in- crease in the trading profit for the year ending March 31, 1958, and a very much higher net profit at £167,794 against £85,869. The total dividend of 25 per cent. is the same as last year, declared as 15 per cent. plus 10 per cent, bonus, although earnings have risen from 34.7 per cent, to 74.2 per cent,, so that resources are being conserved. The 5s. ordinary shares at 12s. 9d. yield £9 16s. per cent.