6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 23



THE thirty-ninth annual general meeting of the British-American Tobacco Company, Limited, was held on February 2nd at the London offices, Sit Hugo Cunliffe-Owen, Bart., the chairman, presiding.

The chairman said that the profit and loss account slamys a net profit of £4,087,565, a decrease of £777,877.


In the early part of last year your directors were advised that it would be necessary to dispose of investments in a subsidiary company in the United States of America, in order to provide His Majesty's Government with additional United States dollar funds

Our subsidiary company in the United States was successful in obtaining a loan of $4o,000,o6o from Reconstruction Finance Cor- poration. This loan was used firstly to repay a loan of $.15,0oo,000 from one of the New York banks. The balance of $25,000,000 was used to redeem all outstanding bond issues, and to purchase all out- standing preference shares and certain other investments owned by your company. As a result of the transaction, your company received the sum of $25,000p0o. One of the conditions of the loan was that our subsidiary company in the United States could pay `no dividend on their ordinary shares for a period of five years, until 'at last $1o,o6o,000 of the loan had been repaid whichever is die later.

The occupation of China and Hong Kong by the Japanese forces means that we no longer have any eontact with, and for the time being can receive no dividends from your associated companies in this area.


In the past your directors have been in the habit of declaring in- terim dividends quarterly, but, with a view to economy, your directors propose, instead, that interim dividends declared shall be payable half-yearly in future. The intention is to declare a second quarterly interim dividend payable on March 31st of this year, a third interim dividend payable on September 3oth, 1942, in respect of the six months' period from April 1st to September 3oth, 1942, and half- yearly thereafter.

This distribution of interim dividends half-yearly instead of quaitterly will still ensure that you will receive such dividends within the tax year, as previously. Your directors anticipate that profits will be sufficient to justify the declaration of an interim dividend at the rate of 5d. per LI of stock on March 3 I St, 1942, and a proportional one— that is to say, rod. on September 3oth, 1942.

The report was unanimously adopted.