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Fremlins 1936


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 27 November, 1936.




The ordinary general meeting of Fremlins Limited, Maidstone, was held on Wednesday at Maidstone.

Mr. Alfred C. Leney, J.P. (the Chairman), in the course of his speech, said: When we met last year I reminded you that we could not always expect the exceptionally good summers which we had experienced in the preceding two years. The weather is a very big factor in our trade, and the past year is a very good example of its effects. The trading account balance of 107,357 shows an increase of rather over 4,000 on the figures for the preceding year. Interest and dividends receivable are up by about 2,500, partly due to the receipt of a dividend on out shareholdings in Findlaters. On the other hand, interest payable is 6,000 higher, which I should explain is mainly due to the payment of 5 per cent, interest on the loan from our subsidiary company - Isherwood, Foster and Stacey, Ltd. Last year we set aside 7,000 for special reserves and for writing-down buildings; we also wrote 20,000 off the goodwill. This year we have set aside 27,000, of which 2,000 has been written off buildings and 25,000 off goodwill, writing it down to 235,000. The balance on profit after providing for the Preference dividend amounts to 48,612, as against 47,713, and we have decided (subject to approval) to pay a dividend of 10 per cent, this year, as against 9 per cent, for last year. So far, our trade shows an increase since October 1st. It is early yet to make any forecast; but trade in the country as a whole is improving, and I am hopeful that, with the help of the Coronation, despite some increases in the price of brewing materials, we may look forward to another successful year. So far as the future of your company is dependant upon your board I can assure you that we shall not relax our efforts to expand your trade; we intend to be progressive where progression is reasonable possible, and every proposition that is put to us is considered with the greatest care. Turning to the balance sheet, there is only one item to which I wish to draw your attention, and that is to the reserves on various accounts, now standing at 81,650, which figure is 24,000 higher than last year. You may or may not have seen a little note at the foot of the page explaining this item, but in case you have not noticed it, I will tell you how the item arose.

For years we have had a difference of opinion with the Inland Revenue over our liability for income tax on the income of our subsidiary - Isherwood. Fortunately, the recent decision by the House of Lords in the hearings known as the Leney and Marston case has decided that our view is correct, with the result that sums set aside to meet the liability, in case we were held to be wrong, have now been released. The profits held back in the past years by our subsidiary have been mainly paid over to us, and, seeing that this is in the nature of a fortuitous receipt, we have carried the amount direct to reserve. This reserve is intended, amongst other things, to form a fund for the equalisation of expenditure on repairs and improvements to the company's properties from one year to another. I cannot close without a word of encouragement and thanks on your behalf to all the staff and employees of the company. This is no idle formality - it is a real tribute to their loyalty and cooperation.

The report was unanimously adopted.