Finance, Commerce and Industry
By Our City Editor
Results of Leyland Motor Corporation, whose £4m. order from Cuba has just caused such distress in Washington, are quite excellent, and it is clear that the benefits from the 1962 merger with ACV are already far-reaching.
Pre- tax profit for the year to end-September, after depreciation and amortization £770,000 higher at £7,315,000, has nearly doubled, from £5,553,000 to £10,325,000, and the increase is equally striking at the net level, where profit is £5,821,000, against £3,174,000.
In the absence of any preliminary remarks with the figures one is forced to search for clues as to the areas mainly responsible for the group’s success last year. But these are not difficult to find. When an unchanged interim dividend of 5 per cent was announced in June the directors said that in spite of difficulties caused by the bad weather and the United States dock strike trading had returned to a satisfactory level. Shortly after the year-end it was announced that orders for trucks and buses had risen by 36 per cent over the previous year and that overseas cotracts accounting for over half the group’s business, were up by over 60 per cent.
Sir Henry Spurrier, the then chairman, would not commit himself on Standard- Triumph in his statement last year beyond confessing himself reasonably optimistic that it would contribute to the profits of the group. But Mr D. G. Stokes, the dynamic managing director of Leylands who has recently taken over the chair at Standard-Triumph, seemed to hint only a week ago that its contribution to profits was worthwhile. With its first-class order books-including the order to Cuba, which, as Mr. Stokes pointed out yesterday, was certainly not the first of its kind, and would probably not be the last-the Leyland group looks set for further growth this year.
Orders for commercial vehicles were running at a new record level in the first quarter, and there are better things to come from Standard- Triumph, for whose new 2000 saloon hopes are high. The shares may well touch the ton “-100s.-today.