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Chairman's Address

At the annual general meeting of shareholders held yesterday, the chair man of directors (Mr. W. J. Barker) reported to the shareholders as under:'—

Ladies and Gentlemen, I desire, before deal ing with the normal business of this meeti ng, to refer with the deep sst regret ' to - the 'death )f bur esteemed late man aging director, Mr. Bruce a. Farrow. Mr. Farrow [ointed ,' the company in 1932, and served with dis tinction a number of im portant executive positions in the company before be ing appointed to the board of directors, and in 1947, to the position of managing director. Not only did he possess a very keen and sound - knowledge of top level management, but also, his practical knowledge of the company's products fitted 'him admirably for the position he held, and, in his passing, we suffered a very severe loss. ?'?' TURNOVER: . Sales for the year, were considerably in excess of previous years, 'and consti tuted a record, despite ad verse seasonal conditions in some localities, and . were well distributed through out all States of the Com monwealth. The company's general engineering section was kept particularly busy, throughout the year. Our water supply division has again assisted greatly in rural . and outback devel opment, while, drilling plant and watery supply equipment were in constant demand, and of inestim able value to the man on the land. . Sales of Lister and other agency lines were well maintained, and form a valuable adjunct to the company's sales of manu factured agricultural ma chinery. PLANT: .:v ::,;?' :? The new foundry which was officially opened by the Premier during last Apr! is operating smoothly, and Is a very valuable addition. The plant generally has been maintained in excel lent order, and the policy which we have adopted in modernising plant, along with further mechanisa tion, has resulted in more efficient production. This policy is being continued. In addition, we are keep Ing abreast of modern trends not only in machine tools, but also in methods of production. LABOR AND MATERIALS: Whilst unskilled labor has now become more plen tiful, difficulty is still being experienced in obtainini certain selected skilled labor but as migrant labor becomes more conversant with Australian require ments and conditions the position is improving. We have been able to maintain adequate am well-balanced stocks of all materials which has en abled us to carry out our increased output. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT The company is in con stant touch with the pro gress of agriculture, so that we can meet the expanding and changing demands in tools for primary produc tion. This has been greatly assisted by the expanding facilities afforded us by our Australia-wide Cockshutt Franchise. NEW SOUTH WALES: A very fine property situ ated on the Parramatta road, Oranville, new South Wales, containing 34,(MH square feet of floor space in one single span building has been purchased, wit

available land to build offices and showrooms, which work will be under aken shortly. This will fill a long felt need in our aperations in New South Wales, and will enable the branch more efficiently to isssemble. service and dis tribute the ? company's range of products in that 8tate. ACCOUNTS: . Now turning to figures: during the, year, we added £84,413 .to our ordinary capital, which now stands at £345,409, and with £76,659 preference shares, totals £422,068. Total assets now aggre gate £1,132,150, of which ixed assets comp rise £537,184, having increased by £146,704, whilst current assets standing at £594,966 now exceed current liabili ties, including tax provi sion, by £392,332. The financial strength of tie company is revealed in the balance sheet showing reserves, including the amount standing to the credit of .profit and loss ac count, namely £484,424. Ordinary capital is sup ported by assets in excess of liabilities by £829333. Shareholders are, therefore, well secured. For every £1 received for tale of products:— 8.5% or 42.2 p.c. went to sup pliers '? O f ? materials and ? ? services. 6,5'A or 32.19 p.c. went to em ployes ? In wages and salaries. 1.5 or 7.12 p.c. went to the / . Oovernm e n t ; ? for taxation. 2.9V* or 13.9 p.c. for use in the business as future secur : ?? ity. , ? ?? ; .6VV or.' 2.59 p.c. went to pro vide 'for de ' preciation on :' plant and equipment. ' .4%. or 2 p.c. went - to shareholde r s as dividends. 20/- or loo p.c. For every £1 of net profit:— 8.5'A or 42.24 p.c. went to the * Governme n t in tax. 6.9V* or 44.07 p.c to the busi ness in re serves. 2.9 or 13.69 p.c. to share holders as dividends. 20/ or 100 p.c.

FUTURE: During the past year, the market for agricultural pro ducts, and therefore, the products of those associated with primary production, has undoubtedly moved from a sellers' to a buyers' market, a condition which your board of directors wel comes. Competition pro vides the inspiration and initiative so vitally neces sarv to maintain progress. With the greater con sumption of food by Aus tralia's ever-growing popu lation, and the high stan dard of quality and per formance our products enjoy, together with an ex panding range of machi nery and markets, your directors have every confi dence in the future pros pects of the Company. Before concluding this re port, it is appropriate that I should mention the com pletion of 50 years' service with the company, of two of our directors. Messrs. Andrew E. Smith and Horace R. Horwood, the latter retiring from the position as general sales manager, last September, and I am glad to pay tri bute to the value of the work they have contributed during this lengthy period, and also the loyalty and energy of the executive, staff and employes, who have materially contributed to the results achieved.