ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mixed Bag

Mixed Bag Hansavivek BOMBAY BURHMAH's chairman, Pra- tapsinh Mathuradas Vissanji, feels that the company's performance in the current year may not come up to last year's record results because, he believes, the improvement in tea prices will not keep pace with the increased costs of inputs such as labour and fertiliser. The South Indian management, however, is making efforts to increase productivity and reduce costs. North Borneo Timbers, according to him, should be able to maintain the quantum of dividend in terms of Malaysian dollars in the current yean but its rupee equivalent may be lower than that received last year. Improvement in the company's 1974-75 was mainly the result of in- cased receipts from overseas interests, but the East African tea estates showed poor results. In fact, they continue to cause problems in that the Government of Tanzania undertaking, which was to have purchased the Tanzanian estates, has not so far made a final de- cision. The Tanzanian government eompulsorily acquired a part of the company's land and forests in Tanzania. A claim for compensation, based on the proportionate cost of such land and forests, has been lodged with the Tanzanian government under the Foreign Investments (Protection) Act, 1963. But the claim amount equivalent to Rs 9 lakhs has not been agreed to by the Tanzanian government. The company disposed of, last year, the Pamb- ra coffee plantation in Kerala, as it was becoming increasingly difficult to administer. The electronics division, which experienced a number of setbacks earlier, is now showing increased monthly billing. During 1974-75, the company's South Indian estates produced 48,09,974 kg of tea, against 50,30,238 kg in the previous year. But the unit cost increased to Rs 6.72 per kg from Rs 4.75 per kg. Coffee crop decreased to 972 tonnes (1,357 tonnes) and the point valuation has been taken at Rs 5 per point (Rs 4.60 per point), The cardamom crop increased to 4,088 kg from 2,528 kg. The crop in Tanzania amounted to 4,73,683 kg, and prices were better. However, due to increasing costs of labour, input materials, etc, the estates showed a loss of Rs 8 lakhs. The wholly-owned subsidiary, AFCO, made a net profit of Rs 13 lakhs. Its marine division continues to work satisfactorily. Dental Products of India, also a subsidiary, made a net profit of Rs 4 lakhs and continues to develop both the home and export markets. The non-resident shareholding of the company is proposed to be reduced, from 49 per cent to 30 per cent. Another subsidiary, Indo-Java Rubber Planting and Trading, showed a loss of Rs 2 lakhs because, with the continued monsoon, the crop was reduced. Moreover, world rubber prices were depressed.

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