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The Rushden Echo & Argus, 9th February 1940, transcribed by Jim Hollis.
Record Output and Sales

New Factory Helps to Make £50,000

Government Orders

Showing record sales and output figures for 1939, Messrs. John White Ltd., of Rushden and Higham Ferrers report that the new welted factory in Lime-street, Rushden, helped to make the firm’s profit of £50,304.

To this profit is added £185 15s from dividends and investments and transfer fees, while directors’ fees of £733 are deducted, leaving £49,756 14s to be carried to the appropriation account.

This sum is deducted to £35,812 by the deduction of £18,958 15s which represents income tax and National Defence contribution payments, plus a reserve of £14,000 for future income tax, less a balance brought forward of £5,014.

This last figure remains after the payment of the 1938 final dividends from the total balance brought forward on the appropriation account of £20,186 14s.

Out of the £35,812 there has been paid the 6 per cent. preference dividend for the first half of 1939 (£3,577 10s), the interim ordinary dividend (£6,250), and redemption expenses and premiums on redeemed preference shares (£49 11s), leaving £25,935.

The directors state that they have paid the preference dividend due on January 1 last, amounting to £3,538, and recommend:

A transfer to the preference share redemption fund of £2,300; and a
Final ordinary dividend of 10 per cent. (making 15 per cent.), payable on February 17, this requiring £12,500; and leaving
£7,597 to be carried forward.

Large Assets

The profit of £50,304, it is stated, is left after providing fully for depreciation and the obsolescence of fixed assets and for the estimated liability in respect of the excess profit tax.

The authorised capital of the Company is £250,000 in 125,000-6 per cent. redeemable cumulative preference shares of £1 each and 5000,000 ordinary shares of 5s. each, all of which have been issued and are fully paid up, less 7,005 preference shares which have been redeemed, giving a working capital of £242,935.

Fixed assets, including freehold property, plant, machinery, road vehicles, etc., are put down at £161,884 against £143,949 at the beginning of 1939, additions during the year totalling £36,407, and depreciation £18,472.

The report of the directors, which is signed by John White (chairman and managing director), states:

“The Company benefited during the year from the new Goodyear Welted factory, which came into production during 1939. Output and sales for the period were records in the history of the Company.

“The Company record substantial Government orders for service footwear, and these, despite its increased productive activity, made it necessary in recent months for the directors somewhat to curtail the deliveries available to its regular customers, although every effort has been made to minimise any inconvenience to them.

Export Business

“Although some markets were closed against us in 1939, our export trade has been satisfactorily maintained, and every effort is being made to retain and increase this side of our business.

“The current year has opened satisfactorily, and all the Company’s factories are fully occupied.”

The report adds that Mr. B. H. Toms was appointed a director during the year, and he and Mr. Lindsay Fynn retire from office but offer themselves for re-election.

The other directors are Mr. White and Mr. L. C. H. Louis.

The auditors, Messrs. W. J. Thompson and Co., Kettering, also offer themselves for re-appointment.

The sixth ordinary general meeting of the Company will be held at the company’s offices at Higham Ferrers on Thursday, February 15, at 4 p.m.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 20th February, 1948, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Ninth of Nation’s Total Exported
John White’s Sent 412,972 Pairs Abroad

More than one-ninth of the total British export of men’s leather footwear in 1947 came from the factories of Messrs. John White, Ltd., claimed Mr. John White in his speech at the company’s 14th annual meeting, held at Higham Ferrers to-day. The firm exported 412,972 pairs.

Referring to the recent removal of all leather subsidies, the large increase in wages, and the heavy tariffs imposed by certain Continental countries, Mr. White said that although it was early to say what the result would be, he was apprehensive as to the effect on export trade. He was, however, preparing to visit both Europe and America this year, and any failure to maintain last year’s export total would not be through lack of effort.

In the home market they were quite unable to supply an increasing demand, but he believed they were in a more favourable position than many other manufacturers, having accumulated very large stocks of materials before the subsidies were taken off. They would be able to carry on for a long time without adding the full increase in cost to their productions.

A New Sole

Mr. White spoke of plans to introduce a new sole which “should help considerably to solve the problem of increased leather costs and also help to overcome any shortage of supply that may arise,” at the same time saving the purchaser two coupons.

Testifying to the value of bold advertising, Mr. White said that newspaper advertisements of the company’s products had appeared in many languages in 14 overseas countries.

Commenting on the financial accounts (which show a record profit of £136,886), Mr. White said the excess of current assets over current liabilities had been increased by £57,000.

The speech concluded with thanks to the executive staff, managers, foremen and operatives, with special tributes to the production director Mr. B. H. Toms) and the secretaries (Mr. L. W. Bradshaw and Mr. A. E. Smith).

The Directors’ Report recommending a final ordinary dividend of 37½ per cent less tax was adopted.

Mr. B. M. Lindsay Fynn, who was re-elected a director, moved a vote of thanks to the chairman and said that Mr. White was himself chiefly responsible for the details a well as the top control of the export drive.

Referring to the break in American leather prices Mr. Fynn said that in due course British leather prices would follow suit.

During the meeting, Mr. White announced that he had received letters from Sir Stafford Cripps and the Board of Trade complimenting the firm on its export figures.

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