Between the Lines of the Balance Sheet. The Plain Man's by Michael Greener

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S liquid ratio has been rising for four years; but 0*9 was probably on the low side and the rise is thoroughly healthy. The current ratio has remained fairly constant. The case of Imperial Tobacco has already been discussed. Courtaulds have suffered a fall in the current ratio and a slight drop in the liquid. Neither calls for much comment, particularly as these both seem to have now levelled out. I. The case of Lancashire Cotton Corpn. is more interesting. I. Imperial Tobacco Courtaulds ♦Lancashire Cotton Corpn.

It has become a permanent feature of finance. It might be assumed, then, that it is not due for immediate repayment and consequently could be excluded from quick current liabilities. Should this be done a surplus of £4-5 million appears. There are two other points to note. Firstly it cannot be known whether the creditors figure is an average for the year or whether purchases are made seasonally, thus perhaps inflating creditors at balance sheet date. The second point is that there are trade investments of £20% million.

2 to col. 1 £000 £000 % 4 5 6 Com­ Ratio Ord. para­ div. of tive (gross) div. to figure col. I. 1960 1961 1962 1963 538,594 579,460 616,295 655,399 86,308 60,116 68,633 83,173 160 10-4 111 12-7 15-4 100 10-8 12-3 6-6 6-3 60 6-3 41 60 54 50 Courtaulds 1960 1961 1962 1963 157,515 171,543 154,949 136,961 20,074 17,727 16,716 22,657 12-7 10-4 10-7 16-5 120 9-9 10-2 15-2 4-7 4-6 6-4 90 37 44 60 55 Imperial Tobacco 1960 1961 1962 1963 144,345 151,888 162,806 173,398 27,181 28,228 29,721 30,811 18-9 18-8 18-2 17-8 17-8 17*6 17-3 16-9 9-4 8-9 8-3 8-2 50 47 46 46 Newton Chambers 1960 1961 1962 1963 12,465 13,261 13,302 13,232 943 1,139 627 494 7-5 8-6 4-7 3-7 7-6 8-6 4-6 3-7 4-5 40 3-8 3-8 60 47 81 103 Lancashire Cotton Corpn.

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