Golden dividends

THAT was then, this is now – how shareholders used to be treated. The OutcropM by Robin Bromby.

Golden dividends Golden dividends Golden dividends Golden dividends Golden dividends

In July 1938 the frequently controversial newspaper Smith's Weekly (one of whose three co-founders was Clyde Packer, grandfather to Kerry) had a go at Emperor Mines, the company that had just brought into production the eponymous mine in Fiji.

Seven months had passed since the mine plant had become operational - and still there was no sign of a dividend. The newspaper wanted to know why.

The anonymous writer had calculated that, in the seven months, the mine had returned a profit of £140,000 and a one shilling dividend would cost £85,500.

As it happened, that calculation was off the mark. A few months later, when the annual result (the company's financial year ran to June 15) was announced, Emperor had returned a profit of £71,541. Y...

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