Ashburton Gas Company.
♦ : At the annual meeting, in the-Libravy, ■ yesterday, of the shareholders of -the Gas Company, Mr. T. Bullock, chairman, presided, and : the following- ■ report and balance-sheet were laid before the meeting ; - ■‘ Your directors have pleasure in submitting their second annual report and balance-sheet of the Company, and are enabled to congratulate the shareholders on the satisfactory result of the operations during the past year. Your directors thought it advisable to reduce the price of gas, and this has had the effect of increasing the consumption, and. also the number of consumers. Three new retorts were required for the works, which have been obtained, and are now in use. A mile of three-inch mains and three retorts wore ordered from England, and are now in stock ; and your directors, trust these will be required during; the course of next winter. 'The profit and loss account shows a, credit, balance of L 448 14s. Id. Out of this your directors recommend that a dividend at the rate of 7 per cent, per annum be declared on all paid-up shares, which will absorb L 371 9s. 3d., leaving a balance to be carried forward of LC7 4s. lOd. Three of your directors retire by rotation, viz. ■ —Messrs. Bullock,' Fricdlandet, and Quill. _ They are eligible for re-election. It .will be necessary to elect auditors in place of Messrs. Jameson and Zoucb, who retire in terms of Articles of but are also eligible for re-election.. Thojias Bullock, Chairman. Ashburton, 20th November, 18S0. ” Balance -Sheet far . the year ending
balance brought down ...£448 14 I J. Ward, Secretary. Wc have examined the hooks and vouchers of the company, and certify that this balancesheet is correct. Georgk Jameson I Auditors. W. 11. Zouch 1 The Chairman moved the adoption of the report. He said that the hope he had expressed at the meeting in July that a dividend would be declared at this meeting, and a favorable report presented, had borne fruit, and a dividend cf seven per cent, per annum was now recommended. He had no doubt this -would be pleasing to the shareholders, especially when there were considered the depressed times that had been experienced during the Company’s existence, and the, large first expense it had borne. Since last meeting an additional mile’s length of main pipes had been received from the old country, and the retorts at the works had been renewed. A reduction in the price of gas had also taken place with good results aS to increase of consumers and consumption. The price was now 18s. 4d. per thousand feet, and 17s Od. for consumers of over ten thousand. Regarding the w'orks, everything was in a satisfactory state, thanks co an efficient manager, who had been careful to readily attend to every complaint by the public, and to be conservative of the Gas Company’s interest. Mr. Bullock passed a compliment to the Secretary for the excellent state of his accounts and books, and then intimated that three directors : fell to be elected on that day, in place of Messrs. Friodlander, Quill, and himself, who were eligible for re-election. . Mr. E. G. Wright seconded the tion of the report. He thought the position the Company occupied was eminently Satisfactory considering its and the times. The first dividend of the Christchurch Company was about the same as that now recommended by the directors of the Ashburton Company, and. if the success o f the Christchurch institution was any criterion, then the Ashburton Company had a good future before it. In reply to Mr. Wright, the. Chairman said that the Company began with 13 consumers, who increased to .45 in September of last year, but had now reached the number of 80. The, Secretary tendered the further information that the Company now supplied 20 public lamps. The Chairman went 011 to'say that Greymouth coal was used, 30 tons of a contract for 200 tons with Mr. Turner had yet to be delivered. Mr. Turner’s was the lowest tender.
Mr. Wright said Westport coal, the suitability of winch for gas purposes was being tested by many companies In the colony, was advertised in Lyttelton at 255. per ton. It would be well to watch the results of these tests, and keep the coal in view.
The report and balance sheet were then adopted, the retiring directors re-elected, as also the auditors. Mr. John Orr drew attention to the heavy interest paid on the Company’s overdraft—ten per cent. It appeared strange to him that the Company should pay a dividend, and yet keep on an overdraft at ten per cent, interest. The Chairman was alive to the fact that the rate of interest was too heavy, but the directors intended either to reduce the overdraft or call up’more capital. It was not out of place to declare a dividend in their circumstances, as the same thing was done by other, companies, arid by the Banks,: but it was not the intention to continue an overdraft longer than they could help. . V Mr. Ward thought it would be better to call up more capital thaii to pay the high rate of interest they were now doing. The usual votes of thanks having been passed,-the meeting separated.
30th September, 1880 : — d. £ s. DR. £ s - d To Capital ' ,, 2,000 shares... 10,000 o 0- ,, Less amount uncalled ... 4,361 IO 0 — 5.638 10 p ,, Debts due by : . company ••• •• ... 783 14 11 ,, Hills payable ... 409 4 10 ,; Bank overdraft ... 1,056 10 8 ,, Profit.and loss , balance, 1879... 0 15 1 ,, Profit and loss balance, 1880 447 *9 O —■ 448 14 1 8,'336.1:4 6 CR. £ s. d. £ s. d. By freehold land ... 796 14 0 ,, Plant and buildings... 6,329 16. . I ,, Meters 543 11 3 ,, Office furniture... 11 10 6 M P r e 1 1 m i n a ry expenses .... 201 16 9 ,, Deb's due to company 16 g 11 ,, Gas consumers account ... 232 1 6 — 248 11 5 Coal in stock... 163 14 6 Tar and Coke... 41 0 0 8,336 14 6 ’Profit and Loss Account. To coal and cartage 7 8 ,, lime ... ... 34 12 3 ,, wages and salaries ... ... 496 10 1 ,, int rest ... 150 5 4 ,, N.Z. Railways ■ 45 i9 10 ,, office expenses 66 17 8 ., retorts, iyc. ... 30 I 7 ,, printing and advertising ... 41 13 11 ,, balance ... ... , :.. 448 14 1 ,.£1,691 2 5 By balance brought forward £0 15:1 ,, gas ... ..n,S27 5 8 ,, meter rents ... 36 0 6 , t tar ... .63 6 7 ,, coke ... 16 4 O „ lime (gas) I O 0 sundries ... ... ... 46 10 7 £1,691 2 5
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