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NORTHERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY, LIMITED.

ANNUAL MEETING. The 21st annual meeting of shareholders in the Northern Steamship Company, Limited, was held at the company's offices, Quaystreet, yesterday afternoon. Captain H. F. Anderson, chairman of directors, presided, and there was a good attendance of shareholders. , m DIRECTORS' REPORT. The directors submitted their 21st annual report of the operations of the company for the past year as under: — The net profit on working accounts for the year ending March 31, after making: provision for insurance, depreciation, and boiler accounts, etc., ■ _ j s £5,089 o 1 Transfer fees •••••• .-. ••• 11 0 0 Balance brought forward, April • j JQQI ... 1,1)00 10 U Total . ..;■ ■•• £6,136 19 1 The following appropriation of this amount is now recommended: — To payment of a dividend at the rate of 7 per cent, per annum, half of which was paid to shareholders on November 11. 1901. as an interim dividend 4.874 1° 4 Leaving a balance to be carried to the credit of profit and loss account £1,262 0 9 In accordance with a resolution passed at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders, held on March 20, the nominal capital of the company has been increased to 300,000 shares. The directors respectfully recommend that the same amount of honorarium as last year be voted to them for their services. ACCOUNTS. The statement of accounts for year ending March 31 was as under: Balance-sheet for the year ending March 31, 1902: — Liabilities. Capital authorised—2l7.soo in 300,000 shares of 14s 6d each. Capital subscribed— 104,289 shares, 7s paid £36,501 3 0 45,711 shares, 14s 6d paid ... 33,140 9 6 150,000 £69,641 12 6 Insurance account 33,938 13 7 Insurance Account, No. 2 397 13 4 Boiler and repairs account ... 4,512 0 10 Accounts owing; by company ... 35,118 6 3 Balance of profit and loss account 3,699 9 11 Total £148,357 16 5 Assets. Vessels; and gear, less amount at credit, of depreciation account £151,268 0 0 Quay-street premises 5,278 19 5 Stores on hand 3.655 1 2 Accounts owing to company, including agents' balances ... 7,903 5 0 Insurance account No. 2 investment i 200 0 0 Bills receivable 52 10 10 Total £143,35716 5 Profit and Loss Account. (Dr. November 11, 1901—Interim dividend for six months, at the rate of 7 per cent, per annum... £2,437 9 2 Balance 3.699 9 11 Total £6,136 19 1 Cr. April 1. Balance brought forward • """ £2,437 9 2 Less dividend 7 per cent, declared May 17. 1901, and directors' honorarium voted same day 2,837 9 2 „ , £1,036 16 0 March 31, 1902—Net profit for 12 months, after providing for insurance, depreciation, and boiler accounts 5,089 3 1 Transfer fees 11 0 0 Total ... £6,136 1? 1 April 1. Available balance brought down £3,699 3 11 chairman's speech. In moving the adoption of the annual report the Chairman said: —ln meeting you again with our annual statement of accounts, I may first of all inform you that the formalities necessary to give effect to the resolution passed at the recent extraordinary meeting of shareholders have been complied with, and the nominal capital of the company, as you will see from the balancesheet, now stands at 300,000 shares. I need not dwell on the importance of this step, which is an indication not only of the progress of the company but of the province in which our operations are carried on, but would remark that it is very appropriate the event should have taken place this year when the company has attained its majority. As you are aware, your directors have decided to issue 40,000 ? of the new shares, in order to provide for a. new vessel for the Whangarei trade, 'and in the course of a few days forms of application will be issued to shareholders, who will have the first opportunity of taking them up. The indications at present are in favour of a very hearty response, and I have no doubt that in a short time the entire issue will be absorbed. This addition to our capital will place us in a strong position financially, and enable us to meet the increasing demands that are being made upon our re-' sources. Our manager, Mr. Charles Ranson, accompanied by Mr. G. Gow, the superintendent engineer, has left for Great Britain for the purpose of negotiating for the new vessel, which will be equipped in the most modern style, so as to satisfy all reasonable public demands. Coming now to the accounts which are before, you, I may say that while the number of passengers carried during the year has increased by 9000, there has not been a corresponding response in revenue, as large numbers have been carried on special occasions—such as the Royal visit—at low rates, showing that there are limits below which these become unprofitable. During the year our steamers have carried 116,624 passengers without any mishap, which, I think you will agree with me, is a very satisfactory record. In some of our services as the Thames, Paeroa, Coromandel and Northern tradesthere has been, from various causes, a marked decline in the volume of traffic, but there is no reason to suppose that this is other than temporary. The claims upon our insurance account have again, happily, been moderate, the principal item arising from a collision between two of our steamers in the Thames River. The circumstances connected with the accident wore investigated by a Magisterial court of inquiry, which completely acquitted both masters of blame. Two of our steamersthe Gairloch and Kanieri— undergone extensive overhauls during the year, the cost of which has been added to the value to which we have written them down in our books, but even with the addition they are both much below their market value. They are now in first-class order and should serve us for many years to come. For the maintenance of our trade at Hohoura, north of Mangonui, we have erected a, substantial wharf, the convenience of which is much appreciated by settlers and traders in that district, and since a good deal of attention is now being directed to settlement in the North, we aro hopeful that future developments will justify the expenditure. We have also gone to considerable expense in improving our Oliiwa wharf, and in placing on it a large shod for the storage of maize and other produce. The completion of this work has enabled us to improve the Bay of Plenty service, and the prosperous districts of Opotiki and Whakatane now enjoy the advantage of bi-weekly communication with Auckland. The Upper Thames trade has declined somewhat owing to the cessation of active mining operations in many parts of the Ohinemuri district. We have secured the lease -, of a piece of land at a point on the river known as the -Puke, whore the Waihi Gold Mining Company are now erecting a wharf and sheds. We are also building a wharf and shed, as the company mentioned have notified us that they will shortly require all their cargo delivered there, and as it would be impossible to work both wharves, we have decided, to make the Puke the future place of delivery. All our vessels have been thoroughly overhauled and are in good repair, the cost in some oases being heavy, as it was thought better to have the work done before the manager and superintendent engineer left for Great Britain, so that the repairs during the coming winter might be as light as possible. Next year the Clansman will require a new boiler, and it is the manager's intention to invite tenders in Scotland, and have the material shaped and sent to the colony, where the boiler will be built. When that work is undertaken it is also intended to furnish the vessel with an electric light installation, and to make such other improvements in passenger accommodation as will make her a comparatively new and up-to-date vessel. Your directors recognise the increasing important of the dairy industry throughout the province, and in order that consignments may be carried at a suitable temperature the manager has been authorised to negotiate for the purchase of refrigerating plants for our larger vessels. These will enable country factories to have their produce delivered here in such a condition as to command the highest price, and will also assist the development of the export trade. The company's relations with its employees continue satisfactory, notwithstanding the fact that Ave were cited in the beginning of the year, along with other steamship owners, by the Seamen's Union before the Court of Arbitration. As

the award has not yet been given, I mil not refer further to these proceedings at present. I regret to say that Mr. J. Coutts, who has been connected with the company since its formation, and has latterly had charge of the stewards' department, has been obliged to retire- through ill-health. Numerous applications were received for the vacant office, "and the Board, after carefully going over them, decided to appoint Mr. E. H. Rooney as' superintendent providore. It is gratifying to me to be able to lay before you such a satisfactory report, and to state that, notwithstanding "the circumstances referred to, our operations justify us in the payment of the usual dividend. I trust that when we meet again next year it will be under equally favourable auspices. Mr. Maxwell seconded. Mr. H. Green, speaking to the report and accounts, said it appeared that things had not been quite so rosy during the past year as previously, for while there had been an increase in the passenger traffic, there was not a corresponding increase in the revenue, •while there had also been a falling away in the freights in some of the services. The balance-sheet also showed that the accounts owing by the company were nearly £5000 in excess of the previous 12 months, while the accounts owing to the company had increased by some £1200. On the other hand the assets compared with last year showed an advance of £2400, which would to an extent account for the overdraft. He merely drew attention to the firstnamed amounts, as if not veil looked after there was a tendency to grow. , The report and balance-sheet were then adopted as read. ELECTION'S. On the motion of Mr. G. S. Kissling, seconded by Mr. Chapman. Captain H. i. Anderson, and Messrs. A. H. Nathan and J. R. Gray, who retired by rotation, but were eligible and offered themselves for reelection, were unanimously re-elected to the Board of Directors. Mr. A. H. Nathan returned thanks on behalf of himself and fellow directors, and in doing so referred to the remarks that had fallen from Mr. Green. Ho pointed out that in a company where the transactions were so large as in the Northern Steamship Company, it was impossible to regulate the accounts so as to allow of a comparison of one year with another. During tho past winter the company had been to large expense in connection with the fleet and other matters pertaining to the service, and what had been thus spent would be met by the corresponding saving during the year they were just entering upon. In the case of the accounts owing- to the company the amounts owed by agents were guaranteed by the agents. The directors had seen that the property of the company had been well looked 'after, and taken 'altogether he considered that the statement of affairs showed a satisfactory position, inasmuch as that the volume of trade had warranted the payment of the usual dividend. On the motion of. Mr. G. Winstone, Messrs. Chas. A. Jonas and G. O'Halloran, jun., were reappointed auditors to the company. The usual votes of thanks were accorded to the directors, manager (Mr. C. Ranson), officers and staff of the company, the actingmanager (Mr. J. J. Ker) returning thanks on behalf of tho officers and staff. A vole of thanks to the chairman concluded the business. The interim dividend, at the rate of 7 per cent, per annum, will be payable at the company's offices, Quay-street, on or after Monday next. ■

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NORTHERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY, LIMITED., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXIX, Issue 11962, 10 May 1902

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NORTHERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY, LIMITED. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXIX, Issue 11962, 10 May 1902

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