William Houlding and the Moss’ Empires, Ltd.

February 8, 1907
The directors of Moss’ Empires, Ltd., in their report for 1906 to the annual meeting to be held at Edinburgh on February 14, 1907, state that the balance at credit of profit and loss account, inclusive of the amount brought forward from the previous year, is £101,495. From this there fall to be deducted the preference share dividend for 1906, which amounted to £22,537, and the interim dividend paid on the ordinary shares for the half-year to June 30, 1906, the amount of which was £13,920. After giving effect to these deductions the sim of £65,038 remains to be dealt at this time.

The directors now recommend that the sum of £25,000 be carried to reserve account, and that a dividend be paid on the ordinary shares for the half-year ended December 31, 1906 at the rate of 10 per cent. per annum, free of income-tax, which will absorb £27,841, leaving a balance of £12,197 to be carried forward. The profits from theatres, rents, etc., during 1906, amounted to £144,621, as compared with £108,766 in 1905. The directors believe that the main factor in this substantial increase has been the improvement in trade throughout the country.

It is a satisfactory feature of the year’s business that the profits of each successive quarter have shown an increase on the preceding quarters. The directors have entered into a contract for the purchase of the Grand Theatre, Birmingham, under which the company get possession of that property on March 1, 1907. The directors were of opinion that they would have been neglecting the best interest of the shareholders had they failed to avail themselves of the opportunity which presented itself of acquiring this large and centrally situated theatre. The state of the money and stock markets during the past year has not been favourable to the issue of debentures, referred to in the last report, but the directors are keeping that matter in view, so that action may be taken when more favourable conditions have arisen.

On June 29, 1906, the directors added Mr. William Houlding, 5 Aigburth Drive, Liverpool, to the Board. They believe that in respect of business capacity and experience, and in view of the fact that Mr. Houlding and his immediate relatives are among the largest shareholders in the company, his appointment was an eminently appropriate one, and this opinion has been fully justified by the work done by Mr. Houlding since he accepted a seat at the Board.
(Source: Music Hall and Theatre Review: February 8, 1907)


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