HC Deb 08 April 1971 vol 815 cc271-2W
43. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry having regard to the prospective loss of £100 million by the British Steel Corporation during 1971, whether he will state the aggregate of profits, before tax, of the constituent companies of the steel industry in a corresponding year, approximately 10 years earlier and prior to the prospect of nationalisation.

Sir J. Eden

The British Steel Corporation calculate that the aggregate trading profits of the 14 major steel companies for their varying financial years ending in the calendar year 1961 amounted to £104 million, after depreciation but before interest and taxation. This calculation is on the basis of the companies' individual practices in charging depreciation. The Corporation's financial outturn for 1971–72 is a subject of the review I announced on 18th March.

Dame Irene Ward

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will give an analysis of the appropriate figures of the British Steel Corporation showing the profits and losses in a comparable context from the period when steel was produced on a profitable basis up to the last figures available, and including the losses which have resulted in price increases and price increases foreshadowed.

Mr. Noble

The profits (losses) before tax, but after depreciation and interest, of the British Steel Corporation as recorded in its Annual Reports were:

£ million £ million £ million
1967–68* 1968–691† 1969–70‡
(21.3) (21.9) 10.2
*18 month period. †12-month period.
‡6-month period.

For previous years I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given today to the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Hills- borough (Mr. Darling) and the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane). The Corporation's current financial situation is a subject of the review my right hon. Friend announced on 18th March.

Mr. Lane

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will state respectively the turnover, profit, and the percentage return on capital employed of the steel companies and their subsidiaries which are now part of the British Steel Corporation, individually, and in total, for each of the five years before nationalisation, together with the comparable figures for each year since nationalisation.

Mr. Ridley

It will take some time to extract the information sought by my hon. Friend and to put it on a comparable basis so far as this is possible. I will reply further as soon as I am in a position to do so.

Mr. Darling

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total sum of profits or losses of the steel companies, now within the British Steel Corporation, in the financial year prior to nationalisation, calculated on the same basis for depreciation and other factors as in the Corporation's financial accounts, and compared with the most recent available figures.

Sir J. Eden

The information in the precise form requested in the first part of the Question is not available to me, but the 14 major companies' aggregated trading profits in the financial year ending in 1967 was £23 million after depreciation on their own individual bases but before interest and tax. The latest audited figures in its last Annual Report and Accounts for the 26-week period from September, 1969, to March, 1970, show that the British Steel Corporation made a profit of £26.2 million before tax and interest but after depreciation on the Corporation's present bases.

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