§ Mr. Emery
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage return on the capital employed was obtained by each of the nationalised industries at the time of the end of its last accounting period, and what estimate he considered should be obtained when he set the external finance limit for the financial year 1981–82.
§ Mr. Brittan
[pursuant to his reply, 28 January 1981, c. 471]: The percentage returns on average capital employed in the table below have been obtained from the latest annual reports and accounts of the industries. They are not strictly comparable because of variations in the accounting policies of the industries concerned.
Nationalised Industry Return on average capital employed percentage 1979–80 National Coal Board 0.2 Electricity Council and Boards 7.7 North of Scotland Hydro-Electricity Board 9.7 South of Scotland Electricity Board 8.5 British Gas Corporation 20.6 British Steel Corporation (13.0) Post Office 10.4 British Airways Board 6.3 British Airports Authority 11.0 British Shipbuilders (111.0) 1979 British Railways Board 3.6
Nationalised Industry Return on average capital employed percentage British Transport Docks Board 15.1 British Waterways Board — National Freight Company 12.9 National Bus Company 10.1 Scottish Transport Group 1.2 British National Oil corporation 16.4 British Aerospace *23.0 *Trading profits as a return on average assets employed.
The industries' current financial targets were listed by my predecessor on 28 July 1980—[Vol. 989, c. 681–3]. In addition, a new medium term target for the Scottish Bus Group was announced on 19 December—[Vol. 976, c. 463–4]. In the note on external financing limits issued with my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 4 August statement on the nationalised industries—[Vol. 990, c. 41–42]—the Government made it clear that the starting point for discussion of the industries' external financing limits would be the industries' medium term objectives, including financial targets. The expected profit performances relating to 1981–82 which underlie the external financing limits announced by my predecessor on 25 November—[Vol. 994, c. 43]—will be included as usual in the next Financial Statement and Budget Report.