§ 39. Sir William Clark
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what evidence he has on the trend of company profitability.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
The trend in company profitability is strongly upwards. The profits of non-North sea industrial and commercial companies in the first three quarters of 1983 were about one quarter higher than in the same period in 1982 and North sea company profits rose by a similar amount. The latest official figures for company profitability, provided by the estimates of industrial net pre-tax real rates of return published inBritish Business in September 1983, show an increase for non-North sea companies from 4 per cent. in 1981 to 4.3 per cent. in 1982.