Page images
PDF
EPUB

from January 1 to December 31, 1892-Continued.

CAPITAL STOCK.

LIABILITIES.

80,000 shares, at 500 francs...

Five per cent bonds to be converted or paid off.

Three per cent bonds (294,240 bonds, payable in seventy-one years) 220,366.45 francs due Valery Company, capitalized at 6 per cent.

[blocks in formation]

Francs. 40, 000, 000. 00 40, 500.00 96, 681, 379. 20 4, 407, 737. 30

141, 129, 616. 50

Balance in
1891.

Reserve in
1892.

Total reserves.

Francs.
15, 866, 211.80

Francs.
135, 351. 89

Francs. 8,096, 290, 29 7,905, 273. 40 16, 001, 563. 69 2,648, 721, 79 94, 714. 617. 21 113, 364, 902. 69

Reserve for depreciation...

2,568, 721.79 89, 313, 884.77

80,000.00 5, 400, 732. 44

[blocks in formation]

Francs. 1,714, 827.40

Total

3,099, 044.00

18,650, 285. 48

80,000.00

1,634,827.40

164, 513, 773.38

COMPAGNIE DES MESSAGERIES MARITIMES,

Following is the report for the calendar year 1892, dated May 30, 1893:

Though the sum total of our balance sheet, 137,150,010.30 francs, differs but slightly from the total of 1891, nevertheless, during 1892, two steamships of large size, l'Armand-Behic and Ville de la Ciotat, representing together 13,125 gross tons and 14,000-horse power, have been added to the line.

On the other hand, three vessels, the Meinam, Ebre, and Rio Grande, representing 6,054 gross tons and 4,600-horse power, have been sold to be broken up, having fin

ished their term of usefulness.

Thus, while the initial value of the fleet remains the same, the fleet in 1892 was augmented by 7,071 tons and 9,400-horse power.

The fleet then, as brought forward on the balance sheet of 1891, (representing the value of hulls and machinery when new)..

The constraction of the Behic and Ville de la Ciotat, and disinfecting apparatus on all steamers of the Indo-China line caused an outlay of

Which brings the sum up to..

Deducting the valuation as fixed in former reports of the retired ships Meinam, Ebre, and Rio Grande..

This deduction being made, the first value of the 58 ships comprising the fleet on
December 31, 1892, amounts to...

We have had to add

For furnishing of steamships.

For expenditures on steamships (No. 102) under construction at La Ciotat.

Making a total of..

Francs. 119, 738, 490.97

11, 553, 996. 02 131, 292, 486. 99

4,933, 469.56

126, 359, 017. 43

8,927,457, 09 1, 863, 535. 78

137, 150, 010. 30

The sum of 60,239,129.57 francs charged as liability to "reserve for depreciation" applies to the ships-hulls and machinery.

The Ville de la Ciotat, finished in 1892, did not commence service till 1893, and no sum is written off for its depreciation. Taking this into account, comparison of the "reserve for depreciation" funds to the value of the fleet, the Ville de la Ciotat not included, shows that the deductions made represent 50 per cent of the original value of the fleet.

STORES.

(Fuel, provisions, works in course of construction, and repairs.)

Our report last year showed a decrease of the invested capital carried under these various chapters. This decrease was still further accentuated by the following balances during the year 1892:

[blocks in formation]

A part of this--nearly 950,000 francs-should be charged to changes in the coaling of the ships at certain ports, notably those of the extreme East, where Asiatic coals are substituted more and more for those brought from Europe.

On the other hand, the slackness of work at the yards of La Ciotat following the completion of the last large steamers destined for the Australian line has caused a decrease of nearly 600,000 francs in the value of materials and stores there.

Real estate, shipyards, repair shops, machinery, furnishings, and apparatus on the balance sheet of 1891 amounted to a sum total of 16,511,938.43 francs, which was reduced December 31, 1892, to 12,381,527.48, as follows: Real estate and machinery, 11,674,589.16 francs; furnishing and stores at agencies, 706,938.32 francs; a difference of 4,130,410.95 francs.

The method of keeping these accounts has been modified to make a more exact allowance for depreciation which our real estate has undergone during the past thirty or forty years.

Amount in bank and on hand.

Deposits and cash in bank and on hand as per report of 1892..
To which add for 1891

Total

Francs. 11, 771, 091. 39 1,768, 602. 64

13, 539, 694. 03

SUNDRY DEBTORS.

Charges for transportation of which there was some dispute, not having been settled before the end of the year 1892, swell the debtor account on December 31 last to 15,549,039.86 francs.

We recall to you that the accounts "Sundry debts and credits" are composed chiefly of accounts which are audited during the following year. Except for some unimportant cases of which disposition is made under head of depreciation, the account "Sundry debts," does not include doubtful credits. This account can not be clearly understood unless by separating the balance and comparison of the two accounts.

[blocks in formation]

The capital stock is unchanged; in 1891 you authorized us to borrow up to the amount of 20,000,000 francs.

Except for the issue in July, 1891, of 20,000 of bonds, we have not used this power, reserving it for cases of serious unforeseen need. The "calling" of bonds has reduced the number in circulation to 67,522, which represents a value of 33,761,000 francs.

RESERVE FOR DEPRECIATION OF SHIPS.

We have placed aside the usual percentage for the maintenance of the fleet, amounting to 5,292,411.74 francs. This amount has been carried to the reserve fund, after deducting the amount which was necessary for the calling of bonds specially issued for the reconstruction of the fleet.

By means of investments of the profits of 1892 the reserve fund for depreciation would have been 65,172,599.13 francs, if we had not found it necessary to retire the Meinam, Ebre, and Rio Grande, the deduction for which was 4,933,469.56 francs. Thus the balance of the depreciation fund to December 31, 1892, has been lowered to 60,239,129.59 francs.

INSURANCE FUND.

Franes. After having met the expenses due to the operations of 1892, the balance of this fund is... 8,567,322 December 31, 1891. it was...

We have not hesitated to fix the maximum risk carried by the company at

7,422, 157 3,500,000

[blocks in formation]

The year 1892 marked the termination of a period of our great works of construction, to which exceptional impulse had been given by the agreement of 1886 which renewed our contracts with the State.

The commissioning of the Ville de la Ciotat completes the fleet for the principal line to Australia, which is now served by four steamships of 6,500 gross tonnage and 7,000 horse-power.

You possess in this line vessels of the first order, second in no respect to those of the great English companies running to Australia, whose efforts, it can not be denied, tend always to the greatest speed to be had by increase in tonnage and power of machinery.

The Ville de la Ciotat has finished her second voyage to Australia, and her behavior demonstrates that this ship will give the utmost satisfaction and will soon become a favorite with the public.

If we look back at the efforts and sacrifices which we have made to maintain this line to Australia since its establishment, in 1881, we will find that in that period of a dozen years there have entered the service thirty new ships, having together a gross tonnage of 118,468 and 94,150 horse-power, the construction of which has employed a capital of 89,000,000 francs, to which we must add the value of the

ships bought and the reconstruction of old ones, making a total of 95,000,000 francs. Two-thirds of this capital has been furnished by your reserves, increased each year by deductions made from the profits of sundry accounts of reserve funds for depreciation. Thus you have had to borrow only 35,000,000 francs.

There is still in the shipyard at La Ciotat a freight boat of a new type, destined for the India-China line.

We have recently decided to build another large freight boat, which we design for the line to Brazil and La Plata. The entrance of this boat into the service will permit us to reduce the force now at Bordeaux and procure better results for the service.

There are still resources arising from the reserve fund which will be devoted to the construction of these two boats.

The contract entered into in 1881 between the Government of Cochin China and your company for a coasting service, which was a sort of prolongation of your principal line, came to an end December 31, 1892.

We can announce that M. Rolland, your principal agent at Saigon, authorized by us to negotiate the renewal of these treaties with the general Government of India. China, has signed with M. de Lanessan a contract which will concede the lines from Saigon to Singapore and Saigon to Tonquin to your company for a period of ten years, dating from January 1, 1893.

The general Government of India China not having thought it necessary to continue the service between Saigon and Manila, we have abandoned without regret the running of the annex line between Cochin China and the Philippines.

The new contract pays a subsidy of 22 francs per marine league between Saigon and Singapore; that between Saigon and Haiphoug, 20 francs.

Concerning the operation of your steamers, if we confine ourselves to the facts reported in 1892, we have the satisfaction of having no serious accidents to announce, outside of the loss of the Delta, which was wrecked the 28th of November, 1891, and of which mention was made in our last report. There was a total loss, which appears on your books for 16,356.91 francs, representing the costs incident to the shipwreck and the stores aboard at the time.

Since the 1st of January we have to report the loss of the Niemen, which was lost off the coast of Ceylon the 21st of last January. She was a ship of an old type, and is charged on your books at only the cost of repairs made in 1887, when she also received new machinery.

VOYAGES.

The total number of voyages made in 1892 was 429, representing 822,135 marine leagues. Five hundred and five thousand seven hundred and ninety-six leagues of this number were made in 243 trips to carry ont the obligations of the mail contract. The other 316,339 leagues were made in 186 trips in the free service.

Compared with 1891 the results of 1892 show a decrease of 11,599 leagues lost entirely by the free service, and explained not only by fewer trips on the commercial line to La Plata, but by the reduction to one steamer fortnightly of our line from Hai-Phong to Hongkong. The speed obtained was: On the mail service to Brazil, an average of 14.51 knots, 0.51 more than called for.

To Australia and New Caledonia, where the obligatory average is 13 knots, the general average has been brought to 14.21 knots by the use of the three large steamers of modern type. The service being now carried on by four steamers of the same power, we may look for still better results in 1893.

On the principal India-China-Japan line the speed attained was 13.10 knots, 0.10 over the average required.

The service to East Africa has given an average of 13.10 knots, 0.10 over that required.

In the Mediterranean you can show 13.07 knots on the line between Marseilles, Alexandria, and Beirut, and 12.37 knots between Marseilles, the Piræus, and Smyrna, over the average required by the first of 13 and by the second of 12.

We gave you last year a report of the result of trying a mercantile line to Australia by sending out the Dordogne in August, 1891. This attempt was renewed on a larger scale in 1892. We sent out in August and September the freight boats Charente and Adour, and to carry the freight intended for New Caledonia, the Dordogne and Cordouan.

These four ships have made their voyages with perfect regularity to Australia, their time not varying forty-eight hours. The trips were via the Cape of Good Hope and the return has been effected by way of the Suez Canal. The Charente, Adour, and Dordogne have returned with cargoes of wool, the greater part destined for Dunkirk. The Cordouan returns next month entirely laden with merchandise for Marseilles and Bordeaux.

Your freight boats were in Australia during a very dull season for freight. By reason of the condition of the maritime traffic in general, steamers of all national

ities had flocked in large numbers to Australia in the hope that the exportation of wool would quickly bring them a return cargo, which would pay well. The superabundance of means of transportation produced effects exactly contrary; it was with great trouble and after many delays that sufficiently large cargoes have been obtained, and the rate for freight has been kept very low, on account of the large tonnage present.

In spite of these unfavorable circumstances, we have in no way regretted the effort made to take part in a traffic so closely concerning the commerce and industries of our country. If your service has not attained quite as satisfactory results as it might under more normal conditions, it has at least not suffered from your enterprise.

TRAFFIC.

Passengers carried in 1891, 112,770; in 1892, 108,314, including 18,437 passengers for the Government, of whom 2,639 were carried free under our postal subsidy agreement, as last year most passengers were carried over the Brazil-La Plata lines.

[blocks in formation]

In his address to you last year our president, M. Al. Simons, did not leave you in ignorance of the fears aroused in 1892. To the causes which interrupted traffic-the yellow fever in Brazil, quarantines at La Plata, continuation of the political and financial crisis in South America-must be added, for the second half of the year, all sorts of troubles arising from the appearance of cholera in Europe.

Your vessels have been subject to severe quarantine regulations in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic, and even from Suez to Australia.

We can not close without making allusion to the consequences which must ensue to a company like yours from the great modifications in the economic policy of our country during the last year.

It would be impossible for a company owing its maintenance to international exchanges not to be affected, at least temporarily, by a change of tariffs.

Finally, the commerce of the whole world seems to be in a state of general uneasiness, which manifests itself in crises, the gravity of which can not have escaped your notice.

So far as the merchant marine is concerned, we have been no worse off than the English and German navigation companies, as will be seen by their published reports. From all sides arises a chorus of complaints of the stagnation of affairs, the insufficiency of products, the lightness of the freight, and, above all, the excess of tonnage. The French navigation lines, especially those touching at Marseilles, do not appear to have been more injured than others.

You will not, therefore, be surprised that under these exceptionally adverse circumstances the report of 1892 shows a decrease of 2,973,050.83 francs during the year. This amount is lessened by 1,972,166.62 francs by economies practiced in every branch of your service. Coal counts in this saving for 1,011,917.94 francs, although the use of more powerful engines has increased the annual consumption by 6,408 tons.

In the face of this situation it is impossible to propose the usual annual dividend of 30 francs. It would even be difficult to pay 25 francs had we not in reserve profits procured by the sale of real estate of which account was rendered in our last report.

In adding the amount of these profits to the receipts of the year 1892, the total receipts, augmented by the results of the liquidation of 1891 and previous years, we have 54,832,484.69 francs. Expenditures of all kinds, including the reserve for depreciation maintained at the nsual rate, as stated on the balance sheet, were 50,262,056.33 francs. Balance, 4,570,428.36 francs. After deducting for interest on bonds and

« PreviousContinue »