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Industrial profitability in the trans-World War II period, 1938–1950

A. J. Arnold

Accounting History Review, 2017, vol. 27, issue 1, 101-114

Abstract: World War II had major effects on the British economy, yet we know very little about wartime levels of profitability, despite their importance to individual businessmen, to signalling mechanisms for resource allocation, and to social cohesion under wartime conditions. The Companies Acts of 1947–1948 greatly improved corporate disclosures and brought many existing secret reserves to the surface. This study analyses the publicly filed information of a set of major UK-quoted companies in order to provide a consistent series of profit rates for British industry and thereby add to our knowledge of the trans-war period 1938–1950.

Date: 2017
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