Monday 8 December 2008
ALL FOUR questions are compulsory and MUST be attempted
1 Pace Company (PC) runs a large number of wholesale stores and is increasing the number of these stores all the time.
It measures the performance of each store on the basis of a target return on investment (ROI) of 15%. Store managers
get a bonus of 10% of their salary if their store’s annual ROI exceeds the target each year. Once a store is built there
is very little further capital expenditure until a full four years have passed.
PC has a store (store W) in the west of the country. Store W has historic financial data as follows over the past four
2005 2006 2007 2008
Sales ($’000) 200 200 180 170
Gross profit ($’000) 80 70 63 51
Net profit ($’000) 13 14 10 8
Net assets at start of year ($’000) 100 80 60 40
The market in which PC operates has been growing steadily. Typically, PC’s stores generate a 40% gross profit margin.
(a) Discuss the past financial performance of store W using ROI and any other measure you feel appropriate
and, using your findings, discuss whether the ROI correctly reflects Store W’s actual performance.
(b) Explain how a manager in store W might have been able to manipulate the results so as to gain bonuses
more frequently. (4 marks)
PC has another store (store S) about to open in the south of the country. It has asked you for help in calculating the
gross profit, net profit and ROI it can expect over each of the next four years. The following information is provided:
Sales volume in the first year will be 18,000 units. Sales volume will grow at the rate of 10% for years two and three
but no further growth is expected in year 4. Sales price will start at $12 per unit for the first two years but then reduce
by 5% per annum for each of the next two years.
Gross profit will start at 40% but will reduce as the sales price reduces. All purchase prices on goods for resale will
remain constant for the four years.
Overheads, including depreciation, will be $70,000 for the first two years rising to $80,000 in years three and four.
Store S requires an investment of $100,000 at the start of its first year of trading.
PC depreciates non-current assets at the rate of 25% of cost. No residual value is expected on these assets.
(c) Calculate (in columnar form) the revenue, gross profit, net profit and ROI of store S over each of its first four
years. (9 marks)
(d) Calculate the minimum sales volume required in year 4 (assuming all other variables remain unchanged) to
earn the manager of S a bonus in that year. (4 marks)
2 Shifters Haulage (SH) is considering changing some of the vans it uses to transport crates for customers. The new
vans come in three sizes; small, medium and large. SH is unsure about which type to buy. The capacity is 100 crates
for the small van, 150 for the medium van and 200 for the large van.
Demand for crates varies and can be either 120 or 190 crates per period, with the probability of the higher demand
figure being 0·6.
The sale price per crate is $10 and the variable cost $4 per crate for all van sizes subject to the fact that if the capacity
of the van is greater than the demand for crates in a period then the variable cost will be lower by 10% to allow for
the fact that the vans will be partly empty when transporting crates.
SH is concerned that if the demand for crates exceeds the capacity of the vans then customers will have to be turned
away. SH estimates that in this case goodwill of $100 would be charged against profits per period to allow for lost
future sales regardless of the number of customers that are turned away.
Depreciation charged would be $200 per period for the small, $300 for the medium and $400 for the large van.
SH has in the past been very aggressive in its decision-making, pressing ahead with rapid growth strategies. However,
its managers have recently grown more cautious as the business has become more competitive.
(a) Explain the principles behind the maximax, maximin and expected value criteria that are sometimes used to
make decisions in uncertain situations. (4 marks)
(b) Prepare a profits table showing the SIX possible profit figures per period. (9 marks)
(c) Using your profit table from (b) above discuss which type of van SH should buy taking into consideration the
possible risk attitudes of the managers. (6 marks)
(d) Describe THREE methods other than those mentioned in (a) above, which businesses can use to analyse and
assess the risk that exists in its decision-making. (6 marks)