Tax reforms
writing down allowances (WDAs) for plant and machinery are likely
to be reduced from 25 to 20 per cent under new proposals just
issued by HM Revenue & Customs. A 10 per cent WDA rate will
also apply to a new category of integral fixture plant attached to
buildings, such as lifts and escalators. Changes are also expected
to first year allowances (FYAs) for plant acquired by small firms,
and for “eco-friendly” asset types such as recycling equipment. The
changes are due to come into effect in April 2008. 


Profits drop at SFS 

Siemens Financial Services saw an 11 per cent drop in pre-tax
profits during its last quarter. The company linked this drop, from
€64m to €57m, to an increase in the volume of project finance
business, particularly in Germany. Total assets, which includes all
of its loans and leases, also dropped, from €10.5bn at the end of
Q3 2007 to a year-on-year figure of €8.7bn. Over the past nine
months SFS’ pre tax profits have increased by almost 50 per

Profits up at Babcock & Brown 

Leasing specialist Babcock & Brown has announced a group net
profit after tax of £101.7m (AUS$250.1m) for half year 2007, a 53
per cent increase on the same period the year before.The
Australia-based firm achieved a net revenue increase of 42 per cent
to £326.7m (AUS$804m), of which operating leasing and structured
finance contributed 19 per cent and 2 per cent