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Question 31b

PV Co, a large stock-exchange-listed company, is evaluating an investment proposal to manufacture Product W33, which has performed well in test marketing trials conducted recently by the company’s research and development division. Product W33 will be manufactured using a fully-automated process which would significantly increase noise levels from PV Co’s factory. The following information relating to this investment proposal has now been prepared:

Initial investment $2 million
Selling price (current price terms) $20 per unit
Expected selling price inflation 3% per year
Variable operating costs (current price terms) $8 per unit
Fixed operating costs (current price terms) $170,000 per year
Expected operating cost inflation 4% per year
The research and development division has prepared the following demand forecast as a result of its test marketing trials. The forecast reflects expected technological change and its effect on the anticipated life-cycle of Product W33.
Year 1 2 3 4
Demand (units) 60,000 70,000 120,000 45,000

It is expected that all units of Product W33 produced will be sold, in line with the company’s policy of keeping no inventory of finished goods. No terminal value or machinery scrap value is expected at the end of four years, when production of Product W33 is planned to end. For investment appraisal purposes, PV Co uses a nominal (money) discount rate of 10% per year and a target return on capital employed of 30% per year. Ignore taxation.

(b) Briefly discuss your findings in each section of (a) above and advise whether the investment proposal is financially acceptable. (4 marks)

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