London, February 16
BLACKROCK SMALLER COMPANIES TRUST PLC (LEI: 549300MS535KC2WH4082)
All information is at 31 January 2017 and unaudited.
Performance at month end is calculated on a capital only basis
|One month |
|Three months |
|Net asset value*||3.7||11.4||19.5||26.1||109.3|
|Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index||1.8||6.5||17.9||7.4||53.2|
*performance calculations based on a capital only NAV with debt at par, without income reinvested. Share price performance calculations exclude income reinvestment.
Sources: BlackRock and Datastream
|At month end|
|Net asset value Capital only(debt at par value):||1,187.62p|
|Net asset value Capital only(debt at fair value):||1,178.05p|
|Net asset value incl. Income(debt at par value)**:||1,201.86p|
|Net asset value incl. Income(debt at fair value)**:||1,192.30p|
|Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at par value):||16.7%|
|Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at fair value):||16.0%|
|Gearing range as a % of net assets:||0-15%|
|Net gearing including income (debt at par):||7.2%|
|2016 Ongoing charges ratio^^||0.7%|
|2016 Ongoing charges ratio (including performance fees):||0.9%|
|Ordinary shares in issue#:||47,879,792|
**includes net revenue of 14.24p
^includes current year revenue
^^ As reported in the Annual Financial Report for the year ended 29 February 2016, the ongoing charges ratio is calculated as a percentage of net assets and using operating expenses, excluding performance fees, finance costs and taxation.
^^^Yield calculations are based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of release of this announcement, and comprise of the final dividend of 10.50 pence per share, (announced on 25 April 2016, ex-dividend on 19 May 2016) and the interim dividend of 8.00 pence per share (announced on 25 October 2016 and gone ex-dividend on 3 November 2016)
#excludes 2,113,731 shares held in treasury.
|Sector Weightings||% of portfolio|
|Oil & Gas||3.9|
|Travel & Leisure||0.3|
|Ten Largest Equity Investments|
|Company||% of portfolio|
|JD Sports Fashion||1.7|
|Hill & Smith||1.7|
|Advanced Medical Solutions||1.4|
Commenting on the markets, Mike Prentis, representing the Investment Manager noted:
During January the Company’s NAV per share rose by 3.7% to 1187.6p on a capital only basis whilst our benchmark index (Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index) rose by 1.8%; the FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.6%.
Outperformance was largely driven by good stock selection, although sector allocation was also positive, as was the contribution from gearing.
The biggest positive contributors to stock selection were our holdings in MaxCyte, KAZ Minerals and Polar Capital Holdings. MaxCyte shares, a small investment made on IPO in March 2016, have been very strong in recent months. MaxCyte is a developer and supplier of cell engineering products and technologies to biopharmaceuticals firms. Revenues, although still quite modest, grew by more than 30% in 2016 and look set to continue growing strongly. KAZ Minerals is executing well as it ramps up production at its two large mines in Eastern Kazakhstan. The increase in the copper price is timely for the company and should help it achieve a significant improvement in cash flows in 2017. Polar Capital Holdings announced that in Q4 2016 net funds under management increased by more than £300m, a welcome increase after a number of quarters of net outflows.
The largest detractors from relative performance during the month were our two largest holdings, CVS Group and 4imprint Group. CVS Group succumbed to some modest profit taking after a strong run in the shares which followed a good trading update. 4imprint Group announced that 2016 revenues increased by 13%, all organic, with profit before tax expected to be towards the top end of market expectations. We continue to see the shares as attractive and a good play on the likely continuing strength of the US economy.
Sector allocation was modestly positive helped by overweight sector weightings in industrial engineering and mining companies.
Activity during the month was quite limited. However, we added a holding in Countryside Properties which builds houses both on land owned or controlled by itself, and also on land owned by public bodies including local authorities. The latter approach avoids the need to buy land in these situations and helps Countryside generate good returns on investment on such long term developments, and also provides visibility of revenues. We believe the company looks set for good earnings growth.
16 February 2017
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