21/06/2019 13:30:00

Portfolio Update

BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust Plc - Portfolio Update

PR Newswire


All information is at 31 May 2019 and unaudited.

Performance at month end is calculated on a capital only basis

One month


Three months











Net asset value*0.28.9-4.844.863.8
Share price*-3.26.2-4.355.273.3
Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index-1.32.6-9.515.513.3

*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):1,509.95p
Net asset value Capital only(debt at fair value):1,500.63p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at par value)1:1,524.10p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at fair value)1:1,514.78p
Share price1,412.00p
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at par value):7.4%
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at fair value):6.7%
Net yield2:2.2%
Gross assets3:£779.4m
Gearing range as a % of net assets:0-15%
Net gearing including income (debt at par):7.5%
2019 Ongoing charges ratio4:0.7%
Ordinary shares in issue5:47,879,792

  1. includes net revenue of 14.15p.

  2. 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 19.20 pence per share, (announced on 03 May 2019, ex-dividend on 16 May 2019).

  3. includes current year revenue.

  • As reported in the Annual Financial Report for the year ended 28 February 2019 the Ongoing Charges Ratio (OCR) was 0.7%. The OCR is calculated as a percentage of net assets and using operating expenses, excluding performance fees, finance costs and taxation.

  • excludes 2,113,731 shares held in treasury.

  • Sector Weightings

    % of portfolio

    Consumer Services15.9
    Consumer Goods8.5
    Health Care7.6
    Basic Materials5.7
    Oil & Gas5.3




    Ten Largest Equity Investments


    % of portfolio

    4imprint Group2.7
    Robert Walters2.0
    Advanced Medical Solutions1.8
    Liontrust Asset Management1.7
    Polar Capital Holdings1.6
    RWS Holdings1.6
    Big Yellow1.5

    Commenting on the markets, Roland Arnold, representing the Investment Manager noted:

    During May the Company’s NAV per share rose by 0.2%1 to 1,509.95p on a capital only basis, whilst our benchmark index , Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index, fell by 1.3%1; the FTSE 100 Index fell by 3.5%1 (all calculations are on a capital only basis).

    After four consecutive months of positive returns the UK market fell during May as markets globally suffered from growing concerns over the outlook for global growth and increasing US/China trade tensions. Despite the backdrop of falling equity markets, the Company delivered a positive return in both relative and absolute terms.

    The largest positive contributor to performance was the exhibitions business Tarsus; the share price soared after the company agreed to a takeover from an indirect subsidiary of private equity business Charterhouse. After some weakness in April, shares in YouGov (one of our largest holdings) rallied during the month despite no stock specific newsflow. The company recently reported continued strong revenue growth, and we believe the business can continue to grow as it expands its suite of data analytics products. Specialist media business, Future, rallied in response to a reporting a “record breaking” start to the year with upgrades. Acquisitions have been performing well, while organic growth has remained strong and the group remains focused on driving scale as a global platform business driven by leading technology.

    Stock specific disappointments during the month were limited. Shares in Vesuvius fell in response to reporting that 2018’s steel market slowdown has continued into the first quarter of 2019. Growing concerns over the outlook for the global economy impacted our holding in Bodycote while the ongoing uncertainty in the UK impacted a number of domestic businesses, including our holdings in Workspace and Fuller Smith & Turner.

    Since the beginning of 2019 we have seen markets recover most of the lost ground from the fourth quarter of 2018; however May was a reminder that the economic environment remains challenged and macroeconomic concerns will add to market volatility. Therefore, despite our view that we are not approaching the end of the cycle, we continue to operate with a lower level of gearing than the historical average. We continue to have confidence in our positioning and the ability of our companies to navigate the current economic environment.

    21 June 2019



    Latest information is available by typing www.blackrock.co.uk/brsc on the internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV terminal).  Neither the contents of the Manager’s website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager’s website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

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