BLACKROCK SMALLER COMPANIES TRUST PLC
All information is at 30 NOVEMBER 2011 and unaudited.
Performance at month end is calculated on a capital only basis
One Three One Three Five
Month Months Year Years Years
Net asset value -2.4% -3.2% -1.5% 130.4% 31.3%
Share price -6.3% -10.9% -6.4% 161.7% 24.2%
HGSC ex Inv Trust + AIM* -2.2% -4.4% -5.4% 77.2% -15.2%
Sources: BlackRock and DataStream
*With effect from 1 September 2007 the Hoare Govett Smaller Companies plus AIM
(ex Investment Companies) Index replaced the FTSE SmallCap Index (ex Investment
Companies) as the Company's benchmark. For the five year period the above
index has been blended to reflect this.
At month end
Net asset value Capital only (debt at par value): 528.37p
Net asset value Capital only (debt at fair value): 524.16p
Net asset value incl. Income (debt at par value): 534.67p**
Net asset value incl. Income (debt at fair value): 530.46p**
Share price: 424.00p
Discount to cum income NAV (debt at par value): 20.7%
Discount to cum income NAV (debt at fair value): 20.1%
Net yield: 1.7%
Total assets: £270.8m^
Gearing incl. Income: 6.2%
Ordinary shares in issue: 47,879,792^^
**includes net revenue of 6.30p
^includes current year revenue
^^excludes 2,113,731 shares held in treasury
Ten Largest Sector
Weightings % of total assets
Support Services 9.7
Software & Computer Services 9.2
Electronic & Electrical Equipment 8.5
Industrial Metals & Mining 6.7
Oil & Gas Producers 6.5
Financial Services 6.5
Household Goods & Home Construction 6.1
General Retailers 5.8
Ten Largest Equity Investments (in alphabetical order)
Commenting on the markets, Mike Prentis, representing the Investment Manager
During November the NAV on a capital only basis fell by 2.4%; the benchmark
fell by 2.2%. The FTSE100 fell by 0.7% during the month.
Relative performance during the month was mainly derived from slight
outperformance from sector allocation, due to our overweight position in
industrial engineers, matched by approximately equal underperformance from
stock selection, and a modest negative impact from gearing.
From a stock selection point of view our biggest positive contributors were
Oxford Instruments and Hamworthy; the largest negative contributors were
Immunodiagnostic Systems and Blinkx.
Oxford Instruments announced very strong interim results, with organic revenue
growth of 30% and eps up 62%. We hope that this may bode well for some of our
other core holdings amongst the industrials. Hamworthy attracted a bid from
Wartsila. We have liked the company and its excellent CEO for a long time, but
the recommended bid looked likely to go through at the offer price so we sold
in the market.
Immunodiagnostic Systems supply equipment and consumables to allow labs to test
the degree to which human samples contain certain substances, in particular
vitamin D. Their iSYS platform is being rolled out in Europe and the US, and is
increasingly seen as an easy to use platform enabling a growing number of
important tests to be carried out. However recently growth rates have slowed,
competition has increased and prices have come under pressure. We still believe
that the company has a good offering, but growth prospects look less assured
than we had believed. Blinkx announced another acquisition and interims which
fell short of expectations. Blinkx delivered first half revenue growth of 63%,
but did not strip out the effect of their Burst Media acquisition. This led to
confusion. A further acquisition and placing only served to cause more jitters
and a significant share price fall.
Other than the holdings mentioned above, newsflow from the portfolio was
generally good during the month.
Activity in the month was limited.
Major uncertainties persist at the macro level, most importantly achieving a
satisfactory resolution to the funding and debt problems in Greece, Italy and
other economies. These uncertainties continue to impact on the decision making
and activity levels of individual companies. A satisfactory political
resolution to these problems is urgently needed to allow corporate decision
making to recommence.
14 December 2011
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