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Finsbury Growth Tst. (FGT)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 21 November, 2000

Finsbury Growth Tst.

Final Results

Finsbury Growth Trust PLC
21 November 2000

                                                                  NEWS RELEASE

To: City Editors
                                                    Tuesday 21st November 2000


Preliminary results for the year ended 30 September 2000

*         NAV increases by 10.3%.

*         Share price increases by 11.0%.

*         13.5% of the share capital repurchased thereby increasing NAV per
          share by 2.6%.

Finsbury Growth Trust PLC, which principally invests in larger UK company
shares with the objective of achieving capital growth and achieving a total
return in excess of that of the FTSE All-Share, today announces preliminary
results for the year ended 30 September 2000.

                                      30.09.00        30.09.99        %increase

Total Assets                          £114.8m*        £119.5m*          (3.9%)*
Shareholders' Funds                    £94.9m*         £99.7m*          (4.8%)*
Net Asset Value per share               241.0p          218.5m          + 10.3%
Share Price                             202.5p          182.5p          + 11.0%
Discount                                 16.0%           16.5%              --
FTSE All-Share Index                   3,029.4         2,826.1           + 7.2%

* In the year to 30 September 2000 the Company repurchased 13.5% (1999: 1.1%)
of the issued share capital at a cost of £12,097,000 (1999: 895,000).

For and on behalf of Close Finsbury Asset Management Ltd - Secretary

21 November 2000                               

The following are attached:

* Chairman's Statement                         * Cash Flow Statement
* Statement of Total Return                    * Note to the accounts
* Balance Sheet of the Company

For further information please contact:

Michael Reeve, Chairman, Finsbury Growth Trust PLC    020 7426 4000
Colin Edge, Close Finsbury Asset Management Ltd       020 7426 6233
Alastair Smith, Close Finsbury Asset Management Ltd   020 7426 6240
Fiona Harris, Quill Communications                    020 7618 8905


Chairman's Statement


In the year under review the increase in net asset value per share of 10.3%
showed an outperformance against the FTSE All-Share Index which increased by
7.2%. A significant proportion of this outperformance can be attributed to the
repurchase by the Company of 13.5% of the issued share capital. The dealing
subsidiary also had a good year and made a useful contribution to performance.
The market value per share increased by 11.0%.

The revenue return per share was 4.52p (1999: 5.02p, of which 0.8p was derived
from special revenue dividends). In June your Board declared an increased
interim dividend of 1.8p per share (1999: 1.2p) to achieve a more equitable
balance between interim and final dividends and is now proposing a final
dividend of 2.45p per share payable on 22 December 2000 to shareholders on the
Register of Members on 1 December 2000. This makes an increased distribution
of 4.25p per share (1999: 4.0p).

Statement of Total Return

The total return per share for the year was 22.39p (1999: 34.88p) made up of a
revenue return of 4.52p per share (1999: 5.02p) and a capital return of 17.87p
per share (1999: 29.86p).

Investment portfolio

The valuation of investments at 30 September 2000 was £113,083,000 (1999: £
110,589,000). The net asset value per share at the year-end was 241.0p (1999:
218.5p). On a total return basis the NAV per share increased by 12.5% over the
year, which compares with a total return of 9.6% for the FTSE All-Share Index.

Investment objective

In my statement last year I reiterated that our investment policy was to
invest in larger UK company shares. I also referred to your Board's decision
that our investment manager should have greater flexibility in increasing the
portfolio's exposure to growth sectors, notwithstanding that the higher
valuations in many of the most attractive opportunities are in companies that
are not in the FTSE 100 Index.

For some years the Company's investment objective has been to invest in larger
UK company shares with the objective of achieving capital appreciation leading
to income growth. The Board considers that in today's market capital
appreciation does not necessarily lead to income growth. We believe that
investors are increasingly focussing on the total return their investments
achieve, rather than seeking growth in both capital and income, which are now
taxed broadly at the same rate.  Therefore in future our investment objective
will be to invest in larger UK company shares with the objective of achieving
capital growth and providing a total return in excess of that of the FTSE
All-Share Index.

Repurchase of ordinary shares

During the year the Company repurchased a total of 6,126,070 shares at a cost
of £12,097,000. These shares, which represented 14.3% of the issued share
capital, were repurchased at discounts to net asset value ranging from 14.4%
to 22.3%. The effect of these share buy-backs was to increase the net asset
value of each remaining share by 2.6%.

It remains your Board's intention to make further repurchases should suitable
circumstances arise and therefore a resolution will be proposed at the Annual
General Meeting to purchase up to 14.99% of the shares in issue.

Cancellation of preference shares

Pursuant to the authority granted at the Annual General Meeting held on 17
December 1999, all 225,000 5% cumulative preference shares of £1 each were
cancelled at par on 31 March 2000.

The Board

Johan Beckman and Dr Clark Brundin will be retiring from the Board at the
Annual General Meeting and I would like to thank them both very much for their
contribution during their nine and five year service respectively.

Two new Directors, John Allard and Vanessa Renwick, joined the Board on 1
October 2000. John Allard is an equity income adviser and analyst for Dresdner
Kleinwort Benson, having previously been a fund manager with M&G for over 20
years. Vanessa Renwick has over 15 years experience in the investment trust
industry having worked for Laing & Cruickshank and UBS Warburg. Their combined
experience will be of much value to us in the future.

The Year Ahead

The Association of Investment Trust Companies 'its' campaign, to which your
Company continues to contribute, is succeeding in creating greater awareness
of the investment trust industry amongst the public at large. This coupled
with the ability of investment trust companies to repurchase their shares has
resulted in average discounts declining during the year. There is however
still a way to go before the market value of investment trust shares more
closely reflect their underlying net asset value. Ultimately it will be
performance that drives demand and I hope that the changes referred to above
will enable us to continue to improve our performance.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Company will be held at 10 Crown Place,
London EC2 on 21 December 2000 at 12 noon.

Michael Reeve

21 November 2000


Statement of Total Return
for the year ended 30 September 2000

                Revenue     Capital       Total    Revenue*  Capital    Total*
                   2000        2000        2000       1999      1999     1999   
                  £000        £000       £'000       £000      £000     £000 
Gains on              -       9,264       9,264          -    15,550   15,550
Income (see       3,146           -       3,146      3,740         -    3,740
note 2)
Investment         (361)       (734)     (1,095)      (358)     (718)  (1,076)
management fee
Other              (349)          -        (349)      (490)        -     (490)
Net return        2,436       8,530      10,966      2,892    14,832   17,724
before finance
costs and

Interest           (558)     (1,131)     (1,689)      (568)  (1,099)   (1,667)
payable and
similar charges
Return on         1,878       7,399       9,277      2,324   13,733    16,057
before taxation
Taxation on           -           -           -         (9)       -        (9)
Return on         1,878       7,399       9,277      2,315   13,733    16,048
after taxation
Dividends in         (6)          -          (6)       (11)       -       (11)
respect of
non-equity shares
Return            1,872       7,399       9,271      2,304   13,733    16,037
to ordinary
Dividends in     (1,732)          -      (1,732)    (1,826)       -    (1,826)
respect of
equity shares
Transfer            140       7,399       7,539        478   13,733    14,211

Return per        4.52p      17.87p      22.39p      5.02p   29.86p    34.88p
ordinary share

* The Revenue and Total figures for 1999 have been restated in accordance with
Financial Reporting Standard 16 'Current Taxation' (see note 3).


Balance Sheet
as at 30 September 2000

                                                             2000         1999
                                                             £000         £000

Fixed Asset Investments
Financial investments                                      113,083     110,589
                                                           113,083     110,589
Current Assets
Debtors                                                     2,654        2,078
Investments                                                 1,422        1,139
Cash at bank                                                4,795       11,019

                                                            8,871       14,236

Amounts falling due within one year                        (7,179)      (5,325)
Net current assets                                          1,692        8,911
Total assets less current liabilities                     114,775      119,500

Amounts falling due after more than one year              (19,903)     (19,845)
Net assets                                                 94,872       99,655

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                                     9,843       11,600
Share premium account                                      13,160       13,160
Capital redemption reserve                                  3,224        1,467
Other reserves:
Capital reserve - realised                                 58,947       58,969
Capital reserve - unrealised                                7,996       14,098
Revenue reserve                                             1,702        1,562
                                                           94,872       99,655

Total shareholders' funds are attributable to
Equity shareholders                                        94,872       99,430
Non-equity shareholders                                         -          225
                                                           94,905       99,655

Net asset value per ordinary share                         241.0p       218.5p
Net asset value per preference share                            -       100.0p


Cash Flow Statement
for the year ended 30 September 2000

                                                           2000          1999
                                                    £000   £000   £000   £000

 Net cash inflow from operating activities                2,236         2,286

 Servicing of finance
Bank overdraft and loan interest                        (1,632)        (1,609)
 Preference dividend paid                                   (6)           (17)

 Tax paid                                                    -           (340)

Financial investment
Purchase of investments                          (91,359)      (65,731)
Sales of investments                              95,274        72,662
Net cash inflow from financial investment               (3,915)        (6,931)

Equity dividends paid                                   (2,041)        (1,725)

 Management of liquid resources                           (238)          (113)

Purchase of own shares                                  (8,413)          (895)
(Decrease)/increase in cash                             (6,224)         4,518

 Reconciliation of net cash flow to
 movement in net funds
(Decrease)/increase  in cash as above                   (6,224)         4,518
 Cashflow from liquid resources                            283            113
 Amortisation of finance costs including                   (58)           (58)
 net debt
Movement in net debt                                    (5,999)         4,573
Net debt at 1 October                                   (7,687)       (12,260)
Net debt at 30 September                               (13,686)        (7,687)



1            Revenue Account

             The revenue column of the Statement of Total Return represents
             the revenue account of the Company.

2            Income

             Income for the year was derived from the following sources:

                                                        2000               1999
                                                        £000               £000
Income from UK listed investments                      2,383              3,258
Other income                                             763                482
Total                                                  3,146              3,740

3            Restatement

             In accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 16 'Current
             Taxation' ('FRS 16') income from UK equity investments is recorded 
            net of any tax credit. The comparative figures for the year ended   
           30 September 1999 have been restated accordingly. Adoption of FRS    
          16 has no effect on the revenue or capital returns per ordinary       
         share, nor on the net assets value per ordinary share.

4            Return per share

             The revenue return per ordinary share is based on £1,872,000
             (1999: £2,304,000 net revenue on ordinary activities after         
            taxation and dividends on non-equity shares, and on a weighted      
           average number of ordinary shares in issue during the year of        
          41,393,370 (1999: 45,963,149). Capital return per ordinary share      
         is based on net capital profits for the financial year of              
        £7,339,000 (1999: £13,733,000) and on a weighted average number of
             ordinary shares in issue during the year of 41,393,370 (1999:      

5            Comparative information

             These accounts are not statutory accounts. The above results
             have been agreed with the Auditors and are an abridged version of  
            the Company's full draft accounts, which have not yet been signed   
           or filed with the Registrar of Companies.

             The accounts for 1999 have been delivered to the Registrar of
             Companies and those for 2000 will be despatched to shareholders    
            shortly. The 1999 accounts received an audit report which was       
           unqualified and did not contain statements under Section 237 (2)     
          and (3) of the Companies Act 1985.

Close Finsbury Asset Management Ltd

21 November 2000