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Finsbury Growth Tst. (FGT)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 16 June, 2003

Finsbury Growth Tst.

Interim Results

Finsbury Growth Trust PLC
16 June 2003


16 June 2003





                            Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

                          Announces Interim Results for

                         the six months to 31 March 2003



Financial Highlights:




                                                     31 March 2003       30 September  2002       % change
                                                       (unaudited)                (audited)

Shareholders' funds                                         £55.1m                   £57.0m           -3.3
Net asset value per share                                   141.9p                   146.7p           -3.3
Share price                                                 121.0p                   124.5p           -2.8
Discount                                                     14.7%                    15.1%            N/A
Market capitalisation                                       £47.0m                   £48.4m           -2.8
FTSE All-Share Index                                       1,786.6                  1,821.6           -1.9





An interim dividend of 1.8p per share (2002: 1.2p) will be paid on 25 July 2003
to shareholders registered at the close of business on 27 June 2003.



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



16 June 2003





                                    - ENDS -



The following are attached:



*  Chairman's Statement

*  Consolidated Statement of Total Return

*  Consolidated Balance Sheet

*  Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

*  Notes to the interim accounts



For further information please contact:

Alastair Smith, Close Finsbury Asset Management Limited       020 7426 6240
Fiona Harris, Quill Communications                            020 7763 6970
Nick Train, Lindsell Train Limited                            020 7225 6400



Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

Chairman's Statement



In recent weeks the UK stock market has shown some signs of recovery and at the
time of writing the market price of your company's shares has increased by some
20% since 31 March 2003, the end of the six months period under review.



During the six months to 31 March 2003 the net asset value and the market price
of your company's shares declined by 3.3% and 2.8% respectively compared with a
reduction in the FTSE All Share Index of 1.9%. There was a small reduction in
the discount to net asset value during the period from 15.1% to 14.7%.
Nevertheless in the twelve months to 31 March 2003 the Company's net asset value
per share outperformed the FTSE All Share index by some 2%.



Return and dividends

The Statement of Total Return is set out in the Interim Report on page 10 and
shows a diminution in the period of £1.19m as a result of a revenue return of
£0.87 for the period, offset by a reduction of £2.06m in the value of the
investment portfolio.



An interim dividend of 1.8p per share is being declared which will be paid on

25 July 2003 to shareholders registered at the close of business on 27 June
2003. This increase is intended to reduce the disparity between the size of the
interim and final dividends.



Investments

The investment adviser's review of investments which is set out on page 4 in the
Interim Report gives further details of the investment portfolio's performance.



During the period there was no change in the weighting of the portfolio between
sectors. The portfolio continues to be overweight in banks (26.1%), beverages
(15.9%), leisure and hotels (15.6%) and media and entertainment (12.4%) compared
with weightings in the FTSE All share index of 18.8%, 3.0%, 2.1% and 3.6%
respectively.  It is underweight in oil and gas (7.7%), and telecommunication
services (4.6%) compared with the FTSE All share Index weightings of 13.6% and
9.6%.



In the light of these weightings it is coincidental that net asset value
performance net of all costs closely tracked the benchmark index over the period
under review. Given the concentration of the investment portfolio we would not
expect this to continue.



Full details of the investment portfolio are set out on page 6 of the Interim
Report













Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

Chairman's Statement (continued)



Borrowings

In my interim statement last year I referred to the fact that we had arranged a
£10m revolving credit facility and a £10m term loan facility both of which were
for a fixed term expiring in December 2008 and in respect of which the interest
rate can be fixed if we so wish.  We have now renegotiated these arrangements as
a result of which we  have one facility, a £15m revolving credit facility, which
expires at the same date and provides the same ability to fix interest rates but
is subject to more favourable covenants . As at 31 March 2003 £7.7m was
outstanding under this facility.



Outlook

A year ago I wrote that the outlook must be uncertain. Since then the UK stock
market sank to further lows before recovering following the Iraq war. Hitherto
the UK economy has stood up well but there are signs of a slow down now. As
always much depends on what happens in the United States where many believe
equities continue to be overvalued. We think the most likely scenario in the UK
is for a gradual recovery in equity prices with one or two hiccups along the
way. Your board continues to believe that the strategy we have adopted of
maintaining a moderately geared concentrated portfolio of larger UK companies
exhibiting durability, a high prospective return on equity and low capital
intensity/high free cash generation will achieve the returns we seek in the long
term.







M A F Reeve

Chairman

16 June 2003





Finsbury Growth Trust PLC



Consolidated Statement of Total Return

Incorporating the revenue account for the six months ended 31 March 2003


                                          (Unaudited)                     (Unaudited)                     (Audited)
                                     Six months ended                Six months ended                    Year ended
                                        31 March 2003                   31 March 2002             30 September 2002
                          Revenue   Capital     Total    Revenue   Capital      Total   Revenue   Capital     Total

                             £000      £000      £000       £000      £000       £000      £000      £000      £000
(Losses)/gains on               -   (1,794)   (1,794)          -     9,605      9,605         -  (11,939)  (11,939)
investments
Income (note 2)             1,226               1,226      1,410         -      1,410     2,733         -     2,733
Exchange (losses)/                      (1)       (1)          -         -          -         -         1         1
gains on currency
balances
Investment management        (62)     (126)     (188)       (85)     (173)      (258)     (165)     (335)     (500)
fees (note 3)
Other expenses              (221)               (221)      (215)         -      (215)     (447)         -     (447)

Net return/(loss)             943   (1,921)     (978)      1,110     9,432     10,542     2,121  (12,273)  (10,152)
before finance costs
and taxation


Interest payable and         (69)     (140)     (209)      (311)     (631)      (942)     (399)     (810)   (1,209)
similar charges (note
4)

Return/(loss) on              874   (2,061)   (1,187)        799     8,801      9,600     1,722  (13,083)  (11,361)
ordinary activities
before taxation

Taxation on ordinary            -         -         -          -         -          -       (9)         -       (9)
activities

Return/(loss) on              874   (2,061)   (1,187)        799     8,801      9,600     1,713  (13,083)  (11,370)
ordinary activities
after taxation
Dividends in respect        (699)         -     (699)      (466)         -      (466)   (1,457)         -   (1,457)
of equity shares

Transfer to/(from)            175   (2,061)   (1,886)        333     8,801      9,134       256  (13,083)  (12,827)
Reserves

Return/(loss) per           2.25p   (5.30p)   (3.05p)      2.06p    22.65p     24.71p     4.41p  (33.67p)  (29.26p)
Ordinary share
(note 5)






Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

Consolidated Balance Sheet

As at 31 March 2003


                                               (Unaudited)          (Unaudited)                  (Audited)
                                            31 March 2003         31 March 2002          30 September 2002

                                                      £000                 £000                       £000
Fixed asset investments                             61,407               86,368                     66,922

Current assets
Debtors                                                589                  820                        467
Cash at bank                                         1,697                  369                        227
                                                     2,286                1,189                        694

Creditors
Amounts falling due within one year                (8,575)              (8,592)                   (10,612)

Net current liabilities                            (6,289)              (7,403)                    (9,918)

Net assets                                          55,118               78,965                     57,004

Capital
Called up share capital                              9,714                9,714                      9,714
Share premium account                                    -               13,160                          -
Special reserve                                     13,160                    -                     13,160
Capital redemption reserve                           3,353                3,353                      3,353
Capital reserve- realised                           40,013               48,871                     49,653
Capital reserve - unrealised                      (12,949)                2,138                   (20,528)
Revenue reserve                                      1,827                1,729                      1,652
Total shareholders' funds                           55,118               78,965                     57,004

Net asset value per Ordinary share                  141.9p               203.2p                     146.7p







Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

For the six months ended 31 March 2003


                                                (Unaudited)            (Unaudited)                 (audited)
                                           Six months ended       Six months ended                Year ended
                                              31 March 2003          31 March 2002         30 September 2002
                                                       £000                   £000                      £000
Net cash inflow from operating                          656                    666                     1,646
activities

Servicing of finance
Loan and bank overdraft                               (149)                (1,439)                   (1,654)
     interest paid

Taxation
Income tax recovered                                      -                      8                        13

Financial investment
Purchase of investments                             (4,199)               (13,211)                  (18,195)
Sale of investments                                   7,920                 13,423                    16,533
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from                        3,721                    212                   (1,662)
financial investment

Equity dividends paid                                 (991)                  (777)                   (1,243)

Financing
Repayment of bank loan/loan notes                   (9,466)               (11,961)                  (20,000)
Drawdown of loans                                     7,700                      -                     9,466

Increase/(decrease) in cash                           1,471               (13,291)                  (13,434)



Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

Notes to the interim accounts


1.   Revenue Account

     The revenue column of the Consolidated Statement of Total Return represents the revenue account of the
     Group.

2.   Income
                                                                 (Unaudited)     (Unaudited)           (Audited)
                                                            Six months ended      Six months          Year ended
                                                                                      ended         30 September
                                                               31 March 2003   31 March 2002                2002
                                                                       £'000           £'000               £'000

     Investment income                                                 1,219           1,317               2,636
     Bank interest                                                         7              93                  97
     Total                                                             1,226           1,410               2,733


3.   Investment management fees
                                                            Six months ended      Six months          Year ended
                                                                                      ended         30 September
                                                               31 March 2003   31 March 2002                2002
                                                                       £'000           £'000               £'000
     Investment management fee                                           160             220                 425
     Irrecoverable VAT thereon                                            28              38                  75
                                                                         188             258                 500

4.   Interest payable and similar charges

                                                            Six months ended      Six months          Year ended
                                                                                      ended         30 September
                                                               31 March 2003   31 March 2002                2002
                                                                        £000            £000                £000

     Interest payable on £20m 7.95% Senior Loan Notes                      -             355                 355
     Early redemption fee on £20m 7.95% Senior Loan Notes                  -             409                 409
     Amortisation of issue expenses of Senior Loan Notes                   -              39                  39
     Interest payable on AIB revolving credit facility                   182             108                 333
     Arrangement fee for AIB facilities                                   26              30                  69

     Other bank interest                                                   1               1                   4
     Total                                                               209             942               1,209

5.   Return per Ordinary share
     The revenue return per Ordinary share is calculated by dividing the net revenue return of  £874,000 (six
     months ended 31 March 2002: return of £799,000, year ended 30 September 2002: return of £1,713,000) by
     38,856,430 (six months ended 31 March 2002: 38,856,430, year ended 30 September 2002: 38,856,430) being the
     weighted average number of Ordinary shares in issue. The capital deficit per Ordinary share is calculated
     by dividing the net capital loss available for Ordinary shareholders of £2,061,000 (six months ended 31
     March 2002: £8,801,000 gain, year ended 30 September 2002: £13,083,000 deficit) by the weighted average
     number of Ordinary shares in issue as above.





6.   Comparative information

     The figures and financial information for the year ended 30 September 2002 are an extract from the latest
     published financial statements and do not constitute statutory financial statements for that year. Those
     financial statements have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and included the report of the
     auditors which was unqualified and did not contain a statement under either section 237(2) or 237(3) of the
     Companies Act 1985. They have been prepared using the same accounting policies as those adopted in the
     financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2002.







Close Finsbury Asset Management Limited - Secretary

 16 June 2003


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            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange