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Finsbury Growth Tst. (FGT)

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Friday 12 December, 2003

Finsbury Growth Tst.

Final Results

Finsbury Growth Trust PLC
12 December 2003

                                                           For immediate release
                                                                12 December 2003

                           Finsbury Growth Trust PLC

Finsbury Growth Trust PLC today announces preliminary results for the year ended
30 September 2003.

                               As at or year         As at or year      change
                                       ended                 ended
                                30 September          30 September
                                        2003                  2002

Share price (total
return)*                              +24.0%               -21.8%          n/a
Net Asset Value per share
(total return)*                       +16.9%               -17.7%          n/a
FTSE All-Share Index
(total return)*                       +16.7%               -20.8%          n/a

Share Price(capital
return)                               149.5p                124.5p       +20.1%
Net Asset Value per share
(capital return)                      165.8p                146.7p       +13.0%

Discount                                9.8%                 15.1%         n/a
Shareholders' Funds                   £64.4m                £57.0m       +13.0%
Market Capitalisation                 £58.1m                £48.4m       +20.1%
                 Dividends              1.8p                  1.2p       +50.0%
                   Interim                 -                 2.55p           -
            Second interim              3.2p                    -            -
            Final proposed              5.0p                 3.75p       +33.3%

Chairman, Michael Reeve, commented:

I am delighted to announce on behalf of your Board the highlights stated above
for the Company for the year to 30 September 2003.

A final dividend of 3.2p per share will be proposed to the Annual General
Meeting and if approved will be paid on 30 January 2004 to shareholders on the
register of members on 30 December 2003, shares will go ex-dividend on 24
December 2003. Should the proposed final dividend be approved the total dividend
for the year will be 5.0p, an increase of 33.3% on 2002 (3.75p).

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

                                    - ENDS -
The following are attached:

   • Chairman's Statement
   • Consolidated Statement of Total Return
   • Consolidated Balance Sheets
   • Consolidated Cash Flow Statement
   • Notes to the Preliminary Results

For further information please contact:
Alastair Smith, Close Finsbury Asset Management Limited          020 7426 6240
Tracey Gower, Close Finsbury Asset Management Limited            020 7426 6219
Jo Stonier, Quill Communications                                 020 7763 6976
Michael Reeve, Chairman                                          020 7602 2624
Nick Train, Lindsell Train Limited                               020 7225 6411

Chairman's Statement

The recovery in the UK stock market, which I noted at the time of the interim
statement, has continued. At 30 September 2003 the market price of your shares
was some 20% higher than it was a year earlier and since that date it has
increased by a further 5%. The discount to net asset value at which your shares
trade reduced from 15.1% at 30 September 2002 to 9.8% at 30 September 2003. The
net asset value total return produced by your Company's investment portfolio was
16.9% for the year ended 30 September 2003, which compares to the total return
produced by the FTSE All Share Index of 16.7%.

It is now nearly three years since Lindsell Train became our investment
advisers. During that period the stock market has been extremely volatile,
peaking in March 2001 and plummeting 45.1% by March 2003 since when there has
been a recovery. During this period the Company's investments have not been
immune from the ups and downs of the market, but from 1 January 2001 to 30
September 2003 they have produced a total return which exceeds the benchmark,
the FTSE All Share Index total return, by 6%.

Revenue Return and Dividend

The revenue return per share rose to 5.04p compared with 4.41p in the previous
year. This increase was due to higher dividend income, which offset the absence
of special scrip dividends, together with a reduction in interest charges and
management fees.

Your board has already announced that it is proposing a final dividend of 3.2p
per share to be paid on 30 January 2004 to shareholders on the register on 30
December 2003. The final dividend, together with the interim dividend already
paid of 1.8p per share, makes a total distribution for the year of 5.0p,
compared to 3.75p in 2002. This increase in dividends of 33.3% over that paid in
respect of the previous year is being paid out of earnings in the year and not
out of reserves. It represents a yield of 3.34% on the share price at 30
September 2003 compared to 3.01% in 2002. The importance your Board attaches to
the contribution which dividends make to the achievement of growth is reflected
in the style adopted by our investment adviser, which seeks investments that
offer dividend as well as capital growth. This should enable us to maintain a
progressive dividend policy.

Statement of Total Return

The total return for the year was 24.05p per share (2002: loss of 29.26p) made
up of a revenue return of 5.04p per share (2002: 4.41p) and a capital return of
19.01p (2002: loss of 33.67p).


The valuation of investments at 30 September 2003 was £73,380,000 (2002:
£66,922,000). The net asset value per share at the year end was 165.8p (2002:

The investment portfolio remains a concentrated one with 29 holdings. Weightings
against the FTSE All Share Index remain similar to this time last year, the
portfolio being underweight in oils and telecommunications and overweight in
beverages, media and financials.

Chairman's Statement (continued)

It is significant that of the companies in which we are invested, nearly 80% in
value of the investments in your Company's portfolio increased their dividends
in the year.

Purchase of shares for Treasury

Following changes in legislation which came into force on 1 December 2003 your
Company can be empowered to acquire up to 10 % of its issued share capital in
any twelve month period, if shareholders so agree. Such shares purchased can be
retained in Treasury for reissue at a future date unlike any shares acquired by
the Company prior to that date, which have had to be cancelled. Your board
considers that circumstances could arise in which it would be in shareholders'
interests for such a power to be exercised. As in previous years therefore a
resolution is being tabled at the Annual General Meeting to enable your board to
make purchases of your Company's shares should they deem it to be appropriate to
do so.


In the last few months there has been a marked change in sentiment in the stock
market with the result that share prices have recouped some of the losses
incurred during the last two years. The recent bear market in UK equities has
caused a reduction in the long run rate of real total returns from 6.0% per
annum over the last 100 years to 5.75% per annum today. It would clearly be
wrong to dismiss as a 'blip' the recent bear market during which the FTSE
All-Share index fell nearly 50% from peak to trough.

However the very long run reward from owning equities remains little changed.
With UK inflation currently running at less than 2% per annum and no sign of
acceleration, we think it reasonable, therefore, for investors in UK equities to
anticipate a nominal total return of between 6% to 8% per annum, being the sum
of current inflation and the very long term trend in returns. Long run averages
do of course have a smoothing effect and returns over the next five years or so
are likely to arise in a lumpier fashion. Your board believes that your
Company's concentrated portfolio should continue to deliver out-performance.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Company will be held at 10 Crown Place, London
EC2A 4FT on 27 January 2004 at 12 noon and I would very much encourage as many
shareholders as are able to attend. Nick Train, of our investment adviser
Lindsell Train Limited, will make a presentation after the meeting. A map
showing the location of 10 Crown Place can be found on page 41 of the Annual

Michael Reeve, Chairman
12 December 2003

Consolidated Statement of Total Return

for the year ended 30 September 2003

              (unaudited)  (unaudited)   (unaudited)     (audited)     (audited)       (audited)
                 Revenue      Capital         Total       Revenue       Capital           Total
                    2003         2003          2003          2002          2002            2002
                    £000         £000          £000          £000          £000            £000

on investments        -         7,892         7,892             -       (11,939)        (11,939)
on currency
balances              -            (1)           (1)            -             1               1
Income (note 2)   2,654             -         2,654         2,733             -           2,733
management fee
(note 3)           (134)         (271)         (405)         (165)         (335)           (500)
Other expenses     (449)            -          (449)         (447)            -            (447)
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------
Net return /
(loss) before
finance costs
and taxation      2,071         7,620         9,691         2,121       (12,273)        (10,152)

payable and
charges            (114)         (231)         (345)         (399)         (810)         (1,209)
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------
on ordinary
before tax        1,957         7,389         9,346         1,722       (13,083)        (11,361)
Taxation on
activities            -             -             -            (9)            -              (9)
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------
on ordinary
after tax for
the financial
year              1,957         7,389         9,346         1,713       (13,083)        (11,370)
Dividends in
respect of
(equity)         (1,942)            -        (1,942)       (1,457)            -          (1,457)
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------
reserves             15         7,389         7,404           256       (13,083)        (12,827)
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------
per share          5.04p        19.01p        24.05p         4.41p       (33.67)p        (29.26)p
(note 4)
                 --------      --------      --------        ------        ------         -------

Balance Sheet of the Group and the Company

as at 30 September 2003

                             (unaudited)   (audited)   (unaudited)   (audited)
                                  Group       Group       Company     Company

                                   2003        2002          2003        2002
                                  £'000       £'000         £'000       £'000
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------

Fixed asset investments
Group undertaking                     -           -           645         647
Financial investments            73,380      66,922        73,380      66,922
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------
                                 73,380      66,922        74,025      67,569

Current Assets
Debtors                             355         467           355         467
Cash at bank                        985         227           982         227
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------
                                  1,340         694         1,337         694

Amounts falling due within
one year                        (10,312)    (10,612)      (10,954)    (11,259)
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------
Net current liabilities          (8,972)     (9,918)       (9,617)    (10,565)
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------
Net assets                       64,408      57,004        64,408      57,004
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------

Capital and reserves
Called up share capital           9,714       9,714         9,714       9,714
Other reserves:
Special reserve                  13,160      13,160        13,160      13,160
Capital redemption reserve        3,353       3,353         3,353       3,353
Capital reserve - realised       38,473      49,653        38,473      49,653
Capital reserve -
unrealised                       (1,959)    (20,528)       (1,314)    (19,881)
Revenue reserve                   1,667       1,652         1,022       1,005
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------
Equity shareholders' funds       64,408      57,004        64,408      57,004
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------

Net asset value per share         165.8p      146.7p        165.8p      146.7p
       --------------------     -------     -------      --------      ------

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

for the year ended 30 September 2003

                                                       (unaudited)   (audited)
                                                              2003        2002
                                                              £000        £000

Net cash inflow from operating activities                    1,927       1,646

Servicing of finance
Bank overdraft and loan interest paid                         (355)     (1,654)

Tax recovered                                                    -          13

Financial investment
Purchases of investments                                    (7,938)    (18,195)
Sales of investments                                         9,581      16,533
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------
Net cash inflow/(outflow) from financial investment          1,643      (1,662)

Equity dividends paid                                       (1,690)     (1,243)

Net cash inflow/(outflow) before financing                   1,525      (2,900)

Repayment of Loan Notes                                          -     (20,000)
(Repayment)/drawdown of loans                                 (766)      9,466
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------

Net cash outflow from financing                               (766)    (10,534)
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------
Increase/(decrease) in cash                                    759     (13,434)
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------

Reconciliation of net cash flow to movement in net
Increase/(decrease) in cash resulting from cashflows           759     (13,434)
Decrease in debt                                               766      10,534
Exchange movements                                              (1)          1
Amortisation of finance costs included in net debt               -         (39)
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------
Movement in net funds/(debt)                                 1,524      (2,938)
Net debt at 1 October                                       (9,239)     (6,301)
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------
Net debt at 30 September                                    (7,715)     (9,239)
-----------------------------                              ---------    --------


1 Revenue Account

The revenue column of the Statement of Total Return represents the revenue
account of the Group. All revenue and capital items in the above statement
derive from continuing operations. No operations have been acquired or
discontinued during the year.

2 Income

Income for the year was derived from the following sources:

                                                             2003         2002
                                                             £000         £000
Income from UK listed investments
Franked investment income                                   2,627        2,398
Unfranked investment income                                     7          115
UK scrip dividends                                              -          123
                                                           --------      -------
                                                            2,634        2,636
Other Income
Bank interest receivable                                       17           97
Other income                                                    3            -
                                                           --------      -------
                                                               20           97
                                                           --------      -------
Total Income                                                2,654        2,733

3 Investment Management Fees

                       Revenue   Capital   Total   Revenue   Capital   Total
                          2003      2003    2003      2002      2002    2002
                          £000      £000    £000      £000      £000    £000
Investment management
fees                       114       231     345       140       285     425
Irrecoverable VAT
thereon                     20        40      60        25        50      75
                        --------   -------  ------   -------   -------  ------
               Total       134       271     405       165       335     500

4 Return per share

Revenue return per share is based on £1,957,000 (2002: £1,713,000) net revenue
on ordinary activities after taxation, and on the weighted average number of
shares in issue during the year of 38,856,430 (2002: 38,856,430). Capital return
per share is based on net capital return for the financial year of £7,389,000
(2002: losses of £13,083,000) and on the weighted average number of shares in
issue during the year of 38,856,430 (2002: 38,856,430).

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 are unaudited and have not been filed with the Registrar of

The accounts for the year ended 30 September 2002 have been delivered to the
Registrar of Companies and those for 2003 will be despatched to shareholders
shortly. The 2002 accounts received an audit report which was unqualified and
did not contain statements under Section 237 (2) and (3) of the Companies Act

Close Finsbury Asset Management Ltd
12 December 2003

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange