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JPMorgan Flem.Claver (JCH)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 15 March, 2005

JPMorgan Flem.Claver

Final Results

JPMorgan Fleming Claverhouse IT PLC
15 March 2005


                          STOCK EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENT


The Board of JPMorgan Fleming Claverhouse Investment Trust plc announces its
preliminary results for the year ended 31st December 2004.

Review of the Year

In the year to 31st December 2004, the Company produced a total return to
shareholders of +15.1% and a total return on net assets (with debt valued at
par) of +15.9%. This compares favourably with a total return on the FTSE
All-Share Index, the benchmark against which the Directors judge performance, of
+12.8% over the same period. This is a particularly pleasing performance, both
in absolute and relative terms. Underlying attribution data, which analyses the
relative return (i.e. the 3.1% out-performance), shows that the Investment
Managers' asset allocation and stock selection during the year added
approximately 5.2%, and that this was enhanced by the positive impact of the
Company's gearing in a rising market, which added 0.4%. The repayment of the
Company's £15m 11% debenture 2008 had a negative impact on the Company's net
asset value of approximately 1.4%.

Revenue and Dividends

The Board's intention remains to increase the dividend annually by at least the
rate of inflation, thereby continuing the Company's record of increasing its
dividend every year since 1972. The Board has decided that the total dividend
for 2004 should be 10.65p per share, representing an increase of 4.4% over 2003.
This payment has not necessitated a transfer from the revenue reserve. However,
the Board remains prepared to use the revenue reserve to support its dividend
policy rather than constrain the Investment Managers' management of the
portfolio. Indeed the ability to use the revenue reserve in this way, which is
not permitted by unit trusts, is viewed as one of the key advantages of the
investment trust structure alongside gearing.


During the year the Board, together with its advisers, conducted a thorough
review of the Company's strategy and, in particular, considered the balance of
contributions to returns to shareholders from the investment portfolio, gearing
and discount management.

As a consequence of this review, and in light of the Investment Managers'
continued underlying positive contribution to returns, the Board decided to
allow the Investment Managers scope to increase the risk profile employed. This
has resulted in a slightly more concentrated portfolio with fewer holdings. The
Board also agreed that it should maintain a strategic gearing range of 95-120%
and that an actual operating range of 110-115% remained appropriate, but that
greater flexibility within the structure of this gearing was desirable.
Accordingly, on 19th August 2004, the Company's £15 million 11 per cent 2008
debenture stock was repaid in order to reduce the amount of the Company's debt
which cannot be repaid and redrawn flexibly. Following repayment, the Board put
in place a one year £10m revolving bank facility in order to achieve its gearing
strategy. The repayment meant that the Company's net asset value at par value
was reduced by approximately 1.4%. The Board reiterates its view that gearing is
one of the key advantages that an investment trust has over other collective
investment vehicles and that over the long term it will enhance investment

Share Buybacks

During the year the Company repurchased a total of 6,931,700 ordinary shares for
cancellation. Included within this total was 3.5m ordinary shares repurchased
from JPMorgan Fleming Elect plc as a result of a decision to further diversify
its Managed Growth portfolio. The Board has received assurances that JPMorgan
Fleming Elect plc has been, and continues to be, satisfied with the strategy and
performance of the Company and that the balance of its investment in the Company
remains an important part of its Managed Growth portfolio.

The Board's objective remains to use the share repurchase authority to manage
any imbalance between the supply and demand of the Company's shares, thereby
minimising the volatility of the discount.

Treasury Shares

Following changes to company law which took effect in December 2003, the Company
can now hold up to 10% of its share capital in 'treasury' following share
buybacks. Treasury shares provide the Board with greater flexibility as any
shares held in treasury do not need to be cancelled immediately and can be
reissued at a later date. The ability to use 'treasury' provides another tool
for the Board to achieve its objectives of improving liquidity in the Company's
shares, of managing any imbalance between supply and demand and minimising the
volatility and absolute level of the discount at which the Company's shares
trade to their net asset value ('NAV').  The Board believes that there could be
circumstances when it would be advantageous to shareholders for the Company to
purchase and hold shares in treasury for subsequent reissue at a discount to NAV
rather than cancel them immediately which has been the policy to date. Shares
would only be reissued from treasury when the Board is satisfied that the 'round
trip' of purchase followed by reissue would result in an enhancement to the
Company's NAV.

Board of Directors

On 1st October 2004 John Scott was appointed a Director of the Company. John
brings a wealth of experience to the Board, having been an executive director of
Lazard Brothers until 2001. He is a director of four other investment trust
companies as well as a director of a Lloyd's broker, a venture capital manager
and a quoted technology company. Having been appointed by the Board during the
year, he will stand for election at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.

I shall retire from the Board at the conclusion of the forthcoming Annual
General Meeting, having served as a Director of the Company since 1993 and as
Chairman since 1998. The Board has appointed Sir Michael Bunbury to succeed me
as Chairman. Sir Michael has been a Director since 1996 and I know that I am
leaving the Company in very capable hands.

Corporate Governance

I am pleased to confirm that the Company operates in accordance with corporate
governance best practice.

In January this year, the Nomination Committee of the Board met to evaluate the
performance of the Manager and of the Board itself, its committees and
individual Directors. In accordance with the Company's Articles of Association,
Peter Lilley is required to retire by rotation at this year's AGM and will stand
for re-election. I am pleased to confirm that Peter continues to be a very
effective Director and demonstrates commitment to his role.

The Board is satisfied that the continuing appointment of the Manager on the
terms agreed is in the interests of shareholders as a whole. In arriving at this
view, the Board considered the above-average performance, the investment
strategy and process of the Investment Managers and the support that the Company
receives from JPMorgan Fleming.

VAT Appeal

As many shareholders will be aware, investment trust companies currently suffer
VAT on management fees. This is not the case for other collective investment
vehicles, such as authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies,
and the Board believes that this is inequitable. Consequently, in 2004, the
Company lodged a joint appeal with the Association of Investment Trust Companies
('AITC') for VAT to be removed from the payment of investment trust management
fees. The costs of the appeal will be borne by the investment trust industry
through the AITC. The date of the tribunal hearing has been set for 9th May

Annual General Meeting

This year's Annual General Meeting will be held in Edinburgh at The Balmoral
Hotel on Tuesday 19th April 2005 at 12.00 noon.


After the pain of the bear market of early 2000 to 2003, the UK market now looks
more settled and it is pleasing that shareholders have enjoyed positive returns
in each of the last two years. The Board very much hopes that this will

Robert Walther
Chairman        15th March 2005

For further information:

Jonathan Latter
JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management   020 7742 6000

JPMorgan Fleming Claverhouse Investment Trust plc
Audited figures for the year ended 31 December 2004

Statement of Total Return

                                           Year ended 31 December 2004          Year ended 31 December 2003
                                              Revenue     Capital      Total    Revenue     Capital       Total
                                                £'000       £'000      £'000      £'000       £'000       £'000

Net realised gains on investments                   -       2,599      2,599          -       7,776       7,776
Net change in unrealised gains on                   -      35,047     35,047          -      42,236      42,236
Other capital charges                               -         (3)        (3)          -         (8)         (8)
Income from investments                         9,648           -      9,648     10,968           -      10,968
Other income                                      293           -        293        298           -         298
                                              _______    ________    _______    _______    ________     _______

Gross return                                    9,941      37,643     47,584     11,266      50,004      61,270

Management fee                                  (736)     (1,366)    (2,102)      (701)     (1,302)     (2,003)
Other administrative expenses                   (332)           -      (332)      (329)           -       (329)
Performance fee                                     -       (614)      (614)          -           -           -
Interest payable                              (1,219)     (2,263)    (3,482)    (1,515)     (2,813)     (4,328)
Debenture Breakage cost                             -     (3,210)    (3,210)          -           -           -
                                              _______     _______    _______    _______     _______     _______

Return before taxation                          7,654      30,190     37,844      8,721      45,889      54,610
Taxation                                          (1)           -        (1)          -           -           -
                                               ______     _______    _______     ______     _______     _______

Total return attributable to ordinary
shareholders                                    7,653      30,190     37,843      8,721      45,889      54,610

Dividends on ordinary shares

Dividends paid                                (5,414)           -    (5,414)    (5,406)           -     (5,406)
Dividend payable                              (2,122)           -    (2,122)    (2,229)           -     (2,229)
                                               ______     _______    _______     ______     _______     _______

Transfer to reserves                              117      30,190     30,307      1,086      45,889      46,975

Return per ordinary share                      10.59p      41.77p     52.36p     11.25p      59.19p      70.44p

Dividends per ordinary share                   10.65p                            10.20p

JPMorgan Fleming Claverhouse Investment Trust plc
Audited figures for the year ended 31 December 2004

BALANCE SHEET                                                                 31 December      31 December
                                                                                     2004             2003
                                                                                    £'000            £'000

Investments at valuation                                                          306,730          310,374

Net current (liabilities)/assets                                                  (6,828)            5,824

Creditors: amounts falling due after one year                                    (29,570)         (51,828)

Provisions for liabilities and charges                                              (410)                -
                                                                                  _______          _______
Total net assets                                                                  269,922          264,370
                                                                                    =====            =====
Net asset value per ordinary share                                                 400.7p           355.8p

                                                                                     2004             2003
                                                                                    £'000            £'000

Net cash inflow from operating activities                                           7,184            8,647

Net cash outflow from servicing of finance                                        (7,610)          (3,259)

Net cash inflow from capital expenditure and financial investment

                                                                                   41,535           38,428

Total equity dividends paid                                                       (7,643)          (7,701)

Net cash outflow from financing                                                  (40,922)         (33,248)
                                                                                  _______          _______
(Decrease)/Increase in cash for the year                                          (7,456)            2,867
                                                                                    =====             ====

The above financial information does not constitute statutory accounts as
defined in Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. The comparative financial
information is based on the statutory accounts for the year ended 31st December
2003. These accounts, upon which the auditors issued an unqualified opinion,
have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditors have reported
under Section 235 on the accounts for 31 December 2003 and 31 December 2004. The
preliminary announcement is prepared on the same basis as the previous year's
annual accounts


15th March 2005

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