For immediate release - 12 December 2007
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust PLC
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust PLC today announces its preliminary results for
the year ended 30 September 2007.
30 September 30 September % Change
Share price 307.5p 300.3p +2.4
Net asset value per share 315.4p 302.6p +4.2
Discount of share price to net asset 2.5% 0.8% -
value per share
Shareholders' funds £166.1m £149.0m +11.5
Market capitalisation £161.9m £147.9m +9.5
Dividends 4.2p 4.2p -
First interim paid 4.8p^ 4.2p +14.3
Second interim paid 9.0p 8.4p +7.1
Total - 2.3p N/A
Share price total return* +5.3% +19.6% -
Net asset value per share total return +6.9% +21.2% -
FTSE All-Share Index (total return) +12.2% +14.7% -
Total expense ratio (excluding 1.1% 1.2% -
^Second interim dividend paid on 2 November 2007.
*Source: Association of Investment Companies.
+TER is calculated based on the average net asset value during the year ended
This Announcement is not the Company's annual report. It is an abridged version
of the Company's full annual report for the year ended 30 September 2007, which
has been approved by the Board. The full annual report will be sent to
shareholders on 21 December 2007. The full annual report, together with a copy
of this announcement, will also be available on the Company's website:
For further information please contact:
Mark Pope, Frostrow Capital LLP 020 3 008 4913
Michael Reeve, Chairman 020 3 008 4910
Nick Train, Lindsell Train Limited 020 7 227 8200
I concluded my statement accompanying the Interim Report in June by saying that
market conditions in the near term are likely to be volatile and uncertain. In
retrospect this seems to have been somewhat of an understatement. At one stage
during the last three months of our financial year the FTSE All- Share index
was down by 11.5 % but by our year end most of this fall had been recovered.
After a strong performance in the first half of the year registering a 10.4 %
and 9.3% increase in the market value of your shares and their net asset value
respectively, the second half year proved disappointing. However, during the
year, the net asset value per share and the market value of your shares, in
both cases measured on a total return basis, increased by 6.9% and by 5.3%
respectively. Both fell short of the Company's benchmark, the FTSE All Share
Index which rose by 12.2% in the year.
It is your Board's policy to issue new shares to meet market demand. 3,410,850
new shares were issued during the year an increase of 6.9%, all of which were
issued at a premium to net asset value. The market capitalisation of your
Company increased by 9.5 % to £161.9m at the year end.
Return and Dividend
The Income Statement shows a total return per share of 20.23p (2006: 55.24p)
made up of a revenue return of 9.44p (2006: 12.37p including a special dividend
received of 2.30p) and a capital return of 10.79p (2006: 42.87p).
Your Board has declared two interim dividends totalling 9.0p per share. This
represents an increase of 7.1% (excluding the special dividend paid last year)
on that paid last year and is in line with your Board's progressive dividend
policy. The second interim dividend was paid on 2 November 2007 to shareholders
on the register at the close of business on 28 September 2007.
During the year, there was relatively little change to the make-up of the
Investment Portfolio. At 30 September 2007 exposure to FTSE 350 companies rose
slightly, to 74.4%, due to increase in the level of FTSE 100 stocks held which
accounted for over half of the Company's assets, having increased from 51.2% to
55.0% during the year. Exposure to small cap stocks remained around 16.0% and
the fixed interest and preference shares weighting fell from 12.2% to 9.8%.
With regard to sectors, at the year end, the Investment Portfolio was
underweight in Oil & Gas, Basic Materials, Industrials, Health Care,
Telecommunications, Utilities and Financials compared to the FTSE All-Share
Index. Overweight positions were held in Consumer Goods, Consumer Services and
Technology. This reflects our Investment Manager's continued strategy of
gaining exposure to growth companies in areas such as Media, Software, Asset
Managers and Consumer Goods.
Major contributors in the rise of 6.9% in the Company's net asset value per
share (measured on a total return basis) were your Company's investments in
Reuters (+6.4p per share), Diageo (+4.6p per share), Schroders (+4.5p per
share) and London Stock Exchange (+4.0p per share). The largest detractors to
performance were Bradford and Bingley (-4.4p per share) and the holding in HBOS
ordinary shares (-1.9p per share).
Further detailed information on the Company's investment strategy and portfolio
activity, is contained in the Investment Manager's Review which forms part of
the Annual Report & Accounts.
Your Company has a committed £20m two year revolving credit facility for a
fixed term expiring in October 2008.This facility carries a variable rate of
interest, which can be fixed if so required. In addition your Company has a
committed 364 day facility of £10m.
At 30 September 2007 £24.85m was drawn down under these facilities.
Investment Management and Administrative Arrangements
In my statement accompanying the Interim Report I referred to the announcement
that Frostrow Capital LLP had been appointed to provide Management,
Administration, Secretarial and Marketing services in place of Close
Investments Limited. Your Company has acquired a 10.0% interest in Frostrow
Capital LLP for £150,000 and has provided it with a £250,000 three year credit
facility. As of the date of this announcement there was no amount outstanding
against this facility.
Lindsell Train Limited continues to be responsible for the management of the
Company's Investment Portfolio and during the year was engaged under the terms
of a new investment management contract.
These new arrangements became effective on 1 July 2007 and I am glad to report
that they are working well.
On 31 October 2007 the Association of Investment Companies announced that HM
Revenue and Customs had confirmed to the Investment Management Association that
investment trust investment management fees should never have attracted Value
Added Tax (VAT). The Company is now taking steps to recover VAT paid to its
previous and current investment managers, Close Investments Limited (formerly
Close Finsbury Asset Management Limited) and Lindsell Train Limited
respectively. The Company will take credit for VAT recovered when any such
recovery can be assessed with reasonable certainty.
Resolutions to be proposed at the Annual General Meeting
Although your shares continue to usually trade at a premium to net asset value,
your Board wishes to continue to be able to manage a discount should it arise
by buying back shares at its absolute discretion. Therefore an appropriate
resolution will be tabled at the Annual General Meeting to empower your Company
to acquire up to 14.99% of its share capital; up to 10.0% of the Company's
share capital may be held in treasury and be available for reissue as demand
arises. In the year ended 30 September 2007 your Company bought back no shares.
I will be retiring from the Board at the Annual General Meeting. I have been
Chairman since 1991 when the market capitalisation of your Company was in the
order of £20m. I am pleased that Anthony Townsend, who rejoined the Board in
2005, is to succeed me as Chairman. He has served two years as Chairman of the
Association of Investment Companies and has considerable experience of
I am pleased that Neil Collins has agreed to join the Board following the
conclusion of the Annual General Meeting to be held on 30 January 2008. He has
had a long and distinguished career as a financial journalist, latterly as City
Editor of the Daily Telegraph and is also a Director of Templeton Emerging
Markets Investment Trust PLC.
I think I had better be very careful about what I say here. There are bound to
be ups and downs. Globalisation of financial markets has led to much greater
market volatility than was the case in the past. The increasing use of
complicated derivative instruments hinders transparency thus creating
Since our year end the UK equity market has recovered to a near all time high
but in recent weeks has again declined and continues to be volatile. There is
the spectre of recession in the US and continuing uncertainty in the credit
markets. However your Company has an experienced Board and an Investment
Manager who is highly rated. I would therefore expect them to continue to add
shareholder value over the years to come.
The financial statements and associated notes are located in part 2 of this
Frostrow Capital LLP,
12 December 2007
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust PLC
Preliminary Results for the year ended 30 September 2007