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Quester VCT PLC (KAY)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Wednesday 26 April, 2000

Quester VCT PLC

Final Results - Year Ended 31 January 2000

Quester VCT PLC
26 April 2000

QUESTER VCT PLC ('the Company')
Summary of results

Year ended 31 January                      2000    1999     1998      1997
                                                     as       as        as
                                               restated restated  restated
                                                                 (58 weeks)

Annual total return per share (pence)        32       4      13          5
Net asset value plus cumulative dividend
per share (pence)                           150     118     113        100
Dividend per share (pence)                  5.8     2.4     2.8        2.5
Cumulative dividend per share (pence)      13.5     7.7     5.3        2.5
Shareholders' funds (£'000)              42,213  34,181  32,715     13,238
Net asset value per share (pence)         136.5   110.1   107.6       97.2
Mid-market price per share (pence)          150      89     102         95

Net asset value per share as at 29 February was 140.2p


Annual General Meeting                         25 May 2000
Final dividend for 1999/00                     £nil

Special interim dividend for 2000/01           10p per share
Payment date                                   1 June 2000
Associated record date                         8 May 2000


Progress of investment

Investment has progressed at a steady rate throughout the year and a
total of 30 investments, 14 new, 16 follow-on, were completed.  The
Company has now achieved its objective of investing approximately
80% of its initial funds in a broad spread of venture capital
opportunities which meet the criteria for venture capital trusts.

It was our original intention to invest 80% of the Company's funds
in venture capital opportunities, with the balance of 20% being
invested in the FTSE 350.  In line with the policies applied by the
other Quester VCTs, this has evolved and we are now aiming to invest
85% in venture capital opportunities with the balance of 15% in the
FTSE 350.  This minor change in policy results from our experience
of managing VCTs over the last four years.


The portfolio continued to perform well and is valued at the year
end at over £10 million above cost, representing an increase in
excess of 40%, which reflects good overall performance.

Whilst the majority of the unquoted portfolio remains valued at
cost, in line with our accepted valuation policy, we have increased
the value of two investments following arm's length transactions in
their stocks.  The performance of the majority of the AIM traded
investments was also good.  Whilst it is Quester VCT's objective to
invest mainly in unquoted businesses, approximately a fifth, by
cost, has been invested in AIM traded investments.  Our technology
related AIM investments in particular performed extremely well
during the year, broadly in line with the rest of that market, and
unrealised gains of over £11 million have been generated.

During the year three disposals were made, realising capital profits
of £1.4 million.  In addition, following the year end, the Company
made realisations from four of its investments, generating profits
of £4.5 million. The Company still retains significant investments
in all four of these companies.  It is the Directors' intention that
these realised gains be distributed to shareholders.

As is inevitable with a portfolio of venture capital investments
comprising of a substantial number of relatively young businesses,
provisions have been made during the year to cover potential losses
arising from a small number of investments.  In total, provisions of
£2 million have been made in respect of five investments.


During the financial year under review, Quester VCT broke new ground
for general venture capital trusts when it became the first general
VCT to pay a dividend out of capital profits.  This dividend, which
amounted to 5.75p per share, was paid as a special interim dividend
in October 1999.   The amount of the capital dividend represents a
significant increase over the dividends paid in prior periods that
were funded purely from income. No final dividend will be paid.

As a result of the post year end disposals referred to above, which
generated profits of £4.5 million, the directors have resolved to
pay an early interim dividend for the current year of 10p per share
absorbing £3.1 million.


Richard Prest, who retires by rotation at this year's Annual General
Meeting, has decided not to seek re-election.  My colleagues and I
would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his services
and significant contribution to both the Board and Audit Committee
over the past four years.  It is the Company's intention to fill the
vacancy caused by Richard's retirement as soon as a suitable
candidate has been found.


Shareholders will be aware of the recent volatility in quoted
markets, which has resulted in sharp falls in the value of
technology related shares, including those in our AIM traded
portfolio.  There seems little doubt, however, that technology
related businesses, identified by reference to sustainable valuation
criteria, offer the best growth prospects over the medium and long
term.  Our managers, Quester Capital Management, who have teams
specialising in these areas, should be well placed to identify
further good opportunities on sensible terms.

We believe that Quester VCT is well placed to build on its excellent
progress to date.

Tom Scruby
25 April 2000


Venture capital investments                                          % of
                                                   Cost Valuation portfolio
                               Industry Sector    £'000     £'000  by value   
Acedes Gear Tools Limited      Manufacturing        995      995     2.8%
Advanced    Valve   Technology Manufacturing        444      444     1.3%
Anadyne       Microelectronics IT hardware          625      625     1.8%
Armagard Limited               Manufacturing      1,150    1,150     3.3%
Artisan Software Tools Limited Software           1,047    1,047     3.0% plc                 Internet             750      750     2.1%
Cardionetics Limited           Healthcare           550      847     2.4%
CDC Limited                    Software             500      500     1.4%
Communication & Control        IT hardware          375      375     1.1%
Electronics Limited
Cotswold Outdoor Limited       Retail             1,000      400     1.1%
Daisy & Tom Limited            Retail             1,153      288     0.8%
Deep Sea Leisure plc1*         Leisure              200      175     0.5%
Dragons Health Clubs plc*      Leisure              950    2,066     5.9%
Dycem Limited                  Specialist           650      650     1.9%
Elateral Holdings Limited      Internet             613      613     1.7%
First Fibre Limited            Telecoms           1,250    1,250     3.6%
Harleyco Limited               Retail               685      514     1.5%
HMV Media Group plc            Retail               430      322     0.9%
HSL Holdings Limited           Software           1,000    1,000     2.8%
HTC Healthcare Group plc       Other services       325      325     0.9%
International      Diagnostics Healthcare           990      990     2.8%
Group plc
International Resources  Group Specialist           403      403     1.1%
Limited                        consulting
JSB Software Technologies plc* Software           1,000    8,355    23.8%
Linguaphone Group plc          Publishing           250      250     0.7%
Methuen Publishing Limited     Publishing           782      782     2.2%
Opsys Limited                  IT hardware          300      300     0.9%
Orchestream Limited            Software           1,250    2,035     5.8%
Pipeline Engineering & Supply  Specialist           496      496     1.4%
Co Limited                     engineering
Policy Master Group plc*       Software             198      624     1.8%
Power X Limited                IT hardware          600      600     1.7%
Purple Technologies Limited    Software             200      200     0.6%
Shalibane plc*                 Specialist         1,205      899     2.6%
Sibelius Software Limited      Software             700      700     2.0%
Sift plc                       Internet             625      625     1.8%
Sopheon plc*                   Software             200    1,108     3.2%
XKO Group plc*                 Software             625    2,391     6.8%
Total venture capital                            24,516   35,094     100%

* Shares traded on AIM or main London market

                                             2000           1999
                                 Notes               as restated
(Loss)/profit on realisation of           (1,395)          2,016
Income                              1         802          1,316
Investment management fee                    (852)          (820)
Other expenses                      2        (238)          (248)
(Loss)/profit on ordinary                  (1,683)         2,264
activities before taxation
Tax on ordinary activities          3         (43)          (133)
(Loss)/profit on ordinary                  (1,726)         2,131
activities after taxation
Dividend paid                       4      (1,778)          (580)
Retained (loss)/profit                     (3,504)          1,551
transferred to reserves
Basic and diluted                   5        (5.6)            7.0
(loss)/earnings per share

                                             2000           1999
                                                     as restated
(Loss)/profit on ordinary                  (1,726)         2,131
activities after taxation
Unrealised gain/(loss) on                  11,664           (793)
revaluation of investments
Total gains and losses                      9,938          1,338
recognised during the period
Total recognised gains per          5       32.1p           4.4p


The accompanying notes are an integral part of this statement.
All items in the above statement derive from continuing
The Company has only one class of business and derives its
income from investments made in shares and securities and bank
In accordance with Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 14, the
outstanding option gives rise to no dilution to the return per share
at this stage.


                                             2000         1999
                                  Notes            as restated
                                            £'000        £'000
Fixed assets                                                  
     Investments                           40,606       23,006
Current assets                                                
     Debtors                                  870        1,415
     Cash at bank                           1,094       10,583
                                            1,964       11,998
Creditors  (amounts falling  due            (357)        (823)
within one year)
Net current assets                          1,607       11,175
Net assets                                 42,213       34,181
Capital and reserves                                          
       Called-up  equity   share            1,546        1,553
     Share premium account                 28,833       28,954
     Revaluation reserve                   12,537        1,682
     Profit and loss account                (703)        1,992
Total equity shareholders' funds           42,213       34,181
Net asset value per share          6       136.5p       110.1p


                                             2000         1999
                                                   as restated
                                            £'000        £'000
Reconciliation of operating profit to                         
net cash inflow from operating
Net   (outflow)/revenue  from  ordinary   (1,683)        2,264
activities before tax
Decrease in debtors                           347           31
Increase in creditors                          25           71
Tax   withheld  at  source  on  franked      (40)        (108)
investment income
Repayment  of  income tax  suffered  at       261            -
Income tax suffered at source                (67)        (211)
Amortisation of gilts                           -          301
Loss/(profit)    on   realisation    of     1,395      (2,016)
Cash inflow from operating activities         238          332
Advance corporation tax paid                 (69)          (59)
Corporation tax refund                       (84)           33
                                               85          306
Capital   expenditure   and   financial                       
Purchase of investments                   (17,914      (22,478)
Sale/redemption of investments             10,583       30,017
                                           (7,246)       7,845
Equity dividends paid                      (2,115)        (699)
Issue of ordinary shares                        -          812
Share issue expenses                            -          (32)
Buy back of shares                           (128)         (73)
(Decrease)/increase  in  cash  for  the    (9,489)       7,853
Reconciliation  of  net  cash  flow  to                       
movement in net funds
(Decrease)/Increase  in  cash  for  the    (9,489)       7,853
Net funds at the start of the year         10,583        2,730
Net funds at the end of the year            1,094       10,583


1    Income
                                          2000         1999
                                         £'000        £'000
Franked investment income                                  
     Unlisted companies                    144          302
     Listed companies                      234          238
Interest receivable                                        
     Fixed interest securities             232          514
     Bank deposits                          95          217
     Loans to unquoted companies            96           45
Sundry income                                1            -
                                           802        1,316
2    Other expenses
                                          2000         1999
                                                as restated
                                         £'000        £'000
Administrative and secretarial              38           37
Directors' remuneration                     48           45
Auditors' remuneration  - audit             17           16
                  - non-audit               19            9
Legal and professional expenses             20           20
Irrecoverable VAT                           59           93
Other expenses                              37           28
                                           238          248
3    Tax on ordinary activities
                                          2000         1999
                                                as restated
                                         £'000        £'000
Under provision in prior year                -            4
Tax attributable to franked                 40          108
investment income
ACT written off                              3           21
                                            43          133
4    Dividends
                                          2000         1999
                                         £'000        £'000
Interim paid net - 5.75p per share       1,778          243
(1999: 0.8p)
Second interim proposed net - 0p             -          303
per share (1999: 1.0p)
Final dividend proposed net -  0p            -           34
per share (1999: 0.11p)
                                         1,778          580

5    Loss/earnings per share

The 5.6p loss per share (1999: 7.0p earnings per share) is based  on
the net loss from ordinary activities after tax of £1,725,807 (1999:
profit  £2,130,287) and on shares of 30,954,344 (1999:  30,498,514),
being  the  weighted average number of shares in  issue  during  the

The total recognised gains per share is based on the total gains and
losses  for  the  year  of  £9,937,659  (1999:  £1,337,999)  and  on
30,954,344  (1999:  30,498,514) shares being  the  weighted  average
number of shares in issue during the year.

6    Net asset value per share

The  calculation of net asset value per share as at 31 January  2000
is  based on net assets of £42,213,724 (1999:£34,181,250) divided by
the  30,918,637 (1999: 31,056,383) ordinary shares in issue at  that

The financial information set out above does not constitute the
Company's statutory accounts for the year ended 31 January 2000.
The statutory accounts for the year ended 31 January 2000 will be
finalised on the basis of the financial information presented by the
directors in the preliminary announcement and will be delivered to
the Registrar of Companies following the Company's Annual General

Copies of the full financial statements for the year ended 31
January 2000 are expected to be posted to shareholders on 25 April
2000 and will be available to the public at the registered office of
the Company at 29 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1H 9BU.


a d v e r t i s e m e n t