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Henderson Smllr Cos (HSL)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 31 July, 2000

Henderson Smllr Cos

Final Results

Henderson Smaller Cos Inv Tst PLC
31 July 2000

      Unaudited Preliminary Group Results for the year ended 31 May 2000
                       'Growth, Consistency, Liquidity'

* Net asset value rises by 36%

* Focus on growth companies and running our winners

Extracts from the Chairman's Statement:

This  year  has fully tested our philosophy of investing in smaller  companies
with  outstanding  growth  potential  and  running  our  winners.   We  remain
comfortably ahead of our benchmark index but many of our 'winners'  fell  back
sharply  with  the  shake-out in the techMARK index.  It is important  to  re-
emphasize  that we remain confident in our approach, and by picking the  right
stocks  in  the  right  sectors we continue to offer shareholders  outstanding
prospects  for  long  term capital growth.  At the  same  time  we  must  warn
shareholders that stockmarket volatility is something we are having  to  learn
to live with.

Over 60% of the Trust's portfolio is in the three rapidly converging areas  of
information  technology,  media  and  telecommunications,  with  the   balance
concentrated in fast growing areas like outsourcing, consumer roll-outs on the
back of strong brands, and pharmaceuticals.  We are not a technology trust but
naturally  see  this  area  as  one which can fit  well  with  our  investment
philosophy.   By running our winners, many of our successful investments  have
grown  from being smaller companies into constituent members of the  FTSE  mid
250 index and even the FTSE 100 index.

A  major  change  during the year was our decision to liquidate  our  overseas
portfolio  and  concentrate  on  investing in UK  domiciled  companies.   This
focuses the Trust's investment mandate.  Instead of allocating our investments
on  a geographical basis, we approach our investing on a 'bottom-up' basis  by
searching  out  those  companies  which offer outstanding  growth  and,  where
appropriate, staying with them.  Many successful UK companies are, of  course,
exploiting international markets.

      Unaudited Preliminary Group Results for the year ended 31 May 2000

Share Buy-Backs
During  the  year  the  Trust purchased 7,628,930 shares for  cancellation  at
favourable discount levels, thereby enhancing the Trust's net asset value.  We
will continue to monitor our discount.

As  explained  previously,  our  policy  is  to  achieve  capital  growth  for
shareholders and not to pay dividends of significance.  However,  and  chiefly
to  retain  the  Trust's status as an investment trust, we propose  to  pay  a
single and final dividend for this year of 0.5p.  Most of the growth companies
we invest in tend to retain the bulk of their earnings.

Valuations  now look more realistic after the recent setback in the technology
sector.   Our  challenge is to build on our track record  of  re-stocking  our
nursery  of sapling companies and nurture the winners as they grow.   This  is
becoming  an  increasingly  competitive  area  of  investment  attention  but,
building on our record, we remain confident that we can serve our shareholders
well in this regard.

P H G Cadbury
28 July 2000

      Unaudited Preliminary Group Results for the year ended 31 May 2000

Group Statement of Total Return (incorporating the consolidated revenue

                             Year ended 31 May 2000  Year ended 31 May 1999
                          Revenue  Capital    Total Revenue  Capital    Total
                            £'000    £'000    £'000   £'000    £'000    £'000
Total capital                   -  187,318  187,318       -  (54,791) (54,791)
gains/(losses) from                                               
Income from fixed asset     5,630        -    5,630   7,783        -    7,783
Other interest receivable   1,589        -    1,589   1,458        -    1,458
and similar income
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Gross revenue and capital   7,219  187,318  194,537   9,241  (54,791) (45,550)
Management fee            (2,400)        -  (2,400) (1,969)        -  (1,969)
Other administrative        (405)        -    (405)   (416)        -    (416)
Irrecoverable VAT           (248)        -    (248)   (234)        -    (234)
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Net return/(loss) on                                                         
ordinary activities
before interest payable     4,166  187,318  191,484   6,622  (54,791) (48,169)
and taxation                                                    
Interest payable          (2,177)        -  (2,177) (2,232)        -  (2,232)
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Net return/(loss) on                                                         
ordinary activities
before taxation             1,989  187,318  189,307   4,390  (54,791) (50,401)
Taxation on net return on    (30)        -     (30)   (200)        -    (200)
ordinary activities
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Net return/(loss) on                                                         
ordinary activities after
taxation                    1,959  187,318  189,277   4,190  (54,791) (50,601)
Dividends - cumulative          -        -        -    (33)        -     (33)
preference stock
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Net return/(loss)                                                            
attributable to ordinary
shareholders                1,959  187,318  189,277   4,157  (54,791) (50,634)
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Dividends - ordinary                                                         
shares (note 4)
Interim: nil (1999:             -        -        - (2,673)        -  (2,673)
Final: 0.50p (1999:         (852)        -    (852) (4,361)        -  (4,361)
Over accrual re prior         127        -      127       -        -        -
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
                            (725)        -    (725) (7,034)        -  (7,034)
                          -------  -------  ------- -------  -------  -------
Transfer to/(from)          1,234  187,318  188,552 (2,877)  (54,791) (57,668)
                            =====    =====    =====   =====    =====    =====
Return/(loss) per           1.14p  108.80p  109.94p   2.33p  (30.75)p (28.42)p
ordinary share (note 1)                                        
                            =====    =====    =====   =====    =====    =====

The revenue columns of this statement represents the consolidated revenue
accounts of the Group.
* Restated for the change in accounting policy (see note 3)

      Unaudited Preliminary Group Results for the year ended 31 May 2000

Group Balance Sheet:                     31 May 2000   31 May 1999
                                               £'000         £'000
Fixed asset investments                                           
Listed investments at market value:                               
United Kingdom                               663,334       414,049
Overseas                                       2,705       144,041
                                        ------------    ----------
                                             666,039       558,090
AIM investments at market value               40,825         4,383
Unquoted investments at directors'             5,100           684
                                         -----------   -----------
                                             711,964       563,157
                                         -----------    ----------
Current assets                                                    
Investments                                        -           173
Debtors                                        6,730         1,924
Cash at bank and short term deposits          32,654        15,503
                                         -----------    ----------
                                              39,384        17,600
Creditors: amounts falling due within        (9,378)       (5,750)
one year
                                          ----------    ----------
Net current assets                            30,006        11,850
                                          ----------    ----------
Total assets less current liabilities        741,970       575,007
Creditors: amounts falling due after        (20,000)      (20,000)
more than one year
                                          ----------    ----------
Total net assets                             721,970       555,007
                                              ======        ======
Capital and reserves                                              
Called up share capital                       42,602        44,519
Other capital reserves                       672,347       504,701
Revenue reserve                                7,021         5,787
                                          ----------    ----------
Shareholders' funds (including non-                               
equity interests of
     £9,000; 1999: £19,000)                  721,970       555,007
                                              ======        ======
Net asset value per ordinary share            423.8p        311.8p
                                              ======        ======

      Unaudited Preliminary Group Results for the year ended 31 May 2000


1.   Return per ordinary share
     Capital  return per ordinary share is based on net capital gains for  the
     year of £187,318,000 (1999: net capital losses of £54,791,000) and on the
     weighted  average number of ordinary shares in issue during the  year  of
     172,168,289 (1999: 178,194,520).

     Revenue  return per ordinary share is based on the earnings  attributable
     to  the  ordinary  shares  of £1,959,000 (1999: £4,157,000)  and  on  the
     weighted  average number of ordinary shares in issue during the  year  of
     172,168,289 (1999: 178,194,520).

2.   Issued Share Capital
     There were 170,371,070 ordinary shares of 25p in issue at 31 May 2000 (31
     May 1999: 178,000,000).

3.   Change in accounting policy
     The  Company  has adopted Financial Report Standard (FRS) 16 Current  Tax
     under which UK franked dividend income should be accounted for net of the
     attributable tax credits.  The comparative figures for the year ended  31
     May  1999  have been restated accordingly.  The effect of this change  is
     that both income and taxation are reduced by £566,000 (1999: £1,210,000).
     However, there is no effect on the revenue or capital returns per  share,
     nor on the net asset value per share.

4.   Dividend
     The  recommended  final dividend of 0.5p per ordinary share,  subject  to
     approval at the Annual General Meeting, will be paid on 2 October 2000 to
     shareholders  on  the register at the close of business  on  8  September

     The  buy-backs of the Company's ordinary shares in the market,  prior  to
     the  ex-dividend  date of the final dividend for the year  ended  31  May
     1999,  resulted in a write back of £127,000 for dividends accrued in  the
     previous financial year.

5.   Basis of consolidation
     The Group accounts consolidate the accounts of the Company and its wholly
     owned   subsidiary  undertaking,  Henderson  Smaller  Companies   Finance

6.   Loss of investment company status
     A  technical  consequence of the Company's share buy-backs  is  that  the
     Company  ceased to be an investment company within the meaning of section
     266  of  the  Companies Act 1985.  However, it continued to  conduct  its
     affairs as an investment trust for taxation purposes under section 842 of
     the  Income  and  Corporation  Taxes  Act  1988,  and  the  Articles   of
     Association   of  the  Company  prohibit  capital  profits   from   being
     distributed  by  way  of  dividend.  As such the  directors  consider  it
     necessary  to  continue to present the accounts in  accordance  with  the
     Statement  of  Recommended  Practice Financial Statements  of  Investment
     Trust  Companies (the 'SORP').  Under the SORP, the financial performance
     of  the Company is presented in a statement of total return in which  the
     revenue  column  is  the profit and loss account  of  the  Company.   The
     revenue column excludes net profits on disposals of investments,       
     calculated by reference to their previous carrying amount of £107,567,000
     (1999:  net  losses of £61,084,000).  Since the Company is no  longer  an
     investment  company,  the  Companies Act  and/or  FRS3  would  ordinarily
     require  this amount to be included in the profit and loss account.    In
     the opinion of the directors the inclusion of this item in
     the  profit and loss account would be misleading because it would obscure
     and  distort both the revenue and capital performance of the Company, and
     would  not  show clearly the revenue profits emerging to be distributable
     by  way  of  dividend.   The  directors  therefore  consider  that  these
     departures  from the specific provisions of Schedule 4 of  the  Companies
     Act relating to the form and content of accounts for companies other than
     investment  companies and these departures from accounting standards  are
     necessary to give a true and fair view.  The departures have no effect on
     total return or on the balance sheet.
7.   2000 Accounts
     The  preliminary figures for the year ended 31 May 2000  are  an  extract
     from  the Group's accounts for that period.  These accounts have not  yet
     been  delivered to the Registrar of Companies, nor have the auditors  yet
     reported on them.

8.   1999 Accounts
     The  figures and financial information for the year ended 31 May 1999 are
     an  extract  of  the latest published accounts and do not constitute  the
     statutory accounts for that year.  These accounts 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 section 237(3) of the Companies Act 1985.

9.   Annual General Meeting
    The  full  annual  report and accounts will be posted to  shareholders  in
    late  August  2000  and  copies  will be  available  thereafter  from  the
    Secretary  at  the Company's Registered Office, 3 Finsbury Avenue,  London
    EC2M  2PA.  The Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 29 September
    2000 at 12.00 noon.

For further information please contact :
John Alexander                      or                Vicki Staveacre
The Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust plc  Henderson Press Office
Telephone: 020 7410 4340                              Telephone: 020 7410 4222

Stephen Westwood
Henderson Investors
Telephone: 020 7477 5517


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