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JPMorgan Flem Jap IT (JFJ)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 01 June, 2004

JPMorgan Flem Jap IT

Interim Results

JPMorgan Fleming Japanese IT PLC
01 June 2004


                         STOCK EXCHANGE ANNOUNCEMENT OF


The Board today release the unaudited interim results of the Company for the six
months to 31st March 2004.

The following are comments from the Chairman:

Chairman's statement

There have been few periods in recent times when investors have made more money
in Japan than in other major stock markets. However, in the six months covered
by this report the TOPIX index in Japan was one of the world's better performing
indices, rising 13% in sterling terms, and in the past year it rose by almost

The most obvious reason why investors are now more confident is that the
Japanese economy is recovering and, with it, corporate profits across most
industrial sectors. It is difficult to isolate a single catalyst for the
turnaround but strong demand for capital goods from China and a wave of global
demand for digital consumer electronics products have been major contributors.
These higher sales volumes for a whole range of finished goods have had a
knock-on effect all the way down the production chain. Steel companies such as
Nippon Steel are raising prices because they cannot meet demand, shipping
companies like Mitsui OSK are raising rates and ordering more vessels as cargo
space is sold out, in turn stimulating a recovery in the shipbuilding industry.
The rise in factory overtime and monthly wages provide hope for the retail
sector, where signs of life are emerging in shop and department store sales.

All this has brought about a broad-based economic recovery, benefiting not just
the newer service sectors but also many of the oldest industries in Japan, which
are seeing their first sales and profits gains for fifteen years. Importantly,
the corporate restructuring seen in the past few years is now beginning to bear
fruit. Companies are enjoying significant free cash flow and, with it, the
confidence to invest.

The Company's portfolio still maintains large positions in stocks that have
global businesses that are taking market share from their competitors in Europe
and the USA, such as Canon, Toyota and Honda, but there has been a major change
of emphasis in the past six months and the portfolio is now more invested to
reflect a domestic economic recovery than it has been for many years. The most
significant absolute shifts have been the de-emphasising of sectors like
technology and machinery, and a shift into banks, securities companies and
retail shares.

This shift to a broader based recovery has led to a rotation in sectors that
have been leading the market, and has meant that the rise in our net asset value
has slightly lagged the benchmark as the portfolio was repositioned. The share
price, however, has been strong as the discount narrowed on increased investor
interest in Japan.


The outlook for the Japanese economy for the remainder of the year is
encouraging, although we are wary of potential setbacks in China or the US.
Order trends in manufacturing remain firm, indeed, given the breadth of demand,
sales of machine tool companies like Makino Milling may well pass the previous
peaks of 1997 and 2000. Service sector demand is recovering as both companies
and individuals start to spend more, and the real estate and banking sectors
appear to be turning the corner. Land prices in certain areas of Tokyo have
started to rise, and the investment managers believe it likely that it will not
be long before this is seen in other parts of the country such as Osaka and
Nagoya. A sustained recovery in real estate and banking would have a
disproportionate impact on the stock market and, if it does coincide with a
general broadening of spending by companies and individuals alike, it may well
herald the end of the era of deflation which has been the millstone round the
neck of the Tokyo market for so many years.

In the twelve months to 31st March 2004, the Japanese equity market rose almost
50% in Yen terms, representing the single largest gain in any fiscal year since
the early 1970s. Future returns are likely to be less dramatic but, given the
current earnings trends and valuations of Japanese companies, the prospect of
sustainable demand from Asia and a gradual improvement in other world economies,
we believe the outlook for the Japanese equity market remains positive.


Andrew Fleming was appointed to the Board on 15th April following a search
process involving external consultants. Aged 44, he is the Chief Investment
Officer of ABN AMRO Investment Management, prior to which he worked with
Gartmore Investment Management, a period which included a six year spell running
its Tokyo operation.

David Ritchie

Chairman, 1st June 2004

For further information, please contact:

Jonathan Latter

J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management (UK) Limited, 020 7742 6000

Secretary to the Company

JPMorgan Fleming Japanese Investment Trust plc

Unaudited figures for the six months ended 31 March 2004

Statement of Total Return (Unaudited)

                          Six months to 31 March 2004       Six months to 31 March 2003     Year to 30 September 2003
                          Revenue     Capital     Total   Revenue   Capital       Total   Revenue   Capital     Total
                            £'000       £'000     £'000     £'000     £'000       £'000     £'000     £'000     £'000

Realised (losses)/gains
on investments                  -    (12,511)  (12,511)         -  (19,953)    (19,953)         -    11,335    11,335
Net unrealised gains/
(losses) on investments         -      61,107    61,107         -  (32,697)    (32,697)         -    62,079    62,079
Realised currency
losses on cash and
deposits                        -     (2,152)   (2,152)         -     (253)       (253)         -   (2,132)   (2,132)
Unrealised (losses)/
gains on currency
hedges                          -           -         -         -      (38)        (38)         -     1,428     1,428
Net unrealised currency
gains/(losses) on loans         -       1,892     1,892         -         -           -         -     (158)     (158)
Realised currency
losses on repayment of
Yen loan                        -           -         -         -     (481)       (481)         -     (481)     (481)
Other capital charges           -        (22)      (22)         -      (14)        (14)         -      (21)      (21)
Overseas dividends          2,496           -     2,496     2,014         -       2,014     3,443         -     3,443
Sundry receipts                 -           -         -       502         -         502       502         -       502
Stock lending fees            278           -       278        62         -          62       321         -       321
Deposit interest                2           -         2         7         -           7         8         -         8
                          _______    ________   _______    ______   _______    ________   _______   _______   _______

Gross return/(loss)         2,776      48,314    51,090     2,585  (53,436)    (50,851)     4,274    72,050    76,324

Management fee              (279)     (1,118)   (1,397)     (200)     (800)     (1,000)     (412)   (1,647)   (2,059)

Other administrative
expenses                    (275)           -     (275)     (237)         -       (237)     (405)         -     (405)
Interest payable             (42)       (167)     (209)      (84)     (337)       (421)     (166)     (660)     (826)

                          _______     _______   _______    ______   _______     _______   _______   _______   _______

Return/(loss) before
taxation                    2,180      47,029    49,209     2,064  (54,573)    (52,509)     3,291    69,743    73,034
Taxation                    (559)         382     (177)     (478)         -       (478)   (1,062)       708     (354)

                           ______     _______   _______    ______   _______      ______   _______   _______   _______

Available for ordinary
shareholders                1,621      47,411    49,032     1,586  (54,573)    (52,987)     2,229    70,451    72,680
Return/(loss) per
ordinary share              0.87p      25.52p    26.39p     0.84p  (29.06)p    (28.22)p     1.19p    37.70p    38.89p

JPMorgan Fleming Japanese Investment Trust plc

Unaudited figures for the six months ended 31 March 2004

BALANCE SHEET                                                           31 March        31 March         30 Sept
                                                                            2004            2003            2003
                                                                           £'000           £'000           £'000

Investments at valuation                                                 528,176         304,898         458,581

Net current (liabilities)/assets                                        (39,186)           6,435        (17,675)

Creditors (amounts falling due after more than one year)                (31,380)        (26,676)        (32,327)
                                                                         _______         _______         _______
Total net assets                                                         457,610         284,657         408,579
                                                                           =====           =====           =====
Net asset value per ordinary share                                        246.3p          152.1p          219.9p

                                                                            2004            2003            2003
                                                                           £'000           £'000           £'000

Net cash inflow from operating activities                                    106              57           1,218

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from returns on investments and
servicing of finance                                                       (262)             419           6,178

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from capital expenditure and
financial investment                                                     (2,768)           7,983        (25,774)

Net cash (outflow)/inflow from financing                                       -        (14,655)          20,659
                                                                         _______         _______          ______
(Decrease)/increase in cash for the period                               (2,924)         (6,196)           2,281
                                                                           =====           =====            ====

The above financial information does not constitute statutory accounts as
defined in Section 240 of the Companies Act 1985. Statutory accounts for the
year ended 30 September 2003 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies.


1 June 2004

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

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