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Gabelli Value Plus+ (GVP)

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Tuesday 05 January, 2021

Gabelli Value Plus+

Half-year Report

RNS Number : 5165K
Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust PLC
05 January 2021
 

Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust Plc

Half-Yearly Results Announcement

Financial highlights

Performance (unadjusted for distributions)

(Unaudited)

As at

30 September 2020

(Unaudited)

As at

30 September

2019

(Audited)

As at

31 March

2020

Net asset value per share (cum income)

124.2p

146.4p

103.0p

Net asset value per share (ex income)

123.4p

145.7p

101.9p

Share price

116.0p

133.5p

82.5p

Discount relative to the NAV (cum income)

6.6%

8.8%

19.9%

Exchange Rate (U.S.$/£)

1.29

1.23

1.24

 

Total returns

(Unaudited)

Half year ended 30 September 2020

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September

2019

(Audited)

Year ended

31 March

2020

Net asset value per share#

20.1%

6.1%

(25.0%)

Russell 3000 Value Index (£)

15.8%

11.0%

(14.0%)

Standard & Poor's 500 Index (£)

25.9%

12.1%

(2.5%)

Share price

40.6%

9.0%

(32.7%)

Income


 

Revenue return per share

0.62p

0.68p

1.09p

Ongoing charges*


 

Annualised ongoing charges**

1.34%

1.12%

1.24%

 

Source: Investment Manager (Gabelli Funds, LLC), verified by the Administrator, State Street Bank and Trust Company.

 

# The net asset value ("NAV") total return for the respective periods reflects the movement in the NAV, after taking account of dividends paid during the periods.

The total share price return for the respective periods reflects the movement in the share price during these periods after taking account of dividends paid during the periods.

* Ongoing charges are calculated as a percentage of shareholders' funds using the average net assets over the respective periods and calculated in line with the Association of Investment Companies (AIC's) recommended methodology.

** The annualised ongoing charges figures are the recurring operating and investment management costs of the Company expressed as a percentage of the average net assets.

 

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

 

Introduction

I am pleased to present the half year results for the period to 30 September 2020.

 

The period under review was a volatile one, with markets recovering sharply as investors began to come to terms with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside this issue, investor attention became focussed on the U.S. Presidential election, the result of which is now known, being a win for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

 

I will now briefly comment below on certain developments directly concerning shareholders, which are set out in detail in a circular to shareholders published on 11 November 2020.

 

As shareholders are aware, the most significant event for them during the period was the ordinary resolution contained in the Notice of the AGM held on 30 July 2020 concerning the continuation of the Company in its present form. This proposal was roundly defeated. On a high voting turnout of 93.2% of shares in issue, 65.6% of votes were cast against the resolution, with 34.3% in favour of continuation. The only significant vote in favour of continuation was that of Associated Capital Group, Inc. ('ACG'), an affiliate of the Investment Manager, with a holding of 27.36%.

 

Since the AGM, the Board has consulted with a number of the non-ACG shareholders and also with ACG. These consultations have confirmed that the overwhelming majority of shareholders, excepting ACG, remain in favour of liquidation. In a letter received post the period end, on 22 October, ACG requested that the Company call a general meeting at which it wished to propose certain resolutions with regard to the continuation of the Company and its present Investment Manager. The general meeting was held on 7 December 2020 and all resolutions were defeated on a poll, with 64.4% of votes cast against the resolutions and 35.6% cast in favour. In the Board's view, the voting results of the general meeting demonstrate the stark lack of support for the proposals put forward in the resolutions by a significant majority of shareholders.  

 

The Board continues to believe that it would be in the best interests of the Company and shareholders as a whole to put forward further proposals for a members' voluntary liquidation of the Company. This is the most straightforward and cost effective means to effect the clearly expressed desire of the majority of shareholders for a discontinuation of the Company, inter alia, from a tax perspective. This does, of course, require a special resolution to be passed and ACG may again decide to block it.

 

The first half of the Company's year saw the NAV per share recover sharply. On a total return basis, the NAV per share rose by 22.1% in the six months to 30 September 2020, while the share price increased by 41.8%. Over the same period, the Russell 3000 Value Index rose by 15.8% and the S&P 500 Index by 25.9%.

 

In the period since the Company's inception in February 2015 to 30 September 2020 the NAV and share price total returns were 28.4% and 19.7% respectively, compared with 54.1% for the Russell 3000 Value and 114.5% for the S&P 500.

 

Since early in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on many aspects of business activities, as well as social life. Tourism and business travel very largely came to a halt as did many other aspects of business interaction including retail, finance and banking to name a few. One clear development resulting from the pandemic, however, has been a dramatic acceleration in the use of online transactions. Many people have shifted to using online services, including payments, for a variety of their needs. This digital surge has risen to levels which many businesses had not expected to see for some years. While this trend may slow, as and when the pandemic concerns subside, it will inevitably result in significant operational changes for many companies, including restructurings. As a result, in the medium term, many businesses are likely to emerge leaner and more efficient, perhaps with fewer employees. At the same time, many technology companies, including those noted in the Company's Annual Report (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google), have continued to thrive in the current environment. Their extraordinary record of success has placed them in strong advantageous competitive positions, with strong balance sheets and large amounts of free cash reserves.

 

Dividend and buybacks

A dividend of 1.0p per share was paid to shareholders in August 2020 in respect of the 2020 financial year. Dividends are paid annually, therefore no dividend will be paid for this interim period.

 

No share buyback transactions took place during the period under review.

 

Outlook

Since the majority of shareholders have voted in favour of the discontinuation of the Company, and the results of the general meeting held on 7 December 2020 strongly endorse that position for the majority of shareholders, the Board will continue to engage with all shareholders to seek to deliver a satisfactory outcome of the continuation vote for a shareholders as soon as practicable.

 

Peter Dicks

Chairman

4 January 2021

 

INVESTMENT MANAGER'S REVIEW

Gabelli Methodology

Gabelli Funds would like to thank our long term investors for entrusting a portion of their assets to the Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust. Many of our original shareholders in the IPO are still shareholders today, and we appreciate the confidence and trust you have offered our organisation through an investment in GVP. As we have for over forty years, we remain vigilant in the application of our investment philosophy and in our search for opportunities. In this context, let us outline our investment methodology and the investment environment through September 30th.

 

We at Gabelli are active, bottom up, value investors, and seek to achieve real capital appreciation

(relative to inflation) over the long term, regardless of market cycles. We have been steadfast in our approach. We achieve returns through investing in businesses utilising our proprietary Private Market Value ("PMV") with a Catalyst™ methodology. PMV is the value that we believe an informed buyer would be willing to pay to acquire an entire company in a private transaction. Our team arrives at a PMV valuation by a rigorous assessment of fundamentals from publicly available information and judgment gained from our comprehensive, accumulated knowledge of a variety of sectors. We focus not just on earnings, but also on the balance sheet, free cash flow, and the management of prospective companies. We are not index benchmarked, and construct portfolios agnostic of market capitalisation and index weightings. We have invested this way since 1977.

 

Our research process identifies differentiated franchise businesses, typically with strong organic cash flow characteristics, balance sheet opportunities, and operational flexibility. We seek to identify businesses whose securities trade in the public markets at a significant discount to our estimates of their PMV estimate, or "Margin of Safety". Having identified such securities, we look to identify one or more "catalysts" that will narrow or eliminate the discount associated with that "Margin of Safety". Catalysts can come in many forms including, but not limited to, corporate restructurings (such as demergers and asset sales), operational improvements, regulatory or managerial changes, special situations (such as liquidations), and mergers and acquisitions.

 

It is through this process of bottom up stock selection and the implementation of disciplined portfolio construction that we expect to create value for our shareholders.

 

Observations

From the period of 1 April to the end of September 2020, the first fiscal half of the year for Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust, the United States and the world were battling the global pandemic of COVID-19. At the beginning of April, the U.S. economy was virtually shut down as many businesses were ordered to close in order to slow the spread of the disease. The stock market fell during the month of March but, starting in April, the market began to recover slowly and gradually. The Federal government responded to the crisis with a massive fiscal and monetary stimulus. On the fiscal side, a number of programs were implemented to help prop up the economy and assist businesses that were shut down and individuals who were unemployed. On the monetary side, short term interest rates were quickly lowered essentially to zero in early 2020, and the Federal Reserve promised the markets that short term interest rates would stay near zero for at least a couple more years. In Congress, the Trump administration was not able to move forward with any major legislation, other than COVID-19 related stimulus, as partisan bickering continued ahead of the Presidential election in November.

 

The Economy

The U.S. economy went into a deep but short recession in 2020. During the first calendar quarter of the year, the economy contracted by 5% as the pandemic began to impact the economy. Then, in the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. economy experienced a massive contraction of slightly over 30%, as many businesses were shut down and travel was drastically reduced. Two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth are defined as a recession. During the third calendar quarter of 2020, the U.S. economy started to grow once again, with quarter over quarter growth of about 25% after the big contraction in the second quarter. We expect the economy will continue to grow in the fourth quarter, probably in the mid-single digit range, as the health care community gets better at treating and preventing the COVID-19 virus.

 

The Markets

Investors are facing an acute shortage of good income generating opportunities. While not a realistic choice for some investors, stocks must play a larger role overall in meeting investors' income needs. At this writing, the dividend yield on the S&P 500 Index is higher than the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield, which currently is around 0.7%. Stocks offer compelling current income and growth of income for investors who can tolerate stock market volatility. Stocks also offer the potential for growth in capital over time. It is hard to imagine growing capital by investing in bonds at historically low interest rates. We are probably in the final inning of an almost 40 year bull market in U.S. bonds.

 

The Election

Subsequent to 30 September 2020, the United States held its Presidential elections on 3rd November. Although the outcome has not been certified as of the time of this writing, it appears as though Democratic challenger Joe Biden has beaten President Donald Trump, and Biden has been declared the president-elect by the Associated Press. The Democrats maintained their majority in the House of Representatives, but it is still unclear which political party will control the Senate. There will be two runoff elections in the state of Georgia for the Senate and, on 5 January 2021, if the Republicans win just one of those races, then the Republicans will retain control of the Senate. If that happens, the U.S. will have divided government and the Senate will be able to block most of the major policy changes the Democrats hoped to achieve. Investors in the United States generally like divided government as there is more certainty as to what policy will be. If the Democrats do take control of the Senate, however, then there could be major policy changes in the U.S., especially in the area of taxes, energy and trade.

 

Portfolio

In the six months to 30 September 2020, the five top contributors to our returns were our holdings in the shares of Navistar International, Herc Holdings, ViacomCBS, Freeport McMoRan, and Republic Services. Our strongest contributor, Navistar, headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, is a leading North American commercial vehicle manufacturer and, for most of its history, had been the only one of its peers without a global parent. Volkswagen, through its TRATON Truck & Bus subsidiary, purchased 17% of Navistar in September of 2016, and this past January bid $35 per share in cash for the balance of the company. More recently, the $43 per share bid was revisited before both TRATON, Navistar, and its two largest shareholders agreed in principle on a takeover at $44.50 per share. On 7 November 2020, the two companies came to a definitive merger agreement, with a deal expected to close in 2021.

 

By contrast, our holdings in Hertz Global Holdings, Wells Fargo, General Electric, Ryman Hospitality Properties, and Akorn detracted from returns. Our biggest detractor, Hertz, based in Estero, Florida, operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty vehicle rental brands. Following ten consecutive quarters of year-on-year revenue growth, the outbreak of COVID-19 created a major business disruption as global travel demand dropped to almost zero and the U.S. used car market effectively shut down. Faced with uncertainty as to when revenue would return and when the used car market would fully re-open for sale, Hertz filed for Chapter II reorganization in May. We began selling down our position in the first quarter as travel conditions deteriorated and Hertz's cash flow from operations began to show signs of strain and have exited our holding in its entirety.

 

Select Portfolio Holdings as at 30 September 2020

Cutera Inc. (CUTR - $18.97 - NASDAQ), headquartered in Brisbane, California, is a manufacturer of non-invasive laser and other energy based systems and products for cosmetic vascular conditions, body sculpting, hair removal, skin rejuvenation, pigmented lesions and tattoo removal. Patient traffic remained low throughout April and May of this year, but began to pick up again in June. Demand from medi spas led the recovery, followed by plastic surgeons and then dermatologists. Management continues to work on its manufacturing efficiencies and improvement programs, which began in late 2019 and will continues for another 15-18 months. Gross margin improvements should be evident when revenues return to a normalized level.

 

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX - $15.64 - NYSE), headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is the largest pure-play copper company in the world, producing approximately 3.5 billion pounds of copper annually from mines in the United States, Indonesia, Peru, and Chile. Grasberg, the company's Indonesian mine, is also the largest gold mine in the world. Grasberg is in the process of expanding production as a large scale underground mine is developed. The project is 60 percent complete, and should be finished in 2022. Freeport's free cash flow should increase substantially once Grasberg is at full operating capacity.

 

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC - $109.91 - NYSE) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations. From its Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, headquarters, PNC provides retail and commercial banking services throughout the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and Western U.S. via a regional branch network of over two thousand locations, along with mortgage and deposit businesses on a national basis. The company also operates a large asset management franchise, with over $158 billion in assets under management and $142 billion under administration as of September 2020. The firm has strong corporate leadership with a historically conservative approach to loan origination and credit performance.

 

Republic Services Inc. (RSG - $93.35 - NYSE) based in Phoenix, Arizona, is the second largest solid waste company in North America. Republic provides nonhazardous solid waste collection services for commercial, industrial, municipal, and residential customers in forty-one states and Puerto Rico. Republic serves more than 2,800 municipalities and operates 190 landfills, 213 transfer stations, 339 collection operations, and 78 recycling facilities. We view Republic's plan to remain steadfast in the traditional solid waste business positively. We expect continued solid waste growth acquisitions, earnings improvement, and incremental route density and internalization growth in already established markets to generate real value in the near to medium term, highlighting the company's potential.

 

Teladoc (TDOC - $217.72 - NYSE), headquartered in Purchase, New York, is the global leader

in virtual care, allowing patients to videoconference with a doctor at any time of the day. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven significant new interest in virtual care by both patients and doctors. In August, Teladoc agreed to acquire Livongo for $37 billion in cash and stock. Livongo's ability to remotely manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes, is a natural fit with Teladoc. The deal closed at the end of October, and the companies expect significant cost and revenue synergies over the next several years.

 

Gabelli Funds, LLC

4 January 2021

 

PORTFOLIO SUMMARY

Portfolio distribution as at 30 September 2020 (%)*


As at 30 September 2020

Portfolio of GVP

S&P 500

Russell

3000


 

Communication Services

20.0

10.8

9.8


 

Consumer Discretionary

4.6

11.6

12.3


 

Consumer Staples

7.9

7.0

6.3


 

Energy

0.3

2.1

1.9


 

Financials

12.9

9.7

9.9


 

Health Care

5.9

14.2

14.5


 

Industrials

35.1

8.2

8.9


 

Information Technology

1.7

28.2

27.3


 

Materials

9.8

2.6

2.8


 

Real Estate

-

 

2.6

3.4


 

Utilities

1.8

3.0

2.9


 

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0


 

 

* Excludes cash and short term investments.

 


(Unaudited) As at 30 September

(Audited) As at 31 March

By asset class (%)

2020

2020

Equities

92.1

88.5

Cash and short term investments

7.9

11.5

Total

100.0

100.0

 

PORTFOLIO DISTRIBUTION

Largest holdings


(Unaudited)

As at 30 September 2020

Market value

£000

% of total portfolio

Republic Services Inc

5,343

4.8

Navistar International Corp

4,698

4.2

Herc Holdings Inc

4,473

4.0

GCP Applied Technologies Inc

4,213

3.8

PNC Financial Services Group Inc

3,823

3.4

Bank of New York Mellon Corp

3,452

3.1

Mueller Industries Inc

3,349

3.0

Textron Inc

3,070

2.8

State Street Corp

2,891

2.6

ViacomCBS Inc

2,816

2.5

Bunge Ltd

2,660

2.4

Teladoc Health Inc

2,611

2.3

EnPro Industries Inc

2,571

2.3

Freeport-McMoRan Inc

2,537

2.3

Discovery Inc

2,492

2.2

Johnson Controls International plc

2,432

2.2

CNH Industrial N.V.

2,416

2.2

Flowserve Corp

2,385

2.2

Fox Corp

2,119

1.9

Energizer Holdings Inc

2,119

1.9

Sub-total - top 20 holdings

62,470

56.1

Sub-total - top 21 - 40 holdings

30,402

27.3

Sub-total - top 41 - 60 holdings

14,614

13.1

Sub-total - remaining holdings

3,965

3.5

Total holdings* - 79 positions

111,451

100.0

 

A full list of investments is available on the Company's website.

 

* Excludes cash and short term investments.

 

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT

 

The Chairman's Statement and the Investment Manager's Review provide details of the important events that have occurred during the period and their impact on the financial statements.

 

Principal Risks and Uncertainties

The principal risks and uncertainties faced by the Company were explained in detail within the Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2020. As shareholders will be aware, the continuation vote was defeated at the AGM on 30 July 2020 and resolutions put forward by ACG at a general meeting of the Company held on 7 December 2020 were also overwhelmingly defeated. The Board is currently considering options, including a members' voluntary liquidation, in order to deliver on the outcome of these votes for shareholders. The Directors are not aware of any other new risks or uncertainties, or any changes to those risks and uncertainties stated within the Annual Report which are applicable to the remaining six months of the financial year or were applicable to the period under review.

 

Related Party Transactions

Details of related party transactions can be found in Note 8 of the financial statements. Other than this, there have been no changes to related party transactions detailed in the Company's Annual Report for the period ended 31 March 2020, nor have there been any related party transactions during the period under review, which have materially affected the financial position or performance of the Company.

 

Going Concern

As noted in the Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2020, the defeat of the continuation vote at the AGM has given rise to a material uncertainty which casts significant doubt on the Company's future and the likelihood of its ability to continue as a going concern. Notwithstanding this, the financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis. In arriving at the decision on the basis of preparation, the Board considered the financial position of the Company, the nature of its portfolio, its cashflow, financial structure and liquidity position.

 

Directors' Responsibility Statement

The Board of Directors confirms that, to the best of its knowledge:

 

· the condensed financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard (FRS 104) applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland, which forms part of the revised Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (UK GAAP) issued by the Financial Reporting Council ("FRC") in 2015; and

 

· the Interim Report, together with the Chairman's Statement and the Investment Manager's Report, includes a fair review of the information required by section 4.2.7R and 4.2.8R of the FCA's Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

 

The half-yearly financial report was approved by the Board on 4 January 2021 and the responsibility statement was signed on the Board's behalf by Peter Dicks, Chairman of the Board.

 

Peter Dicks

Chairman

4 January 2021

 

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

Income

Note

(Unaudited)

Half year ended 30 September 2020

 

Revenue

£000

Capital

£000

Total

£000

Dividend income
Interest on deposits


1,171

-

-

-

1,171

-

Total dividends and interest


1,171

-

1,171

Net realised and unrealised gains/(losses) on investments

Net realised and unrealised
currency (losses)/gains

3

-

(3)

21,977

(462)

21,977

(465)

Investment management fee
Other expenses


(131)

(271)1

(375)

(8)

(506)

(279)

Net return on ordinary activities before taxation


766

21,132

21,898

Taxation on ordinary activities

4

(160)

-

(160)

Net returns attributable to shareholders


606

21,132

21,738

Net returns per ordinary share - basic and diluted

6

0.62p

21.50p

22.12p

 

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME CONTINUED


(Unaudited)

Half year ended 30 September 2019


(Audited)

Year ended 31 March 2020



Revenue

£000

Capital

£000

Total

£000

Revenue

£000

Capital

£000

Total

£000

Dividend income

Interest on deposits

1,125

12

-

-

1,125

12

2,119

19

-

-

2,119

19

Total dividends and interest

1,137

-

1,137

2,138

-

2,138

Net realised and unrealised gains/(losses) on investments

-

8,546

8,546

-

(33,893)

(33,893)

Net realised and unrealised currency (losses)/gains

1

151

152

5

76

81

Investment management fee

(155)

(467)

(622)

(310)

(948)

(1,258)

Other expenses

(170)

(2)

(172)

(474)

(9)

(483)

Net return on ordinary activities before  taxation

813

8,228

9,041

1,359

(34,774)

(33,415)

Taxation on ordinary activities

(138)

-

(138)

(281)

-

(281)

Net returns attributable to shareholders

675

8,228

8,903

1,078

(34,774)

(33,696)

Net returns per ordinary share - basic and diluted

0.68p

8.31p

8.99p

1.09p

(35.25)p

(34.16)p

 

1 Other expenses include Directors' remuneration (£73,000), fees accrued to State Street for Accounting (£29,000), Company Secretary services (£31,000), Broker services (£18,000) and Audit services (£17,000).

 

The total columns of these statements are the profit and loss accounts of the Company for the respective periods.

 

The revenue and capital items are presented in accordance with the AIC's Statement of Recommended Practice ('SORP') 2019.

 

All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations.

 

No operations were acquired or discontinued in the half year ended 30 September 2020.

 

The notes form part of these financial statements.

 

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

Half year ended 30 September 2020 (Unaudited)


Note

Called up

Share Capital

 

£000

Special Distributable Reserve*

 

£000

Capital
Reserve

 

£000


Revenue
Reserve*

 

£000

Total

 

£000

Net assets as at 1 April 2020


1,001

95,885

3,106


1,278

101,270

Realised losses on investments at fair value

  3

-

-

(5,755)


-

(5,755)

Unrealised gains on investments at fair value

  3

-

-

27,732


-

27,732

Net realised and unrealised currency losses


-

-

(462)


-

(462)

Capital expenses


-

-

(383)


-

(383)

Transfer to revenue reserve for the year


-

-

-


606

606

Dividends paid

5

-

-

-


(983)

(983)

Net assets as at








30 September 2020


1,001

95,885

24,238


901

122,025

 

Half year ended 30 September 2019 (Unaudited)


Note

Called up Share Capital

£000

Special Distributable Reserve*

£000

Capital
Reserve

£000

Revenue
Reserve*

£000

Total

£000

Net assets as at 1 April 2019


1,001

97,699

37,880

944

137,524

Realised gains on investments at fair value

  3

-

-

2,300

-

2,300

Unrealised gains on investments at fair value

  3

-

-

6,246

-

6,246

Net realised and unrealised currency gains


-

-

151

-

151

Capital expenses


-

-

(469)

-

(469)

Ordinary shares bought back into treasury

7

-

(1,813)

-

-

(1,813)

Transfer to revenue reserve for the period


-

-

-

675

675

Dividends paid

5

-

-

-

(744)

(744)

Net assets as at







30 September 2019


1,001

95,886

46,108

875

143,870

 

Year to 31 March 2020 (Audited)


Note

Called up Share Capital

£000

Special Distributable Reserve*

£000

Capital
Reserve

£000

Revenue
Reserve*

£000

Total

£000

Net assets as at 1 April 2019


97,699

37,880

944

137,524

Realised gains on investments at fair value

  3

-

-

4,943

-

4,943

Unrealised losses on investments at fair value

  3

-

-

(38,836)

-

(38,836)

Net realised and unrealised currency gains


-

-

76

-

76

Capital expenses


-

-

(957)

-

(957)

Ordinary shares bought back into treasury

7

-

(1,814)

-

-

(1,814)

Transfer to revenue reserve for year


-

-

-

1,078

1,078

Dividends paid

5

-

-

-

(744)

(744)

Net assets as at







31 March 2020


1,001

95,885

3,106

1,278

101,270

 

* These reserves are distributable.

The notes form part of these financial statements.

CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION

 


Note

(Unaudited)

As at 30 September 2020

(Unaudited)

As at 30 September 2019

(Audited)

As at 31 March 2020

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

Fixed assets Investments held at fair value through profit or loss

Current assets Cash and cash equivalents

3

9,579

111,451

11,274

132,129

12,372

89,892

Receivables


5,532


734


231


Current liabilities Payables


15,111

(4,537)


12,008

(267)


12,603

(1,225)


Net current assets



10,574


11,741


11,378

Net assets



122,025


143,870


101,270

Share capital and reserves

 

 

 







Called-up share

capital

7

1,001


1,001


1,001


Special distributable reserve*


95,885


95,886


95,885


Capital reserve


24,238


46,108


3,106


Revenue reserve*


901


875


1,278


Total shareholders' funds

 



122,025


143,870


101,270

Net asset value per ordinary share

6


124.2p


146.4p


103.0p

 

* These reserves are distributable.

Gabelli Value Plus+ Trust Plc is registered in England and Wales under Company number 9361576.

 

The financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 4 January 2021 and signed on its behalf by

 

Peter Dicks
Chairman

The notes form part of these financial statements.

Notes to the condensed financial statements

1   Condensed financial statements

The half yearly report has not been audited by the Company's auditors.

Accounting policies

For the half years ended 30 September 2020 and 2019, the Company applied FRS 104 - Interim Financial Reporting and for the year ended 31 March 2020, the Company applied FRS 102. The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland, which forms part of the revised Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (New UK GAAP) issued by the Financial Reporting Council ('FRC') in 2015.

At the Company's Annual General Meeting held on 30 July 2020 a continuation vote was put to shareholders and defeated. Resolutions put forward by ACG at a General Meeting of the Company held on 7 December 2020 were also defeated. The Board is currently considering options, including a members' voluntary liquidation, in order to deliver on the outcome of these votes for shareholders.

The outcome of these votes represents a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the Company's ability to continue as a going concern. The financial statements do not include the adjustments that would result if the Company was unable to continue as a going concern. In arriving at the decision on the basis of preparation, the Board has considered the financial position of the Company, its cashflow and liquidity position, as well as the uncertainty arising from the outcome of the votes.

If it were not appropriate to prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis of accounting then adjustments would be required to reclassify all assets as current and a provision for further liabilities, including liquidation costs, would be made. In the Directors' opinion the impact of these adjustments on the financial statements is not expected to be significant. 

These condensed financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis in accordance with the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority (FRS 102 and FRS 104), the revised Statement of Recommended Practice "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts" (SORP) issued by the AIC in October 2019 and Companies Act 2006.

The accounting policies applied for the condensed set of financial statements are set out in the Company's Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2020.

Statement of estimation uncertainty - In the application of the Company's accounting policies, the Investment Manager is required to make judgements, estimates, and assumptions about carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not always readily apparent from other sources. The estimates and associated assumptions are based on historical experience and other factors that are considered to be relevant. Actual results may vary from these estimates. There have been no significant judgements, estimates, or assumptions for the period.

Cash flow statement - The statement of cash flows has not been included in the financial statements as the Company meets the conditions set out in paragraph 7.1A of FRS 102, which state that a statement of cashflows is not required to be provided by investment funds that meet all of the following conditions:

(i)  substantially all of the entity's investments are highly liquid;

(ii)  substantially all of the entity's investments are carried at market value; and

(iii) the entity provides a statement of changes in net assets.

 

3   Investments at fair value through profit or loss

 


(Unaudited)

As at

30 September

2020

£000


(Unaudited)

As at

30 September

2019

£000

(Audited)

As at

31 March

2020

£000

Opening book cost

120,116


128,532

128,532

Opening investment holding (losses)/gains

(30,224)


8,612

8,612

Opening market value

89,892


137,144

137,144

Additions at cost

20,792


26,807

60,402

Disposals proceeds received

(21,210)

(40,368)

(73,761)

Gains/(losses) on investments

21,977


8,546

(33,893)

Market value of investments

111,451


132,129

89,892






Closing book cost

113,943


117,270

120,116

Closing investment holding (losses)/gains

(2,492)


14,859

(30,224)

Closing market value

111,451


132,129

89,892

 

The company received £21,210,000 (30 September 2019: £40,368,000, 31 March 2020: £73,761,000) from investments sold in the period. The book cost of these investments when they were purchased was £26,965,000 (30 September 2019: £38,069,000, 31 March 2020: £68,818,000).

 

Fair value hierarchy

The Company has adopted the 'Amendments to FRS 102 - Fair value hierarchy disclosure', where an entity is required to classify fair value measurements using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of the inputs used in making the measurements.

The fair value hierarchy shall have the following levels:

· Level 1 - The unadjusted quoted price in an active market for identical assets or liabilities that the entity can access at the measurement date.

· Level 2 - Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable, i.e., developed using market data, for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly.

· Level 3 - Inputs are unobservable, i.e., for which market data is unavailable, for the asset or liability.

 

The financial assets measured at fair value through profit or loss in the financial statements are grouped into the fair value hierarchy as follows:

 


As at 30 September 2020 (Unaudited)


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total


£000

£000

£000

£000

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss





Quoted equities

111,451

-

-

111,451

Net fair value

111,451

-

-

111,451

 


As at 30 September 2019 (Unaudited)


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total


£000

£000

£000

£000

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss





Quoted equities

132,129

-

-

132,129

Net fair value

132,129

-

-

132,129

 


As at 31 March 2020 (Audited)


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total


£000

£000

£000

£000

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss





Quoted equities

89,892

-

-

89,892

Net fair value

89,892

-

-

89,892

 

Net realised and unrealised gains/(losses) on investments

 


(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2020

£000

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2019

£000

(Audited)

Year ended

31 March

2020

£000

Realised (losses)/gains on investments

(5,755)

2,300

4,943

Movement in unrealised gains/(losses) on investments

27,732

6,246

(38,836)

Net realised and unrealised gains on investments

21,977

8,546

(33,893)

 

Transaction costs

During the respective periods commissions (paid mostly to G.research, LLC, an affiliate of the Investment Manager) and other expenses were incurred in acquiring or disposing of investments classified at fair value through profit or loss. These have been expensed through capital and are within gains/(losses) in the Statement of Comprehensive Income. The total costs were as follows:

 


(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September

2020

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September

2019

(Audited)

Year ended

31 March

2020


£000

£000

£000

Purchases

19

22

53

Sales

20

17

41

Total

39

39

94

 

 

4   Taxation on ordinary activities


(Unaudited)

Half year ended 30 September 2020

 

Analysis of the charge in the period

Revenue

£000

Capital

£000

Total

£000

Foreign withholding taxes on dividends

160

-

160

Total

160

-

160

 


(Unaudited)

Half year ended 30 September 2019

 

Analysis of the charge in the period

Revenue

£000

Capital

£000

Total

£000

Foreign withholding taxes on dividends

134

-

134

Foreign withholding taxes on REIT

4

-

4

Total

138

-

138

 

 


(Audited)

Year ended 31 March 2020

 

Analysis of the charge in the year

Revenue

£000

Capital

£000

Total

£000

Foreign withholding taxes on dividends

272

-

272

Foreign withholding taxes on REIT

9

-

9

Total

281

-

281

 

5   Equity dividends

 


(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September

2020

£000

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September

2019

£000

(Audited) Year ended 31 March 2020

£000

Final dividend of 0.75p paid for the year ended 31 March 2019

-

744

744

 

Final dividend of 1p paid for the year ended 31 March 2020

983

-

-

Total

983

744

744

 

Return per ordinary share and net asset value

 

The return and net asset value per ordinary share are calculated with reference to the following amounts :

 


(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2020

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

30 September 2019

(Audited) Year ended 31 March 2020

 

Revenue return




Revenue return attributable to ordinary shareholders

£606,000

£675,000

£1,078,000

Weighted average number of shares in issue during period

98,282,193

99,019,642

98,650,562

Total revenue return per ordinary share

0.62p

0.68p

1.09p

Capital return




Capital return attributable to ordinary shareholders

£21,132,000

£8,228,000

(£34,774,000)

Weighted average number of shares in issue during period

98,282,193

99,019,642

99,650,562

Total capital return per ordinary share

21.50p

8.31p

(35.25p)

Total return




Total return per ordinary share

22.12p

8.99p

(34.16p)

 


(Unaudited)

As at

30 September 2020

(Unaudited)

As at

30 September 2019

(Audited)

As at

31 March 2020

 

Net asset value per share




Net assets attributable to shareholders

£122,025,000

£143,870,000

£101,270,000

Number of shares in issue at period end

98,282,193

98,282,193

98,282,193

Net asset value per share

124.2p

146.4p

103.0p

 

Called up share capital

 


(Unaudited)

  As at

30 September 2020

£000

(Unaudited)

As at

30 September 2019

£000

(Audited)

As at

31 March 2020

£000

 

Allotted, called up and fully paid:

98,282,193 (31.03.2020: 98,282,193;

30.09.2019: 98,282,193)

Ordinary shares of 1p each - equity

983

983

983

Treasury shares:

1,818,808 (31.03.2020: 1,818,808; 30.09.2019: 1,818,808)

Ordinary shares of 1p each - equity

18

18

18

Total shares

1,001

1,001

1,001

 

During the half year ended 30 September 2020 the Company did not buy back any shares (30 September 2019: 1,424,500) into treasury at a cost of £nil (30 September 2019: £1,804,483).

 

8   Related party transactions

 

During the half year ended 30 September 2020, with the exception of Investment Management fees, Directors' remuneration, Directors' shareholdings, secretarial fees, and other administrative fees, the Company paid brokerage commissions on security trades of £27,304 (30 September 2019: £36,552; 31 March 2020: £76,776) to G.research, LLC, an affiliate of the Investment Manager.

 

9   Contingent Liabilities and Commitments

 

As at 30 September 2020, the Company had no contingent liabilities or commitments (30 September 2019: nil, 31 March 2020: nil).

 

10 Half-Yearly report

 

The financial information contained in this half year financial report does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 435 of the Companies Act 2006. The financial information for the six months ended 30 September 2020 and 30 September 2019 has not been audited.

 

The information for the year ended 31 March 2020 has been extracted from the latest published audited financial statements, which have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The report of the Auditors on those accounts contained no qualification or statement under sections 498(2) or 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

 

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