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Puma VCT 13 PLC (PU13)

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Tuesday 24 May, 2022

Puma VCT 13 PLC

Annual Financial Report

RNS Number : 5152M
Puma VCT 13 PLC
24 May 2022
 

HIGHLIGHTS  

 

· Strong portfolio performance leading to an 17.76p per share increase in Net Asset Value

· £22.4m raised in new equity through full subscription of the further fund-raising offer

· Funds raised in the period are already 42% invested in qualifying holdings, 12% above the HMRC requirement of 30% for 28 February 2023, with all funds raised in prior periods having met their 80% qualifying investment target.

· Successful exit of TicTrac on 3 May 2022, delivering a 1.9x cash return.

 

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT  

 

Introduction  

 

I am pleased to present the fourth report and financial statements for Puma VCT 13 plc ('the Company') for the year to 28 February 2022.

 

Overview

 

The Company's Net Asset Value ("NAV") per share at the end of the year stood at 143.53p, an uplift of 17.76p (14.1%) from the same point in the previous year. This gain has arisen from a strong performance across a broad range of the Company's qualifying investments, which is particularly encouraging given the prevailing market conditions. Eight of the Company's qualifying holdings were written up in value, with two held at cost. Two of the Company's qualifying holdings were marked down in value and there was a small loss on the Company's non-qualifying holdings of listed securities. These movements, together with running costs, accounted for the overall NAV movement. The Company's profit for the year was £9.3m (2021: £4.4m).

 

Fundraising

 

During the year, the company undertook a further fundraising. The Company raised £22.4m during the year, with a further £14.8m raised after the year end meaning that the new offer has been fully subscribed. This gives the Company material additional deployable funds and will help spread fixed costs over a wider shareholder base. This leaves the Company in a good position to continue to develop a robust portfolio. The Company intends to re-open for another fundraising in the second half of the current year.

 

Investment Activity and Portfolio

 

We are pleased to report that 2021-22 has been an active year for the Company with seven qualifying investments in this period, made alongside other Puma-managed funds. These investments were:  £2.90m into Deazy, a software developer marketplace platform; £1.96m into Cameramatics, an international fleet and vehicle safety technology provider;  £1.51m into Everpress, an e-Commerce marketplace for independent designers; £0.81m into Ron Dorff, a premium athleisure wear brand;  a follow-on investment of £3.22m into Connectr (rebranded from MyKindaFuture), a Human Resources technology company; a follow-on investment of £0.83m into Dymag, a manufacturer of specialist car and motorbike wheels; and a follow-on investment of £1.50m into Le Col, an ecommerce business selling premium cycling apparel. This brings the overall number of qualifying investments to twelve.

 

Within the portfolio, the Company's holdings in Cameramatics, Ostmodern and Ron Dorff have generated valuation gains as the positions were adjusted from being held at cost to being held at market value. In all cases, the Company benefits from a defensive investment structure which has helped secure value.

 

Connectr has continued to perform strongly and was written up accordingly, also benefitting from a favourable investment structure. Influencer, an influencer marketing business, has 

had an extremely strong performance with growth year on year of more than 200%. Together with positive sector movements, this has enabled a large write up in the value.

 

TicTrac, the Company's health and wellness app investment, has also been written up in value, aided by the highly favourable deal structure the Investment Manager secured and prospects of a profitable sale. I am delighted to announce that, post year end, the Company successfully exchanged on a transaction to exit this position and realise gains. This transaction delivered a cash multiple of twice investment for the Company, equating to a 38% p.a. IRR.

 

Two of the Company's qualifying holdings had smaller write-ups in value. Le Col has continued to perform well year on year, but revenue growth in the latter half has come with higher discounting. Open House, a pub business, has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing policy responses. Of their three sites, The Lighterman is trading strongly, another has recently been rebranded to The Arber Garden and is trading well after its relaunch. Lastly, a new site in White City, The Broadcaster, has opened successfully with good month on month growth.

 

Hot Copper (formerly Knott End Pub Company), a pub business, has also been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing policy responses and was written down to a conservative value. However, the business is robustly capitalised and has a strong, seasoned management team which remains optimistic about their long-term prospects.

 

A second business to be written down in value was Dymag. Whilst its pipeline of orders has grown substantially in recent months, meeting demand continues to be impacted by supply chain and internal production delays.

 

Post the balance sheet date, Dymag entered into a new strategic partnership with Hankuk Carbon Co. Ltd, in order to mass manufacture their state-of-the-art carbon composite wheels for the automotive industry. The partnership is expected to rapidly scale-up carbon composite wheel production, bringing higher volumes and cost efficiencies for the world's leading auto Original Equipment Manufacturers.

 

Net Asset Value ("NAV")   

 

The NAV per share at the year end was 143.53p (2021: 125.77p). This figure reflects the initial funds raised less the costs of issue adjusted for movements in the value of the listed equities and running costs of the Company, plus audited adjustments in the carrying value of the qualifying positions.

 

VCT qualifying status  

 

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") provides the Board and the Investment Manager with advice on the ongoing compliance with HMRC rules and regulations concerning VCTs and has reported no issues in this regard for the Company to date.  PwC and other specialist advisors will continue to assist the Investment Manager in establishing the status of potential investments as qualifying holdings, monitoring rule compliance and maintaining the qualifying status of the Company's holdings in the future.

 

Outlook

 

With new funds now available for deployment the Company has the opportunity to be proactive as the economy and society recover from the pandemic, investing in businesses which have shown resilience after the pandemic and are well positioned to grow in the new climate.  Further lockdowns in China and the ongoing war in Ukraine, along with other economic events, have undoubtedly had an impact. However, despite this, we look to the future with confidence.  The UK benefits from an active and dynamic sector of small and medium enterprises and as this Company's own portfolio shows, whilst there will be losers from the pandemic and its aftermath, there will also be winners.

 

The Manager has a strong reputation as a provider of capital to well-managed, later-stage businesses and at the time of writing, we are encouraged by the flow of prospective qualifying investments which are under consideration. The investment team is currently in the execution phase with three further potential investments and confident that we will continue to make good progress in executing our investment strategy and, meeting our ongoing qualifying holding tests as a VCT. 

 

David Buchler  

Chairman  

23 May 2022 

 

 

 

INVESTMENT MANAGER'S REPORT    

 

Introduction  

 

I'm delighted to see so much progress and value creation within the Company's portfolio over the last twelve months and believe this is further validation of our extremely hands-on approach to portfolio management.

 

There is no doubt that working to help our portfolio companies as much as possible contributes towards more powerful and consistent results and exits. This is further evidenced by the recent realisation of the Company's holding in TicTrac, which was acquired by the listed Canadian telehealth business, Dialogue, in May 2022. The sale of TicTrac provided an attractive money multiple and a positive Internal Rate of Return for our investors.

 

I do however need to add some caution when considering the current investment horizon as we remain in a particularly uncertain and challenging investment environment. As I cautioned last year, the Covid era was "not a 'conventional' recession", and the levels of government support we saw, left several companies alive, but weak, with very stretched working capital positions. Much of the economy remains far from robust and it is now also being exposed to several additional interrelated shocks, including inflation, supply-chain disruption and conflict. 

 

The economic ramifications of the current geopolitical conflict are, and will be, profound. In deciding to weaponise the privilege of running the global reserve currency and freeze Russian dollar assets, the US has made a very material move on the world stage. Surprisingly this has not been discussed widely in the mainstream press, but in taking such action, the US has effectively denied Russia access to Russian dollar holdings, thereby signalling that they were the US's dollars all along.

 

We believe that such a move will dissuade China from depositing spare funds in US Treasuries, and subsidising consumers in the West through a depressed exchange rate (and correspondingly cheap exports). In the medium term that might boost the reshoring of manufacturing in the West, but in the near term is going to further exacerbate inflationary pressures and the squeeze on lower-income consumers. 

 

Such a clear signal from the US may also hasten attempts by China to develop a rival international settlement currency. These risks accelerating a split between a Western economic sphere and a Chinese economic sphere - the implications of which would be felt across global trade, supply chain management, logistics and tech. We believe it would also have permanent cost implications for Western producers and consumers.

 

Increased fuel prices, caused generally by co-ordinated global energy demand post-Covid and specifically by the response to the war in Ukraine, seem to have finally driven widespread focus on the conversion to renewable energy sources. Whilst this may have multiple benefits in the medium to long term, in the near term it will yet again exacerbate inflationary pressures from increased demand coupled with supply-chain disruption; as a simple example, carbon fibre - typically used for lightweighting manufactured consumer goods - is being diverted for military use, just as it is being called on for wind turbine manufacture.

 

And whilst much of our society has now appeared to have 'moved on' from the Covid pandemic, sadly it remains very much with us. Whilst the UK has had a fairly successful vaccination-and-exposure policy, we are seeing friction between surging demand and labour force shortages. Hospitality, travel, logistics and construction have all experienced operational challenges in recent months, and this will not improve for some time. 

 

For China, holding on to its zero Covid policy and implementing a series of rolling lockdowns of real severity is going to become more challenging as the rest of the world opens us. And with China still such a large manufacturing hub, this cannot help but cause supply-chain disruption to Western producers and in turn, yet more inflation.

 

We see inflation from labour shortages (Covid), inflation from energy prices (demand and conflict), and inflation from supply-chain friction (conflict, response to conflict, Covid). Yet the outlook is not as simple as diverting all our investment activity to gold miners (not permitted within the VCT rules). On a medium to long-term basis, we are still investing amidst some powerful deflationary forces - and when investing into illiquid private companies, you'd better have an eye on the medium to long term - if not for your own holding period, then for the people you want to sell the positions to.

The world's population is getting older, and not just in the West. Ageing is very real for China as well. As populations age, spending is diverted to saving (and then controlled dis-saving through retirement) and to healthcare. This is not incompatible with inflation but is a severe dampener to it (exemplified by the Japanese experience ever since 1990).

 

In summary, we are looking at an uncertain and high-risk backdrop. For new investment activity, we will maintain a genuine multi-sector investment approach, but will add consumer-facing positions selectively - retaining our bias toward premium (higher-margin) offers. For B2B offers we will be looking for businesses that have  a clear cost-saving proposition. As ever, we will work extremely closely with the companies we back and help them hone their sales messages and sales team structures to maximise their growth.

 

Rupert West 

Managing Director

 

 

Successful realisation Pure Cremation

Pure Cremation has been the driving force behind the UK-wide adoption of direct cremations, a straightforward and flexible alternative to traditional funerals, enabling loved ones to hold a more personal event  to commemorate the deceased's life, away from a crematorium.

 

INITIAL INVESTMENT

Puma VCT 13 invested £1.3m as part of a £2.35m investment round by Puma funds into Pure Cremation in December 2018. The purpose of the investment was to boost marketing activities and bring in additional key senior hires to help grow the business. 

 

At the time of investment, Pure Cremation was an established business with strong revenue growth, a clear pathway to profitability and a robust business plan.

 

Pure Cremation had already received a total of £5m of investment from other Puma VCTs in order to build its own purpose-built crematorium.

 

INVESTMENT PERIOD

Puma Private Equity - the private equity division of Puma Investment Management Limited - worked in partnership with the Pure Cremation team throughout the period of investment, helping them execute a number of their strategic ambitions, including:

 

•   Expansion to Scotland and Northern Ireland

•   Implementation of a comprehensive hiring plan and other organisational changes

•   Expansion of marketing activities

•   Building scalable processes, systems and reporting frameworks to support growth

 

Puma made a number of key introductions during this time, including to the company's now well-established Finance Director.

 

SUCCESSFUL REALISATION

Pure Cremation revenues grew nearly 10x over the holding period and the company moved into profitability. Puma Private Equity helped the company explore the abundance of strategic options available to it, including meeting with potential acquirors. An exit was secured for the Puma VCT funds in June 2021, with Puma VCT 13 achieving a 4x money multiple on its investment, resulting in an IRR of 71%. Distribution of the realised gains from this exit has resulted in two interim dividend payments, collectively returning 11p per share to investors between December 2021 and March 2022.

 

 

Looking to conquer the US

Ron Dorff

 

In 2020, the Puma Funds invested £3.59m into men's athleisure wear business, Ron Dorff.  Aligning Swedish functionality with French style, Ron Dorff is a well-respected premium bodywear brand, having been voted one of the three best swimwear brands for men in 2020 by Vogue magazine. In February 2022, Puma Funds made a further investment of £1.67m, to enable the business to continue its overseas expansion, particularly in the US.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

According to the latest research from McKinsey, global fashion sales are on track to pick up some momentum this year, as restrictions start to ease, and consumers are freer

to travel and resume their social lives in many key markets around the world.1 While Ron Dorff has been affected by the pandemic like many other premium fashion brands, it is in a strong position to capitalise on any uptick in consumer demand, given the investments made over the last two years in both its people and its underlying capability.

 

During the pandemic, while Ron Dorff physical stores were closed, the business had strong sales online, which were boosted by investments into a new ecommerce web platform, designed to optimise the shopping experience for customers in all countries. When Ron Dorff physical stores were able to re-open, the business had its strongest sales months throughout the summer.  Sales from the retail store in Earlham Street, London, and in concession stores in Paris, were particularly good. In 2021, Ron Dorff opened further stores in the Royal Exchange, London, and Lower Manhattan, New York, and recently announced it plans to open three further stores in the US. 

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Ron Dorff has exciting plans for 2022 and beyond, including the opening of additional stores in US in areas with high e-commerce led demand.

 

It also has a number of collaborations in the pipeline, including Edge Beauty for its first fragrance range, to broaden both range and appeal. It is further investing. in its ecommerce platform, with a view to optimising online sales further during 2022.

 

£5.26m Investment (VCT 13 participation £0.8m)

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Ron Dorff has set ambitious sustainability and ethical goals for the years ahead. From the people making the products to the fabrics it uses, right through to how it minimises transport around the globe and its overall impact on climate.

 

Whenever possible, Ron Dorff ensures the fabrics it uses are recycled and can be easily recycled in the future. Recycled polyester in its swimwear, recycled wool in its knitwear, recycled paper in its shopping bags and online boxes, are just a few examples.

 

Supplies to Ron Dorff are always sourced as close as possible to its warehouse outside Paris. 90% of production is made in France (accessories), Italy (knitwear), Portugal (underwear, swimwear and sportswear) and Sweden (body care). All production is transported by train or by truck. In addition, Ron Dorff works only with transportation partners that are able to disclose the carbon footprint of freight, and it is actively working on reducing the environmental impact of transport.

 

All European suppliers working with Ron Dorff respect the rigorous labour laws of the European Union. Suppliers outside the EU all adhere to Ron Dorff's global code of labour practices for suppliers. The code stipulates minimum requirements for working conditions, based on the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN principles. This includes the right of all workers to join trade unions, the right to a living wage, reasonable hours of work, safe working conditions and a legally binding employment contract. Child labour and all forms of discrimination are strictly banned.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Since inception, Ron Dorff has delivered year-on-year revenue growth with successful expansion into international markets, as well as a number of collaborations and strategic partnerships. While recent years have been more challenging, revenues have remained strong and stable, and the investment into ecommerce has enabled it to increase online sales by more than 50%.

 

The investments we have made - which include an additional investment of £1.67m in February 2022 - have enabled Ron Dorff to deliver on  its targeted growth plan, with expansion firmly focused on the US.

 

Ron Dorff has a clear path to exit, with the potential to maximise global expansion being 

a particularly attractive opportunity.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Ron Dorff has invested in a highly seasoned team, who bring a wealth of experience from across the fashion and digital world, including:

 

CEO - Claus Lindorff. Claus founded Ron Dorff in 2012. Previously he was Managing Director at BETC Luxe.

Chief Marketing Officer - Caroline Pannhasiri. Caroline joined from The Kooples.

Head of E-commerce and Digital - Ibrahim Rahni. Ibrahim joined from Serge Blanco.

 

 

Designing more personalised clothing

Everpress

 

In August 2021, Puma Funds invested £3.2m into Everpress, an online platform that connects consumers to unique and sustainable products from independent designers. Everpress started with a simple mission - to support grassroots creators and reduce waste in fashion. Today, it provides a full-service solution through which creators can upload their designs and create campaigns - using the platform's toolkit to choose garment types, sale duration and prices - before launching to a global audience via Everpress's website.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

There has been a huge growth in online shopping in recent years, along with an increasing awareness of ethical fashion and consumers' desire to support grassroots businesses. A recent report by McKinsey, suggested that more and more people were buying clothing online before the pandemic, and that "behaviours that started before 2020 have become an established, even dominant, preference". It goes on to suggest that there has been a secular shift in shopping patterns, with the result being that ecommerce is expected to account for 50% of purchasing in the UK clothing market in 2022, compared with 35% in 2021.

Everpress is well-placed to capitalise on the growth of online shopping, which has been accelerated by the pandemic, along with increasing awareness of ethical fashion.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

The business has shown an impressive growth trajectory: since 2017 revenues have grown 70% year-on-year on average, and the business has matured from five employees in 2016 to over 40 today. There is a strong management team in place, and a clear business plan in a growing sector. We believe there is significant opportunity to improve the creator and buyer experience, and we are already working  with Everpress on investments to improve its product.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

CEO - Alex Econs. Experienced entrepreneur with a background in graphic design and applying technology to improve sustainability within the industry.

Chief Operating Officer- Simon Backhouse. Simon previously worked at Fiorucci, ASOS, Arcadia.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability is at the heart of Everpress. It was formed to support the creator economy and democratise fashion, and it has paid out more than £6m to individual artists using its platform since inception. Its campaigns are run solely on a pre-order basis, so that garments are only produced once purchased, eliminating excess stock and wastage. This approach is estimated to have saved over 336 million litres of water and 124,000 T-shirts from landfill. Its lack of 'seasonality' and the need to produce changing lines for changing times of the year, is one of the core principles behind the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 'Make Fashion Circular' campaign. In addition, Everpress moved to 100% sustainable packaging in January 2021, with 90% of its garments sourced from ethical suppliers. Its goal is to increase this to 100% within the next 12 months, along with becoming climate and water-positive by 2025. Everpress has also started the B Corp application process.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Everpress has exciting plans for the future, which includes onboarding more creators with a high following, and building out new tools to enable them to sell directly to their own audiences.

 

Given the current macro-economic uncertainties, the company has pushed back some of its growth plans, including US expansion, and for the remainder of this year will focus efforts on incremental improvements to product, processes and communication.

 

£3.2m Investment (VCT 13 participation £1.5m)

 

 

Continuing the development of a premium London venue collection

Open House

 

Open House is an independent hospitality business that seeks to create iconic drinking and dining destinations in London's most progressive neighbourhoods. The founding team behind the business are hugely experienced, having previously run the Cubit House Group pub chain, which has units in Pimlico, Chelsea and Belgravia, and they sold at a material profit, to fund the start of Open House.

 

In 2019, Puma Funds invested £5m to help the team secure venues in major redevelopment areas in London. At the time of the investment, the business ran The Lighterman in King's Cross (Granary Square) and Percy & Founders in Fitzrovia. It was looking to secure new venues in areas that were being positioned as new centres for retail, hospitality and day-to-day life. The investment has helped Open House to develop its existing properties and create a new venue - The Broadcaster at Wood Green.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

The hospitality sector has been one of the most heavily affected by the restrictions imposed under the Covid-19 pandemic, and many businesses have suffered heavy financial losses as a result. Revenues in recent months have improved significantly, now that people are returning to work and socialising once more. However, the short-term outlook for the sector remains mixed.

 

Recruitment and retention of good-quality staff are challenging, particularly since many left the sector during 2020/21. Recent months have seen improvements in vacancy rates, particularly in London, but significant increases in inflation have naturally led to rising wage costs. In addition, with the ongoing political tensions in Eastern Europe, food, beverage and utility prices are rising rapidly, and these costs will need to be passed on to consumers. A recent survey by UK Hospitality among 340 businesses across the UK, indicated that prices would need to rise by an average of 10% this year, to cover the huge increases in overheads faced by the industry.

 

It is not yet known whether such price rises will significantly affect demand. Forecasts suggest that while the value of the pub and bar market fell by £13.9bn (61%) in 2020, the market is expected to grow by 51.8% in 2022, reaching a value of £22.4bn. The market is not seeing any significant consolidation yet, and while various organisations have raised funds specifically for acquisition in the pub sector, stock remains relatively limited. 

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Open House has a very clear positioning, backed by a highly talented and experienced leadership team, who have a strong track record of generating consistent positive cash flow. Its focused and pragmatic business plan - while tested fully during the pandemic - shows a clear growth trajectory, and it has continued to deliver on key milestones during this difficult period. While the business was not exempt from the challenges brought about by Covid, one of its properties has just opened following an extensive refurbish, and the latest property is well ahead of trading expectations. We believe it is building up a very sellable group.

 

AWARDS WON

The Lighterman: 'Pub of the Year' - Top 10 Accreditation, The London Lifestyle Awards (2020/21)

The Lighterman: 'Certificate of Achievement - High Quality Food', Hardens (2021)

The Lighterman: 'Dining Pub of the Year', The Good Pub Guide (2021, winner)

Percy & Founders: 'Restaurant of the Year', The London Lifestyle Awards

(2020, shortlisted as one of 5 finalists)

The Lighterman: 'LABC Building Excellence Regional Awards', (2017, winner)

The Lighterman: 'Top bar/pub food', Harden's (2017, voted No 2 for service, No 1 for ambience and No 1 for overall experience)

The Lighterman: 'Pub of the Year', The London Lifestyle Awards (2017, winner)

The Lighterman: New London Awards, Commendation for Hotels & Hospitality (2017)

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Open House takes sustainability seriously, and always seeks to source its supplies from local or sustainable resources.

 

As a minimum, all food suppliers hold a BRCGS certificate, which guarantees the standardisation of all food sourcing quality, safety and operations, and ensures Open House acts sustainably, as well as providing protection for the end-consumer. All suppliers are also Red Tractor certified, meaning the food has been responsibly sourced, safely produced, and comes from crops and animals that have been well cared for- which is good for both customers 

and British farmers.

 

The Open House overall beverage philosophy has always been to work with small, craft and local suppliers as much  as possible. Beers are sourced from UK-based small craft breweries, including Braybrooke, Crate, Five Points, Harbour. About 90% of Open House wines comes from organic wine producers - the main suppliers being Bancroft, Dynamic Vines and A&B Vinters. As well as organic wines, 70% is  also classed as biodynamic, where the wines are made 

by farming all components of the vineyard as one whole entity, eliminating the use of chemicals and using natural materials and composts.

 

Over the last year, Open House has concreted its relationship with small, local and craft suppliers, having opted for East London Liquor Co as its house pour. All Open House's gins are UK-based, and its whisky is predominantly from the UK. And all juices are made fresh, with no additives, from its fruit and veg supplier, 2-serve, which is based in New Covent Garden Market, just a short distance from all Open House venues, again reducing emissions from transport.

 

In addition, Open House works closely with LemonAid & ChariTea - all its drinks are certified organic, meaning they are better for the environment and better for the customer.  Over the last few years, Open House has worked with The Felix Project, a London-based food redistribution charity, which sets out to feed those in London without access to food (1.5 million adults in London struggle to afford to eat every day, and 400,000 children are at risk of missing the next meal). Open House has donated staff time to the project, as well as sending food that would normally go to waste; this was especially the case during the pandemic, and the team were on-hand to help distribute the food.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

At King's Cross and White City, the team have proved their ability to contribute to the 'place making' being undertaken at some of the most significant city redevelopment sites in the world.  Given the current macro-economic uncertainty, they are continuing to look at additional opportunities, and are keen to obtain key new sites on favourable terms.

 

£5m Investment (VCT 13 participation £1.8m)

 

 

Building belonging across the world

Connectr (formerly MyKindaFuture)

 

Connectr is a market-leading HR tech platform that provides smart mentoring software to improve employee recruitment, retention and attainment. It was born out of a desire to help organisations improve D&I in their workforce, and Connectr's software has been developed to address key challenges in our labour markets: namely under-representation of minority and disadvantaged groups, skill shortages and increasing employee attrition rates.

 

Puma initially invested £2.75m in August 2019 to support Connectr to develop its core product. Following impressive revenue growth in the following two years, Puma invested a further £6m across two investment rounds (October 2020 and December 2021) to capitalise on the expansion opportunities available to the company.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

The Parker Review was set up to improve levels of diversity and inclusion at large companies in the UK. First published in 2017, the report set a target for every FTSE 100 company to have at least one director from a minority ethnic group on its board by 2021, with FTSE 250 companies given until 2024. This created a large pipeline of organisations looking to improve levels of diversity at board level, and throughout the wider organisation. The report highlighted the need for mentoring programmes as a tool that can "bring down ethnic barriers and empower talent".

 

Recent analysis suggests progress is being made - certainly within larger organisations. According to EY 89 FTSE 100 companies had ethnic diversity on their boards (December 2021), compared to 74 in November 2020.1 Indeed, research by FRC/Cranfield has also highlighted that the Black Lives Matter movement has shifted the quality of the conversation, so that actions and initiatives are being reviewed with increased scrutiny. Mentoring programmes are now increasingly seen as "important elements of the overall approach to ensuring the greater representation of ethnically diverse individuals at senior levels".

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Connectr's sole purpose is to help improve rates of diversity and inclusion across the global workforce. The purpose runs through everything it does, and it seeks to champion that at first hand, by offering under-represented groups meaningful employment itself.

 

AWARDS WON

Shortlisted in the British HR Awards 2022 in the Technology Company of the Year and Innovation of the Year categories.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

CEO - Will Akerman. Experienced founder with a track record of scaling and delivering exits.

Chief Operating Officer - Rachel Morar. Rachel joined in 2013, background in corporate and third sector sales.

Chief Revenue Officer - Mark Edgeworth. Mark joined Connectr in 2022 from BeMyEye and has a track record of scaling SaaS sales and marketing functions. 

Chief Finance Office - Ashley Taylor. Ashley has 12 years of experience in senior finance positions.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Connectr is led and managed by a highly experienced team, that offer a credible and pragmatic voice in  a market that is becoming increasingly noisy. In recent months it has increased its focus at board level for a coherent D&I strategy that sits around its core platform, and is focused on providing comprehensive metrics that show where improvements are being made. Clients are seeing strong ROI on programmes being delivered by Connectr, including: 67% reduction in candidate renege rate, 41% increase in diversity of hires, 85% average user engagement rate.

 

It has already partnered with multiple blue- chip global employers to increase the diversity in the workforce,  e.g. GE on its Next Engineers programme, National Grid, Heathrow.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Connectr has had a number of notable blue-chip wins in the last year, including GSK, LinkedIn and the NHS, and has a strong pipeline of opportunities for growth both in the UK and internationally.

 

It also has product extension plans for a number of clients that grow with the employee lifecycle - from graduate to executive. It has already launched a new workplace mentoring platform ("Connectr 

for Employees") with the first clients onboarded 

and using the platform.

 

Connectr is in a growing sector, and has a number of clear exit routes available to it at the appropriate time.

 

 

Build and scale world class streaming products

Ostmodern

 

Ostmodern is a digital product specialist and creative technology company. The team collaborates with businesses to develop unique digital products and services. It has produced bespoke rich media and video-on-demand for many high-profile clients across the world, including Fox, ITV and hayU.

 

Building on the management's expertise in the video-on-demand sector, Ostmodern has developed a Video Management System (VMS), Skylark, to enable content owners to better manage and commercialise their video content. In December 2020, Puma Funds invested £2m in Ostmodern, to enable it to further develop the Skylark product and continue its transition from a service provider to a productised offering; the ultimate goal being to provide an affordable and easy-to-plug-in VMS to a wider range of content owners. The investment has also helped the company to establish a sales structure to commercialise the product internationally.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

Ostmodern is a specialist in the management of digital video - a market that emerged with the first wave of video-on- demand in the mid-2000s. The growth of digital content consumption, amplified in part by the pandemic, has disrupted sectors that were traditionally serviced in person, and are increasingly being serviced through video. The market is now enjoying new waves of rapid growth, with a proliferation of streaming platforms and media devices, and increasing demand from sectors outside the traditional broadcasters, such as education, fitness and corporate training courses.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

As part of our investment, we have worked closely with management to help nurture company culture and ensure that the company's vision permeates through the organisation to all employees.

We have looked to establish clear reporting lines and dashboards, to help the board better monitor performance across all functions.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

The next 12 months will be about achieving product market fit and driving key strategic partnerships.

 

The company also intends to deliver a number of product development updates, including faster integration and reducing server costs for clients when using Skylark.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

The pandemic has accelerated the use of digital across many facets of daily life, and content owners are increasingly looking to commercialise their content. Sectors such as sports, education and retail are expected to move in a similar direction to media companies, thereby significantly increasing the serviceable market for Ostmodern.

 

Ostmodern is a relatively established business, with an experienced senior management team. While the pandemic affected buying cycles and delayed the expected revenue growth, the company adapted its go-to-market strategy, and has maintained a healthy pipeline of clients for both its product and services offerings.

During this period, our investment has enabled the business to further develop the product, reduce onboarding costs, standardise the product framework, and establish a sales and marketing structure, to better position its message to the target market and ramp up sales.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Chief Revenue Officer - Taylor Riese. Taylor has sought to set up a scalable B2B sales structure to sell the Skylark product. He joined in July 2021, with ten years of commercial experience with Verizon, where he was MD of EMEA and India sales.

 

The company has also hired two new sales representatives to cover EMEA and APAC.

 

Head of Marketing - Lasharna Turner. Lasharna joined in August 2021, to set up an omni-channel marketing function. Lasharna joined with sector experience, to establish product messaging, improve the company's understanding of its target market, and work closely with the new sales team to optimise lead generation.

 

 

Driving new standards in vehicle safety

CameraMatics (formerly known as MySafeDrive Limited)   

 

CameraMatics provides award-winning fleet risk management solutions for businesses, designed from a deep understanding of the customer's need. It has offered a 100% return on investment within seven months on average. Working across Ireland, the UK and US, the business is positioned at the forefront of fleet and vehicle safety technology. Its disruptive solution incorporates artificial intelligence, machine learning, camera technology, vision systems and telematics to help fleet operators reduce risks and drive new safety standards.

 

In 2021, Puma Funds invested £4.72 m into CameraMatics, with the investment primarily focused on supporting the additional expansion of the US branch of CameraMatics, and driving forward its offering to large enterprise customers, following recent successes in the UK.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global fleet management software market was valued at $18.2bn in 2021, and is projected to grow to $67.38bn by 2029.2 This is fuelled in part by the growth in online shopping, but also the need to reduce fleet costs. Demand for management software and services that enable fleet managers to better optimise fleet delivery, maintenance and safety is expected to see sustained growth to support more optimised supply chains, and reduce economic and environmental impacts.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

In addition to the existing team, key hires have been made in the following areas:

Chief Operating Officer - Darren O'Donohoe. Previously worked at Digicel

Head of UK Sales - Elliot Goff 

Previously worked at The Vehicle Group

Head of US Sales - Michael Menolascino. Previously worked at SmartDrive

Marketing Director - Richard J Moore  Previously worked at Inmarsat

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Understanding a fleet's operating costs and related carbon emissions is not always straight forward. Techniques to reduce the number of vehicle journeys rely on actionable data insights and identifying effective practical steps to take to encourage drivers to drive more economically, which aren't always obvious. The CameraMatics cloud translates the big data from an array of vehicular sensors, a bespoke suite of fitted high-definition smart cameras and edge compute devices into actionable insights. These enable the following environmental benefits:

•   Route optimisation and associated reduction in fuel costs

•   Reduced vehicular wear & tear, and associated reduction in servicing and parts.

 

CameraMatics has also recently been selected by  the Bord na Móna to take part in its 'Accelerate Green' programme, for businesses focusing on sustainability and climate action.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

CameraMatics provides a scalable customer-centric solution for fleet managers solving day-to-day issues that have been identified and resolved through CameraMatic's deep industry experience and knowledge. This focus on the key customer - the managers of commercial fleets - and the problems that they face is a key USP for the business. It has a consistent track record of winning large enterprise contracts, that utilise its scalable technology platform to solve real-world issues; and the further easing of travel restrictions has also improved sales performance.

 

Recently, the company announced that Maritime Transport Limited, one of the largest transport and logistics operators in the UK, has chosen CameraMatics as its Fleet Safety and Telematics Partner.

 

AWARDS WON

2021 Technology Ireland Emerging Company of the Year 2022 - Nominated for EU Future Unicorn Award.

CameraMatics  Co-Founder and CEO, Mervyn O'Callaghan has been named

'Founder of the Year' 2021 by Enterprise Ireland as part of its prestigious High Performance Start-Up (HPSU) programme. 

CameraMatics was a Finalist in the Business Car Awards 2021, shortlisted for the Risk Management and Safety Award.

Prestige Awards 2021 Technology Solutions Specialist of the Year.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

The business has made large investments into the Sales and Marketing teams in 2021, and the sales and order pipeline is growing strongly. The plan for 2022 and beyond is to continue the international expansion.

 

£4.72m Investment (VCT 13 participation £1.96m)

 

 

Matching the growing demand for software talent

Deazy

 

Deazy is a platform that enables enterprise and PE/VC backed growth companies to hire high quality software developers, through intelligently matching developers with project requirements. Founded in 2016, Puma Funds invested £5m of equity into Deazy in December 2021, to enable the business to scale its commercial teams, so that it could accelerate its growth plans. It also sought to double down on the functionality of its platform, and further build out its own software development teams.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

Given the continued penetration of all things digital into  all aspects of our business and professional lives, it's no surprise that globally there continues to be a shortage  of access to skilled software developers. According to  the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), programmers and software development professionals  is the third highest occupation with worker shortages 

in the UK, and both Brexit and the pandemic did little but increase the demand further for this talent pool in the UK.

 

In addition, the introduction of IR35 tax legislation, to identity all those contractors who were working as 'disguised' employees, has further reduced the available freelance software resources when companies need them. Platforms such as Deazy's, that enable talent to be searched and matched to projects, have seen a surge in demand.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Deazy has recently recruited an experienced Chief  Product Officer - Chris Dawson, from Zoopla- to sustain the delivery of a market-leading platform experience,  and explore additional opportunities to drive revenue expansion through the platform.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Deazy has demonstrated strong product/market fit within  its current market, achieving impressive revenue growth  of 270% in 2021 - with December 2021 being its highest grossing month to date. The company has done this by growing with existing customers and expanding into new segments, with increased stickiness and margin as a result.

 

Deazy operates in a market with strong fundamentals driven by the shortage in supply of software developers. It has a differentiated approach from its competitors, in terms of how it aggregates supply. It achieves this through working with delivery partners instead of freelancers, and it's attractive, since it enables organic scale, given delivery partners can build out their teams to service more demand from Deazy's customers.

 

It is our belief that the experienced management team have a clear understanding of their target customers' needs and how to scale up the delivery partner ecosystem, and we are therefore backing a clear and coherent growth strategy.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Deazy is committed to smashing stereotypes, breaking inequality, and rejecting discrimination. As a tech business it is really proud to showcase its female talent. The majority female product team is a rare sight in the tech industry, which is made up of 75% men, and the organisation is providing lots of support to help women succeed in tech and provide role models for the industry.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Deazy is continuing to develop further its platform  in 2022, to enhance its operating efficiency and develop new features to assist in capturing further value from customers. It is also building out its sales and customer success teams to drive new sales as well and expanding revenue from existing clients. Deazy will look to target customers where higher margins can be achieved.

 

£5m Investment (VCT 13 participation £2.9m)

 

 

Riding high from demand for performance cycling apparel

Le Col

 

Le Col has a very clear ambition to be the pre-eminent performance cycling apparel company in the world. In 2018, Puma Funds invested £2.35m to support Le Col's initial growth plans, and following continued strong performance, a further £4m was invested in 2020 and February 2022. This additional investment was to fuel the company's overseas expansion as well as its sales and marketing efforts, which have significantly raised the brand's profile over the last two years.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

According to research published by the Bicycle Association, the UK cycling market was worth £2.31bn in 2020 - an increase of 45% over 2019. Cycling has seen a renaissance since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, given much of the leisure sector was closed for a considerable period and people looked to alternative options for their exercise. According to Mintel, more than 1 million extra adults starting cycling in 2020, and there was a 57% rise in the number of children cycling in the summer of 2020 compared to the previous year, so we are seeing rising participation rates among adults and children, which have continued throughout the pandemic.

 

In addition, fuelled by the growing interest in climate change and reducing our carbon footprint, the e-bike market has also seen sales surge, with Forbes suggesting that in European countries, 

by 2030 17 million e-bikes will be sold a year, which is more than twice the number of passenger cars being registered currently in the EU.

 

Overall, the cycling sector in terms of participants as well as participation rates looks to be on the increase, which is good news for organisations such as Le Col.

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Le Col continues to invest heavily in its product, with additional line extensions, as well as more R&D into materials and cuts that help improve the performance cycling kit. Even the smallest changes can make a difference to how long and how fast riders can go, which in trials and events can have significant impacts on results.

 

Le Col is also looking to continue its international expansion, with investment into the US and Europe in particular, where the overall cycling markets are continuing to grow.

 

£6.35m Investment (VCT 13 participation £2.52m)

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Le Col has worked on several projects that encourage people to cycle and to live a more active and healthier lifestyle. Recently it offered a financial discount on its products, when people completed 250 minutes of recorded activity within a challenge period, and it regularly works with Strava on incentivising exercise and challenging yourself to do more activity.

 

Le Col is also passionate about women's cycling, and helping deliver female riders to the biggest stages in the sport. It has recently tripled its investment in cycling team Le Col - Wahoo - who will be participating in the Women's Tour de France in 2022, and has agreed investment for a further two years, so the team can continue to build.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

The team have secured a number of new hires including:

Head of Product Development Jennifer Choi, (ex Rapha).

Digital Director - Andrew Longley  (ex Asics, Ben Sherman).

 

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Le Col has seen explosive growth over recent years - fuelled in part by renewed interest in the cycling sector, but also because of the quality of its product, which has helped deliver results, particularly for competitive cycling. The business has an impressive management team who are helping the business scale effectively, and its investment in brand and sponsorship is starting to pay dividends, with an increase in brand awareness and salience.

 

Le Col has signed a number of high- profile brand ambassadors, including Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins, and has secured a number of strategic partnerships - including with McLaren, to develop high-performance materials that deliver a step change in aero- cycling apparel.

 

Le Col will also be returning to the cycling World Tour this year, with a new deal to become the technical clothing provider for Bora-Hansgrohe, in a deal that sees the two parties embark on a three-year journey together.

 

Engaging employees for a healthier future

TicTrac

 

Tictrac is a provider of wellbeing software and services that are designed to engage, inform and enable businesses to take better care of their employees' health and wellbeing.

 

It provides exclusive content to its users, as well as taking information from their wearable fitness trackers to give targeted feedback and action plans. Tictrac has gathered powerful evidence that use of its platform reduces sedentary behaviour among large workforces, with associated positive outcomes for engagement and wellbeing. Tictrac's main customers are large insurance companies, such as Aviva, Allianz, Prudential, Generali Employee Benefits and Bupa Hong Kong.

 

In 2020, Puma Funds invested £5m in Tictrac, to capitalise on the technology investments made, and build out its distribution and content provision. On 3 May 2022, the Company successfully exchanged on a sale of this position and realise gains. This generated a cash multiple of nearly twice investment

for the Company, equating to a 38% p.a. IRR.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

There is no doubt that the pandemic brought about change to many industries, but none more so than those dedicated to employee health and wellbeing. The toll that the pandemic took on many people's mental health, as well as the changing nature of most office work, have led many employers to reassess the wellbeing benefits they provide, and greater focus is now being placed on holistic and mental health and wellbeing. In a recent survey by JLL, 86% of employers in the UK stated they were changing their approach to employee health and wellbeing as a result of Covid-19, and  more than half of US companies are now providing dedicated mental and emotional health programmes; 50% of companies in Asia Pacific are enhancing their healthcare benefits.

 

In addition, a number of companies are now increasingly looking at data and wearable tech, to see how they can better support their workforce.  Apps that can track cognitive function and help deliver personalised insights, competitions that seek to incentivise collective health and wellbeing, along with tailored health programmes and digital coaching, are all being considered by companies, large and small. It's no wonder then, that some forecasters estimate the market for employee wellness software to be worth $370m by 2026.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Tictrac's sole purpose is to drive better engagement in people's health and wellness; it has a huge amount of data from a number of large organisations it works with. It suggests huge successes in terms of employee wellbeing, including:

· 65% increase in completed health assessment.

· 52% uptake of customers onboarded to wellness programmes.

· 40% increase in health engagement.

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Tictrac offers a complete health and wellness solution, which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of its customers and their employees. Over the last few years the company has built strong relationships with a number of large insurers, and is continuing to build out its offering to include more bespoke content and additional services.

 

The founders have assembled a strong management team, which they continue to add to with new specialist skills, and they have gained a strong foothold in an industry that has seen a surge in interest in recent years.

 

Tictrac continues to win new clients - Howdens was a notable win in 2021- and it has a number of pipeline developments with clients across Europe and Asia.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Tictrac has made a number of new hires recently, including the appointment of James Henson as Chief Product and Technology Officer. James previously worked at Just Eat, BorrowMyDoggy and Moonpig.

 

AWARDS

  Innovator of the Year, British Small Business Awards 2018

•   Hottest Health Tech Start-up Finalist, European Tech Start-up Awards 2018

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Tictrac plans to continue building upon its established relationships with the large insurers. As employee benefits programmes become more holistic and further embedded into organisations beyond the key pension/life/health insurance provision, the ability to provide meaningful engagement and data with employees' health will be key.

 

£5m Investment (VCT 13 participation £1.85m)

 

POST BALANCE SHEET EVENT

The Puma Private Equity team successfully realised its position held in TicTrac on 3 May 2022, delivering a 1.9x cash return.

 

 

Designed for high performance

Dymag

Dymag is a British designer and manufacturer of high-performance car and motorbike wheels, which was founded in 1974 by Max Bostrom. The company has been making carbon motorcycle wheels since 1995, and carbon-hybrid automotive wheels since 2004, and considers itself a racing and road pioneer. The business continues to grow its presence, both in aftermarket wheels using relationships with several leading US distributors, and through project work with several leading performance "original equipment manufacturers" (OEMs).

 

Puma Funds have made a number of investments into Dymag: £3.6m in December 2018, £1.2m in February 2020, £1.7m in October 2020 and £1.5m in October 2021. These investments have been made to improve scale and reduce production costs - particularly of carbon- hybrid automotive wheels, which are seeing significant demand growth.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

Removing surplus weight from vehicle components, or "lightweighting" as it is known, is very important in automotive technology. It interacts well with two current global megatrends - emissions reductions, and the global push towards electric vehicles (EVs). Lighter vehicles use less fuel, and EVs are powered by large, heavy batteries, meaning that any weight saving amongst the rest of the vehicle components is a premium.

 

Lightweight wheels can allow substantial weight savings in other parts of a vehicle, due to the principal of "un-sprung mass". Wheels are un-sprung mass, and 1kg of weight saved in the wheels of a vehicle can allow up to 8kg to be reduced elsewhere. This multiplier of up to 8x increases the premium on the wheels. 

 

Given these dynamics, the carbon wheels market is estimated  to grow at over 32.3% CAGR between 2020 and 2026.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Lightweighting is an important part of emissions reduction for internal combustion powered vehicles, and also a critical step  for the enhancement of electric vehicle technology. 

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

During what was a challenging time during the Covid pandemic, Dymag won over 20 niche OEM wheel projects in the UK and USA, and signed long-term supply contracts for BX-F™ carbon rims with 14 aftermarket wheel brands worldwide. Its focus continues to be on securing strategic distribution, and it is working on several other niche wheel brand deals in Switzerland, the UK and Latin America, which will they are aiming to announce later this year.

 

£8m Investment (VCT 13 participation £2.26m)

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Dymag is a notable player in its rapidly growing field. It has a well-protected suite of intellectual property around its technology and manufacturing processes, which acts as a substantial barrier to entry for competitors.

 

Dymag is seeing revenue growth, as its customer base and channels to market increase. YOY growth is averaging 35% over the past two years: impressive, given the restrictions of supply chain throughout the Covid-19 pandemic environment.

 

Puma Funds' investments into Dymag have supported an ongoing process of driving efficiencies in production processes to lower unit cost, including relocation to a new factory in Chippenham, which was open and fully operational by mid-February 2021. Investment has also been used to develop a more sophisticated sales and marketing function, to increase the product range and to reduce dependence on external suppliers.

 

Dymag is well positioned to capitalise on the predicted growth in the carbon wheels market.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Investments into the management team have been made throughout the life of the investment. 

 

Tom de Lange joined as CEO in October 2019 from Dyson, and is a key part of moving the company forward. 

 

Tom Ellaway - joined in March 2022 as Head of Sales  and Marketing.

 

Additional hires have also been made into the finance and manufacturing teams, and a Manufacturing Director has accepted an offer,  due to start in Q3.  These hires have been made to ensure efficiency and quality standards remain constant as the company moves to multiple shift patterns.

 

 

Continuing to build more meaningful connections

Influencer

 

Influencer is a data-driven marketing solution that specialises in delivering campaigns across social media platforms. Since the company started in 2017, it has built an impressive client list including Google, Amazon, Levi's, Starbucks, SharkNinja and PrettyLittleThing, and has strong relationships with agencies MediaCom, Ogilvy and Havas.

 

Puma Funds invested £3m in August 2019 to drive innovations on its proprietary social media platform - Waves - and help the organisation expand its global presence. Waves is leading the way  in terms of simplifying the influencer marketing process for both brands and creators, and Influencer recently announced that it had been appointed an official TikTok Marketing Partner, and will be able to integrate with its Creator Market place API.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

Influencer marketing continues to grow as a marketing channel, and the sector is forecast to  be worth more than $16.4bn in 2022. Increasingly, brands are seeking to connect more deeply and  on a wider range of topics with their audiences,  and research has highlighted that 75% of brand marketers intend to dedicate a budget specifically  to influencer marketing in 2022.

 

Brand endorsement by public figures, after all, is not a new phenomenon. History is littered with examples of celebrities lending their 'brand' to other organisations - from David Beckham (Brietling, Sainsbury's, Samsung, H&M and Coty) to Roger Federer (Gillette, Rolex, Uniqlo). Social media platforms have, however, enabled those that are relatively 'unknown' to enter the arena, and to  amass regular viewers that offer the same level of broadcasting potential and influence as celebrities.  A good example is Molly Mae Hague (Beauty Works and PrettyLittleThing), who having taken part in a TV programme has amassed so many followers,  she is commanding six-figure deals to endorse  brands across a range of channels. Influencer marketing enables brands to deliver content to target audiences effectively and measurably.

 

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

While influencer marketing is undoubtedly growing, as we head into uncertain economic times, the ability to ensure your brand spend is measurable and accountable is essential. Influencer 

has a robust platform that enables brands to measure more effective ROI on their use of social channels. 

 

Influencer is backed by award-winning entrepreneurs: Ben Jeffries, who leads the company as CEO, and YouTuber and creator Caspar Lee, who serves as Chief Visionary Officer. Caspar brings great understanding of the creator landscape, and ensures the company attracts the best creators, as well as working with leading brands. Together they lead a highly motivated and highly skilled management team, whose knowledge and understanding of the fast-moving sector has been hugely impressive.

 

At the point Puma Funds was invested, the revenue growth was 420% and despite the many challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company grew nearly x3 in 2021-22.  Ben, Caspar and the wider Influencer team's knowledge of the influencer marketing space, is pivotal in being able to capitalise on the continued growth this sector is experiencing.

 

Influencer has built a great reputation in the UK, and is using this to springboard its growth in the US, the Middle East and Europe, where there remains significant potential to build a strong client base.

 

Following the investment Puma Funds made in 2019, Influencer was named an official Facebook and Instagram Marketing Partner. Not only does this establish Influencer as a leader in the influencer marketing space, but it also means the business will be able to distribute content directly through the Facebook and Instagram networks and their wider digital portfolios.

 

The business has grown to more than 70 people, and has opened offices in Dubai and New York, alongside its base in London.

 

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Since our investment, Influencer has made a number of key hires to its leadership team, including:

 

Chief Finance Officer - Suzanne Burrows. Suzanne is a very experienced CFO, with multiple years serving in finance roles in the media space.

 

Chief Product Officer - Rafael Franco. Rafael has a vast amount of tech experience in the adtech space (previously at Unruly).

 

Group Operations - Alice Judge-Talbot Alice has experience managing key accounts across marketing agencies including uding Billion Dollar Boy.

 

Carly Ash as Chief People Officer and Olly Gosling as Strategy Director.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

As a relatively young company, Influencer was designed to be an inclusive workplace from Day 1. The team believe that the diversity of their workforce should reflect the communities they serve, and they aim to provide inclusive and accessible services for all. They have also worked hard to outline the steps they can take as an organisation to continue to improve, and have made a number of public pledges in this regard.

 

AWARDS WON

Influencer has won a number of awards, including:

•   Listed as one of Campaigns 2021 Best Places to Work

•   Listed as 11th in the MarTech 50

•   Shortlisted as Influencer Marketing Agency of the Year at the Blogosphere Awards 2021

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Influencer is making healthy profits, which it is using to continue to invest in its Wave platform, so that it can refine its campaign performance and evidence the efficiencies of influencer marketing campaigns, which is pivotal as we head into more turbulent times.

 

It is also investing heavily in its sales and distribution, and has grown a number of key accounts and strategic partnerships with agencies and brands across its network.

 

£3m Investment (VCT 13 participation £1.8m)

 

 

Brewing to the next level

Hot Copper

 

The Hot Copper Pub Company merged with two Brewhouse and Kitchen franchisee companies, which were backed by Puma managed funds, in December 2020. Brewhouse & Kitchen is the largest brewpub brand in the UK, distinctive for brewing their own unique craft beers onsite and running a participatory experience with beer tasting and brewing masterclasses.

 

Puma Funds invested £20.2 million to provide growth capital for the build out of the overall Brewhouse & Kitchen branded estate.

 

SECTOR OVERVIEW

The hospitality sector has been one of the most heavily affected by the restrictions imposed under the Covid-19 pandemic, and many businesses have suffered heavy financial losses as a result. Revenues in recent months have improved significantly, now that people are returning to work and

socialising once more. However, the short-term outlook for the sector remains mixed.

 

Recruitment and retention of good-quality staff are challenging, particularly since many left the sector during 2020/21. Recent months have seen improvements in vacancy rates, particularly in London, but significant increases in inflation have naturally led to rising wage

inflation. In addition, with the ongoing political tensions in Eastern Europe, food, beverage and utility prices are rising rapidly, and these costs will need to be passed on to consumers. A recent survey by UKHospitality among 340 businesses across the UK, indicated that prices would need

to rise by an average of 10% this year, to cover the huge increases in overheads faced by the industry.

 

It is not yet known whether such price rises will significantly affect demand. Forecasts suggest that while the value of the pub and bar market fell by £13.9bn (61%) in 2020, the

market is expected to grow by 51.8% in 2022, reaching a value of £22.4bn. The market is not seeing any significant consolidation yet, and while various organisations have raised funds specifically for acquisition in the pub sector, stock remains relatively limited. 

 

KEY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

As the sector continues to see increases in footfall and overall per head spend, management are focused on managing the costs of rising inflation.

 

£20.2m Investment (VCT 13 participation £0.85m)

 

WHY WE'VE INVESTED

Unlike others, the company owns the freehold on a number of its sites, so the overall value of the organisation is underpinned by assets. The management team is highly experienced, and despite the challenges of Covid 19, they were successful in managing their cash resources effectively. Revenues during May-November 2021 were up 2.5% compared to the same period pre-pandemic which is impressive given the number of localised lockdowns and sites being forced to close from staff shortages throughout the period.

 

Hot Copper is well capitalised to navigate a demanding trading environment, and the current focus is on managing rising utility and supplier prices to ensure any price rises are as low as possible.

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Jody Bennett commenced in November 2021, as Head of People with considerable experience and most recently covered a similar role in the hospitality sector with The Liberation Group.

 

AWARDS

UK best pub employer, UK Publican Awards 2021/22.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The company has made significant investments to improve its sustainability and environmental impact and is on a journey of continuous improvement. It has made real inroads into reductions in energy usage including the launch of MinuteView - an Energy Performance Portal - for immediate real time tracking of energy use data within the business and they have recycled more than 66,000 litres of oil. during the last 12 months. They are installing high power and low energy consumption grills across the entire state. The expectation is that this will deliver an 8.59% savings in gas consumption and an 18 month return on capital employed.

 

Liquidity Management Investments

To manage the Company's liquidity, a portion of the Company's funds are invested in a diverse

portfolio of listed equities.

 

This portfolio is managed by the Investment Manager's Listed Equities Team, which is run by Dr Stuart Rollason. Dr Rollason is a highly experienced small and mid-cap Fund Manager with over 20 years in the industry. His most recent experience prior to joining the Investment Manager was with Kestrel Partners LLP. Prior to that, he managed a UK smaller company investment trust at Bluehone and £230m of UK smaller company pension assets at ISIS Asset Management. He was formerly an  Extel-rated Research Analyst in Medical Technology and Biotech at Beeson Gregory, Panmure Gordon and Nomura,  and began his career as a medical doctor practising in the  NHS, before moving into research at Oxford University.

 

The Company's listed equity portfolio is focussed on UK centric stocks which are listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange. The Company's portfolio experienced recovery of the material falls owing to the pandemic during the period, the tail end of the period saw a rise in uncertainty due to geopolitical and macroeconomic factors which resulted in a slowdown in the portfolios gains, largely in line with the markets. From a position at the beginning of the year where the Company held £1.36 million of listed equities, by the year end this holding had increased to £1.53 million after £31k of disposals, £39k of acquisitions and £166k of gains (some realised, some not realised). 

 

Puma Investment Management Limited 

23 May 2023

 

 

Investment Portfolio Summary  

As at 28 February 2022  

 


Valuation  

Cost  

Gain/(loss)  

Valuation as a % of Net Assets  


£'000  

£'000  

£'000  


Qualifying Investment - Unquoted  










Ostmodern (ABW Group Limited)

509 

500 

1% 

Connectr Limited 

8,973 

5,016 

3,957 

17% 

Deazy Limiyted 

2,900 

2,900 

6% 

Dymag Group Limited 

1,775 

2,263 

(488) 

3% 

Everpress Limited 

1,514 

1,514 

(0) 

3% 

Hot Copper Pub Company Limited 

269 

847 

(578) 

1% 

Influencer Limited 

8,867 

1,800 

7,067 

17% 

Le Col Holdings Limited 

5,047 

2,528 

2,519 

10% 

CameraMatics (MySafeDrive Limited) 

2,839 

1,963 

876 

5% 

Ron Dorff (NQOCD Consulting Limited)

1,166 

812 

354 

2% 

Open House London Limited 

2,293 

1,800 

493 

4% 

TicTrac Limited 

3,548 

1,850 

1,698 

7% 









Total Qualifying Investments  

39,699 

23,793 

15,906 

76% 






Liquidity Management  










Barclays Plc 

118 

116 

0.2% 

Chemring Group Plc 

105 

70 

35 

0.3% 

Diageo Plc 

121 

89 

32 

0.3% 

Discoverie Group Plc 

127 

63 

64 

0.3% 

Dixons Carphone Plc 

63 

109 

(46) 

0.2% 

Headlam Group Plc 

103 

121 

(18) 

0.2% 

ITV Group Plc 

83 

82 

0.2% 

Jackson Financial Inc 

0.1% 

Legal & General Group Plc 

103 

96 

0.2% 

Lloyds Banking Group Plc 

121 

74 

47 

0.3% 

Provident Financial Plc 

58 

119 

(61) 

0.2% 

Prudential Plc 

86 

133 

(47) 

0.2% 

PZ Cussons Plc 

85 

94 

(9) 

0.2% 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc 

99 

124 

(25) 

0.2% 

Volution Group Plc 

177 

88 

89 

1.0% 

WPP Plc 

74 

67 

0.2% 




Total Liquidity Management investments  

1,529 

1,445 

83 

3% 











Total Investments  

41,228 

25,238 

15,989 

79% 

Balance of Portfolio  

11,125 

11,125 


21% 






Net Assets  

52,353   

36,364   

15,989   

100% 

 

 

 

Of the investments held at 28 February 2022, all are incorporated in England and Wales, except MySafeDrive Limited which was incorporated in Ireland.  

 

 

Strategic Report

 

The Directors present their Strategic Report of the Company for the year ended 28 February 2022.

The purpose of the report is to inform members of the company and help them assess how the

directors have performed their duty to promote the success of the company.

 

PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES AND STATUS

The Company was incorporated on 15 September 2016. The principal activity of the Company is the making of investments in qualifying and non-qualifying holdings of shares or securities. The Company is an investment company within the meaning of Section 833 of the Companies Act 2006. The Company has been granted provisional approval by the Inland Revenue under Section 274 of the Income Tax Act 2007 as a Venture Capital Trust. The Directors have managed, and continue to manage, the Company's affairs in such a manner as to comply with Section 274 of the Income Tax Act 2007.

 

The Company's ordinary shares of 0.0005p each have been listed on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority since 2 July 2018.

 

BUSINESS MODEL AND STRATEGY

The Company operates as a VCT to enable its shareholders to benefit from tax reliefs available. The Directors aim to maximise tax free distributions to shareholders by way of dividends paid out of income received from investments and capital gains received following successful realisations. The Company's strategy is set out in the Investment Policy set out below.

 

INVESTMENT POLICY

Puma VCT 13 plc seeks to achieve its overall investment objective (of proactively managing the assets of the fund with an emphasis on realising gains in the medium term) to maximise distributions from capital gains and income generated from the Company's assets. It intends to do so whilst maintaining its qualifying status as a VCT, by pursuing the following Investment Policy:

· The Company may invest in a mix of qualifying and non-qualifying assets.

· The qualifying investments may be quoted on AIM or a similar market or be unquoted companies.

· The Company may invest in a diversified portfolio of growth orientated qualifying companies which seek to raise new capital on flotation or by way of a secondary issue.

· The Company has the ability to structure deals to invest in private companies with an asset-backed focus to reduce potential capital loss.

· The Company had to have in excess of 80% of its assets invested in qualifying investments as defined for VCT purposes by 28 February 2022.

 

The portfolio of non-qualifying investments will be managed with the intention of generating a positive return. Subject to the Board and Investment Manager's view from time to time of desirable asset allocation, it will comprise quoted and unquoted investments (direct or indirect) in cash or cash equivalents, secured loans, bonds, equities, vehicles investing in property and funds of funds or on cash deposit.

 

A full text of the Company's investment policy can be found within the Company's prospectus at www.pumainvestments.co.uk .

 

PRINCIPAL RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

The Board have carried out a robust assessment of the Company's emerging and principal risks, including those that might threaten the Company's business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity and reputation. The Board receives regular reports from the Investment Manager and uses this information along with their own knowledge and experience to identify any emerging risks, so that appropriate procedures can be put in place to manage or mitigate such risks.

 

The principal risks facing the Company relate to its investment activities, specifically market price risk, as well as interest rate risk, credit risk and liquidity risk. An explanation of these risks and how they are managed is contained in note 14 to the financial statements. Additional risks faced by the Company are listed below.

 

Market Conditions

There is a risk that the ongoing pandemic, together with the recent geo-political and economic events, can have an impact the prospects of certain of the Company's investments. The Investment Manager maintains close contact with all investee companies to endeavour to mitigate the risk as far as possible. Further details of the investments are set out in the Investment Manager's Report.

 

Investment Risk

Inappropriate stock selection leading to underperformance in absolute and relative terms is a risk which the Investment Manager and the Board mitigate by reviewing performance throughout the year and formally at Board meetings. There is also a regular review by the Board of the investment mandate and long-term investment strategy and monitoring of whether the Company should change its investment strategy.

 

Regulatory Risk

The Company operates in a complex regulatory environment and faces a number of related risks. A breach of s274 of the Income Tax Act 2007 could result in the Company being subject to capital gains on the sale of investments. A breach of the VCT Regulations could result in the loss of VCT status and consequent loss of tax relief currently available to shareholders. Serious breach of other regulations, such as the UKLA Listing Rules and the Companies Act 2006 could lead to suspension from the Stock Exchange.

 

The Board receives quarterly reports in order to monitor compliance with regulations.

 

In addition, to the principal risks explained above, the principal uncertainty that may affect the Company relate to material changes to the VCT regulations. The Board continue to monitor this and will take appropriate action if required.25

 

RISK MANAGEMENT

The Company's investment policy allows for a large proportion of the Company's assets to be held in unquoted investments. These investments are not publicly traded so there is not a liquid market for them. Therefore, these investments may be difficult to realise.

 

The Company manages its investment risk within the restrictions of maintaining its qualifying VCT status by using the following methods:

· the active monitoring of its investments by the Investment Manager and the Board;

· seeking Board representation associated with each investment, if possible;

· seeking to hold larger investment stakes by co-investing with other companies managed by the Investment Manager,

· so as to gain more influence over the investment;

· ensuring a spread of investments is achieved.

 

 

BUSINESS REVIEW AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

The Company's business review and future developments are set out in the Chairman's Statement, the Investment Manager's Report and Investment Portfolio Summary.

 

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

At each board meeting, the Directors consider a number of performance measures to assess the Company's success in meeting its objectives. The Board believes the Company's key performance indicators are movement in NAV per ordinary share and Total Return per ordinary share. The Board considers that the Company has no non-financial key performance indicators. 

In addition, the Board considers the Company's compliance with the Venture Capital Trust Regulations to ensure that it will maintain its VCT status. An analysis of the Company's key performance indicators and the performance of the Company's portfolio and specific investments is included in the Chairman's Statement, the Investment Manager's Report and the Investment Portfolio Summary.

 

VIABILITY STATEMENT

The Directors have conducted a robust assessment of the principal risks facing the Company including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity. This is summarised above. The Directors have assessed the prospects of the Company for the three-year period from the balance sheet date. This is a period for which developments are considered to be reasonably foreseeable. This review included consideration of compliance with VCT regulations, the Company's current financial position and expected cash flows for the period and the current economic outlook, including the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

 

Based on this review and the fact that the Company's listed shares are held for liquidity purposes and will be sold as and when required, the Directors have concluded that there is a reasonable expectation that they will have access to adequate cash resources to enable  the Company to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the three-year period to 28 February 2025.

 

SECTION 172 STATEMENT - DUTY TO PROMOTE THE SUCCESS OF THE COMPANY

Section 172 of the Companies Act requires directors of a company to act in the way they consider, in good faith, would be most likely  to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to:

 

a)   the likely consequences of any decision in the long term,

b)   the interests of the company's employees,

c)   the need to foster the company's business relationships with suppliers, customers and others,

d)   the impact of the company's operations on the community and the environment,

e)   the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and

f)   the need to act fairly as between members of the company.

 

This section of the Strategic Report also sets out the disclosures required in respect how the company engages with suppliers, customers and others in a business relationship with the company.

 

The company does not have any employees and delegates day to day operations to service providers. The Board's principal concern is to focus on the needs and priorities of its shareholders as well as considering the wider community including the company's service providers and its investee companies (as disclosed in the Investment Manager's Report). The Board consider that the company's shareholders are its customers and its suppliers are the service providers.

 

The Annual Report as a whole sets out how the Board promotes the success of the company for the benefit of its shareholders. The Board is focused on high standards of business conduct and recognises the need to act fairly between shareholders.

 

The Board engages with the investment manager at every board meeting to ensure that there is a close and constructive working relationship and a good understanding of the investee companies. The company also engages regularly with its other service providers. The Board ensures that the interests of current and potential stakeholders and the impact of the company's investments on the wider community and the environment are taken into account when decisions are made.

 

STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Strategic Report, the Directors' Report, the Directors' Remuneration Report, and the financial statements in accordance with applicable lawand regulations.

Company law requires the Directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law, the Directors have elected  to prepare the financial statements in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards, comprising FRS 102 "The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland", and applicable law). Under company law, the Directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Company and of the profit or loss of the Company for that period. In preparing those financial statements, the directors are required to:

 

a)   select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;

b)   make judgements and accounting estimates that are reasonable and prudent;

c)   state whether applicable UK Accounting Standards (comprising FRS 102 "The Financial

Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland", and applicable law). have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;

d)   prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business.

 

The Directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Company's transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements and the Directors' Remuneration Report comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

 

DIRECTORS' STATEMENT PURSUANT TO THE DISCLOSURE AND TRANSPARENCY RULES

Each of the Directors, whose names and functions are listed in the Directors' Biographies, confirms that, to the best of each person's knowledge:

 

a)  the financial statements, prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards, comprising FRS 102 "The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland" , and applicable law), give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit/ (loss) of the Company; and

b)  the Chairman's Statement, Investment Manager's Report, the Strategic Report and Directors' Report contained in the Annual Report include a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company together witha description of the principal risks and uncertainties that it faces.

 

DIRECTORS' STATEMENT REGARDING ANNUAL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS

The Directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Company's website. The financial statements are published on www.pumainvestments.co.uk, a website maintained by the Investment Manager.

Legislation in the United Kingdom regulating the preparation 

and dissemination of the financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

 

ELECTRONIC PUBLICATION

The financial statements are published on www.pumainvestments. co.uk, a website maintained by the Investment Manager. Legislation in the United Kingdom regulating the preparation 

and dissemination of the financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

On behalf of the Board.

 

David Buchler

Chairman

23 May 2022

 

 

Income Statement  

For the year ended 28 February 2022  

 











Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  


Note  

Revenue  

Capital  

Total  

Revenue  

Capital  

Total  



£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

Gain on disposal of investments 

8 (b) 

12,189 

12,189 

5,660 

5,660 

Investment income 

52 

52 

21 

21 










52 

12,189 

12,241 

21 

5,660 

5,681 








Investment management fee 

(175) 

(525) 

(700) 

(86) 

(257) 

(343) 

Performance fee 

(1,897) 

(1,897) 

(717) 

(717) 

Other expenses 

(340) 

(340) 

(203) 

(1) 

(204) 










(515) 

(2,422) 

(2,937) 

(289) 

(975) 

(1,264) 








(Loss)/profit before tax 


(463) 

9,767 

9,304 

(268) 

4,685 

4,417 

Tax 








(Loss)/profit after tax  


(463)  

9,767   

9,304   

(268)  

4,685   

4,417   








(Loss)/earnings per share - basic and diluted 

(1.77p) 

37.48p 

35.71p 

(1.68p) 

29.35p 

27.67p 

 

 

 

 

 

All items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. 

 

There are no gains or losses other than those disclosed in the Income Statement. 

 

The total column of this statement is the Statement of Total Comprehensive Income of the Company prepared in accordance with FRS 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland'.  The supplementary revenue and capital columns are prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice, 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts' issued by the Association of Investment Companies. 

 

 

 

Balance Sheet  





Note  

As at  
28 February 2022 

As at  
28 February 2021 



£'000  

£'000  

Fixed assets  




Investments 

8  

41,228 

21,336 









Current assets  




Debtors 

9  

109 

65 

Cash 


13,184 

2,396 



13,293 

2,461 





Current liabilities 

10 

(2,169) 

(861) 





Net current assets 


11,124 

1,600 





Net assets  


52,352   

22,936   





Capital and Reserves  




Share capital 

12  

20 

11 

Share premium 


15,187 

17,736 

Capital reserve realised 


(2,216) 

(1,695) 

Capital reserve unrealised 


15,989 

7,533 

Revenue reserve 


23,372 

(649) 





Total equity shareholders' funds  


52,352   

22,936   









NAV per ordinary share  

13  

143.53p 

125.77p 

 

 

The financial statements were approved and authorised for issue by the Board of Directors on 23 May 2022 and were signed on their behalf by: 

 

 

 

David Buchler  

Chairman  

 

Statement of Cash Flows   

 


   

   


Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Reconciliation of profit to cash flows from operating activities   



Profit before tax 

9,304 

4,417 

Gain on disposal of investments 

(12,189) 

(5,660) 

(Decrease)/increase in debtors 

(44) 

138 

Increase in creditors 

1,308 

766 




Outflow from operating activities  

(1,621) 

(339) 




Cash flows from investing activities  



Purchase of investments 

(12,771) 

(2,580) 

Proceeds on sale of investments 

5,067 

337 




Outflow from investment activities  

(7,704) 

(2,243) 




Cash flows from financing activities  



Share issues 

22,388 

3,091 

Share issue costs 

(427) 

(206) 

Purchase of own shares 

(17) 

Dividends paid to shareholders 

(1,831) 




Inflow from financing activities  

20,113 

2,885 




Increase in cash and cash equivalents  

10,788 

303 




Opening cash and cash equivalents 

2,396 

2,093 




Closing cash and cash equivalents   

13,184 

2,396 

 

 

Statement of Changes in Equity  

 









Called up share capital  

Share premium account  

Capital reserve - realised  

Capital reserve - unrealised  

Revenue reserve  

Total  


£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

£'000  








As at 1 March 2020  

10 

14,852 

(649) 

1,802 

(381) 

15,634 

Comprehensive income for the year 



(1,044) 

5,729 

(268) 

4,417 

Issue of shares 

3,090 

3,091 

Share issue cost 

(206) 

(206) 

Reserves movement 

(2) 

Balance as at 28 February 2021  

11   

17,736   

(1,695)  

7,533   

(649)  

22,936   








Comprehensive income for the period 

491 

1,674 

(212) 

1,953 

Issue of shares 

7,023 

7,026 

Share issue cost 

(258) 

(258) 

Share premium cancellation 

(24,501) 


24,501 

Prior year fixed asset gains now realised 

3,135 

(3,135) 

Balance as at 31 August 2021  

14   

 

1,931   

6,072   

23,640   

31,657   








Dividends paid 

(1,831) 

(1,831) 








Comprehensive income for the period 

(2,316) 

9,917 

(251) 

7,350 

Issue of shares 

15,356 

15,362 

Share issue cost 

(169) 

(169) 

Repurchase of own shares 

(17) 

(17) 

Balance as at 28 February 2022  

20   

15,187   

(2,216)  

15,989   

23,372   

52,352   

 

 

 

*Included in these reserves is an amount of £21.2 million (2021: nil) which is considered to be distributable to shareholders. 

 

The Capital reserve-realised includes gains/losses that have been realised in the year due to the sale of investments, net of related costs. The Capital reserve-unrealised represents the investment holding gains/losses and shows the gains/losses on investments still held by the Company not yet realised by an asset sale. 

 

Share premium represents premium on shares issued less issue costs. 

 

The revenue reserve represents the cumulative revenue earned less cumulative distributions. 

 

1.   Accounting Policies

 

Accounting convention

Puma VCT 13 plc ("the Company") was incorporated in England on 15 September 2016 and is registered and domiciled in England and Wales. The Company's registered number is 10376236. The

registered office is Cassini House, 57 St James's Street, London SW1A 1LD. The Company is a public limited company (limited by shares) whose shares are listed on LSE with a premium listing. The

Company's principal activities and a description of the nature of the Company's operations are disclosed in the Strategic Report.

 

The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention, modified to include investments at fair value, and in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006,

including the provisions of the Large and Medium-sized Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008 and with FRS 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland' ("FRS 102") and the Statement of Recommended Practice, 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts' issued in October 2019 by the Association of Investment Companies ("the SORP"). Monetary amounts in these financial statements are rounded to the nearest whole £1,000, except where otherwise indicated.

 

Going concern

The Directors have considered a period of 12 months from the date of this report for the purposes of determining the Company's going concern status which has been assessed in accordance with the guidance issued by the Financial Reporting Council. The Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future and believe that it is appropriate to continue to apply the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. This is appropriate as the Company's listed shares are held for liquidity purposes and will be sold as and when required to ensure the Company has adequate cash reserves to meet the Company's running costs. 

 

Investments

All investments are measured at fair value.  They are all held as part of the Company's investment portfolio and are managed in accordance with the investment policy. 

 

 

Listed investments are stated at bid price at the reporting date. 

 

Unquoted investments are stated at fair value by the Directors with reference to the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines ("IPEV") as follows:

 

· Investments which have been made within the last twelve months or where the investee company is in the early stage of development will usually be valued at either the price of recent investment or cost except where the company's performance against plan is significantly different from expectations on which the investment was made, in which case a different valuation methodology will be adopted.

· Investments in debt instruments will usually be valued by applying a discounted cash flow methodology based on expected future returns of the investment, to arrive at the fair value.

· Alternative methods of valuation such as multiples or net asset value may be applied in specific circumstances if considered more appropriate.

· Realised surpluses or deficits on the disposal of investments are taken to realised capital reserves, and unrealised surpluses and deficits on the revaluation of investments are taken to unrealised capital reserves.

 

Realised surpluses or deficits on the disposal of investments are taken to realised capital reserves, and unrealised surpluses and deficits on the revaluation of investments are taken to unrealised capital reserves.

 

Income

Dividends receivable on listed equity shares are brought into account on the ex-dividend date. Dividends receivable on unquoted equity shares are brought into account when the Company's right to receive payment is established and there is no reasonable doubt that payment will be received.  Interest receivable is recognised wholly as a revenue item on an accruals basis.

 

Performance fees 

As approved at the General Meeting in the year, performance fee arrangements for Puma Investments and members of the investment management team have been amended. The performance incentive fee payable in relation to each accounting period (as determined from the audited annual accounts for that period) is now subject to the Performance Value per share being at least 110p at the end of the relevant period. Performance Value per Share is calculated as the total of the net asset value, the performance incentive fees previously paid or accrued by the Company for all previous accounting periods and the cumulative amount of dividends paid by the Company before the relevant accounting reference date, with the aggregate amount of these divided by the number of Ordinary Shares in issue in the Company on the relevant date (excluding the Performance Incentive Shares).

 

The amount of the performance incentive fee will be equal to 20% of the amount by which the Performance Value per Share at the end of an accounting period exceeds the High Water Mark (being the higher of 110p and the highest Performance Value per Share at the end of any previous accounting period), multiplied by the number of relevant Ordinary Shares in issue at the end of the relevant period (excluding any Performance Incentive Shares). That amount will be allocated, at the discretion of the Investment Manager, between the Investment Manager itself and the Management Team. 

 

At each balance sheet date, the Company accrues for any performance fee payable based on the calculation set out above.

 

Expenses

All expenses (inclusive of VAT) are accounted for on an accruals basis. Expenses are charged wholly to revenue, with the exception of:

 

· expenses incidental to the acquisition or disposal of an investment charged to capital; and

· the investment management fee, 75% of which has been charged to capital to reflect an element which is, in the directors' opinion, attributable to the maintenance or enhancement of the value of the Company's investments in accordance with the Board's expected long-term split of return; and

· the performance fee which is allocated proportionally to revenue and capital based on the respective contributions to the Net Asset Value.

 

 

Taxation

Corporation tax is applied to profits chargeable to corporation tax, if any, at the applicable rate for the year. The tax effect of different items of income/gain and expenditure/loss is allocated between capital and revenue return on the marginal basis as recommended by the SORP.

 

Deferred tax is recognised in respect of all timing differences that have originated but not reversed at the balance sheet date, where transactions or events that result in an obligation to pay more, or right to pay less, tax in the future have occurred at the balance sheet date. This is subject to deferred tax assets only being recognised if it is considered more likely than not that there will be suitable taxable profits from which the future reversal of the underlying timing differences can be deducted. Timing differences are differences arising between the Company's taxable profits and its results as stated in the financial statements which are capable of reversal in one or more subsequent periods. Deferred tax is measured on a non-discounted basis at the tax rates that are expected to apply in the periods in which timing differences are expected to reverse, based on tax rates and laws enacted or substantively enacted at the balance sheet date.

 

Reserves

Realised losses and gains on investments, transaction costs, the capital element of the investment management fee and taxation are taken through the Income Statement and recognised in the Capital Reserve - Realised on the Balance sheet.  Unrealised losses and gains on investments and the capital element of the performance fee are also taken through the Income Statement and are recognised in the Capital Reserve - Unrealised. 

 

Debtors

Debtors include other debtors and accrued income which is recognised at amortised cost, equivalent to the fair value of the expected balance receivable.

 

Creditors

Creditors are initially measured at the transaction price and subsequently measured at amortised cost, being the transaction price less any amounts settled.

 

Dividends

Final dividends payable are recognised as distributions in the financial statements when the Company's liability to make payment has been established. The liability is established when the dividends proposed by the Board are approved by the Shareholders. Interim dividends are recognised when paid.

 

Key accounting estimates and assumptions

The Company makes estimates and assumptions concerning the future. The resulting accounting estimates and assumptions will, by definition, seldom equal the related actual results. The estimates and assumptions that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets within the next financial year relate to the fair value of unquoted investments, especially due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  Further details of the unquoted investments are disclosed in the Investment Manager's Report and notes 8 and 14 to the financial statements.   

 

2.   Income 

 


Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Income from investments  



Qualifying interest income 

20 

Dividends received 

32 

21 


52 

21 

 

 

 3.  Investment Management and Performance Fees 

 





Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Investments management fee 

700 

343 

Performance fee (see note 11) 

1,897 

717 


2,597 

1,060 

 

 Puma Investment Management Limited ("Puma Investments") has been appointed as the Investment Manager of the Company for an initial period of five years, which can be terminated by not less than twelve months' notice, given at any time by either party, on or after the fifth anniversary. The Board is satisfied with the performance of the Investment Manager. Under the terms of this agreement Puma Investments will be paid an annual fee of 2% of the Net Asset Value payable quarterly in arrears calculated on the relevant quarter end NAV of the Company. These fees commenced on 19 March 2018 (the date of the first share allotment). These fees are capped, the Investment Manager having agreed to reduce its fee (if necessary to nothing) to contain total annual costs (excluding performance fee and trail commission) to 3.5% the Company's net assets. Total costs this year were 2% of the Company's net assets as at 28 February 2022 (2021: 3.5%). 

 

In addition to the investment manager fees disclosed above, during the year, Puma Investments Management Limited charged fees of £315,634 (2021: £92,746) as commission for share issue costs. 

 

4.   Other expenses 

 


Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Accounting and administration services 

120 

60 

Directors' fees 

61 

60 

Social security costs 

Auditor's fees for statutory audit 

54 

33 

Transaction costs 

Other expenses 

97 

46 





340 

204 

 

 

Puma Investments provides accounting and administrative services to VCT 13, payable quarterly in advance. The fee is calculated as 0.35% of VCT 13's NAV, using the latest published NAV and the number of shares in issue at each quarter end. 

 

Directors' fees paid in year are disclosed in the Directors' Remuneration Report. Company has no employees other than non-executive Directors (2021: none). The average number of non-executive Directors during the year was 3 (2021: 3). 

 

Auditor's fees of £45,000 (2021: £27,500) has been grossed up in the table above to be inclusive of VAT. No non-audit services were provided by the Company's auditor in the year (2021: £270 for iXBRL tagging of the year ended 28 February 2021 financial statements). 

 

 

 

5.   Tax 


Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  




Factors affecting tax charge for the period  


Profit before tax 

9,304 

4,417 




Current tax at 19% (2021: 19%) 

1,768 

839 

Gains on investments 

(2,316) 

(1,075) 

Tax losses carried forward 

548 

236 





 

Capital returns are not taxable as the Company is exempt from tax on realised capital gains whilst it continues to comply with the VCT regulations, so no corporation tax is recognised on capital gains or losses. Due to the intention to continue to comply with the VCT regulations, the Company has not provided for deferred tax on any realised or unrealised capital gains and losses. No deferred tax asset

has been recognised in respect of the tax losses carried forward due to the uncertainty as to recovery.

 

6.   Basic and diluted return/(loss) per Ordinary Share 

 






Year ended 28 February 2022  


Revenue  

Capital  

Total  


£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

Comprehensive income for the year 

(463,000) 

9,767,000 

9,304,000 





Weighted average number of shares in issue for the year 

29,951,765 

29,951,765 

29,951,765 

Less: weighted average number of management incentive shares (see note 11) 

(3,895,834) 

(3,895,834) 

(3,895,834) 

Weighted average number of shares for purposes of return/(loss) per share calculations 

26,055,931 

26,055,931 

26,055,931 





(Loss)/return per share 

(1.77)p 

37.48p 

35.71p 










Year ended 28 February 2021  


Revenue  

Capital  

Total  


£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

Total comprehensive income for the year 

(268,000) 

4,685,000 

4,417,000 





Weighted average number of shares in issue for the year 

19,858,132 

19,858,132 

19,858,132 

Less: weighted average number of management incentive shares (see note 11) 

(3,895,834) 

(3,895,834) 

(3,895,834) 

Weighted average number of shares for purposes of return/(loss) per share calculations 

15,962,298 

15,962,298 

15,962,298 





(Loss)/return per share 

(1.68)p 

29.35p 

27.67p 

 

 

7.   Dividends  

 

During the year, an interim dividend of 6.5p per Ordinary share was paid from Capital reserves realised in relation year ended 28 February 2022 totalling £1.8 million, the Directors do not propose a final dividend in relation to the year ended 28 February 2022 (2021: £nil). The Directors declared an interim dividend of 4.5p per Ordinary share in relation to the year ended 28 February 2023, the dividend was paid on 24 March 2022 totalling £2.0 million. 

 

 

8.   Investments 

  




(a) Movements in investments  

Qualifying venture capital investments  

Non-qualifying investments  

Total  


£'000  

£'000  

£'000  

Book cost at 1 March 2021 

12,358 

1,445 

13,803 

Net unrealised at 1 March 2021 

7,623 

(90) 

7,533 





Valuation at 01 March 2021 

19,981 

1,355 

21,336 





Purchases at cost 

12,732 

38 

12,771 

Disposals: 




Proceeds 

(5,036) 

(32) 

(5,067) 

Realised net gains/(losses) on disposals 

585 

12 

597 

Net unrealised 

11,436 

155 

11,591 





Valuation at 28 February 2022  

39,699   

1,528   

41,228   





Book cost at 28 February 2022 

23,793 

1,445 

25,238 

Net unrealised gains at 28 February 2022 

15,906 

83 

15,989 





Valuation at 28 February 2022  

39,699 

1,528 

41,228 





(b) Gains/(losses) on investments  






Year ended 28 February 2022  

Year ended 28 February 2021  



£'000  


Realised gains/(losses) on investment 


597 

(69) 

Unrealised gains/(losses) in period 


11,592 

5,729 







12,189 

5,660 

 

The Company received £5.1 million (2021: £337,000) from investments sold in the year. The book cost of these investments when they were purchased was £1.3 million (2021: £407,000). The Company's investments are revalued each year, so until they are sold any unrealised gains or losses are included in the fair value of the investments. 





(c) Quoted and unquoted investments  






Market value as at 28 February 2022  

Market value as at 28 February 2021  



£'000  

£'000  

Quoted investments 


1,529 

1,355 

Unquoted investments 


39,699 

19,981 







41,228 

21,336 

 

Further details of these investments (including the unrealised gains in the year) are disclosed in the Chairman's Statement, Investment Manager's Report, Investment Portfolio Summary and Significant Investments. 

 

 

9.   Debtors 

 





As at 28 February 2022  

As at 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Other debtors 

90 

65 

Accrued income 

19 





109 

65 

 

Other debtors includes cash held by the company's brokers of £84,000 (2021: £60,000). 

 

 

10.   Current liabilities - Creditors 

 





As at 28 February 2022  

As at 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Accruals 

2,156 

848 

Redeemable preference shares 

13 

13 



2,169 

861 

 

Redeemable preference shares were issued for total consideration £12,500 to Puma Investment Management Limited, being one quarter paid up, so as to enable the Company to obtain a certificate under s.761 of the Companies Act 2006. 

 

Each of the redeemable preference shares carries the right to a fixed, cumulative, preferential dividend of 0.1% per annum (exclusive of any imputed tax credit available to shareholders) on the nominal amount thereof but confers no right to vote except as otherwise agreed by the holders of a majority of the Shares. On a winding-up, the redeemable preference shares confer the right to be paid the nominal amount paid on such shares. The redeemable preference shares are redeemable at par at any time by the Company and by the holder. Each redeemable preference share which is redeemed, shall, thereafter be cancelled without further resolution or consent. 

 

 

11.   Management Performance Incentive Arrangement 

 

On 8 December 2016, the Company entered into an Agreement with the Investment Manager and members of the investment management team (together "the Management Team") such that the Management Team will be entitled in aggregate to share in 20 per cent of the aggregate excess on any amounts realised by the Company in excess of £1.05 per Ordinary Share, the Performance Target. This agreement was amended by a deed of variation on 28 June 2018 to extend the terms to cover the extended fundraising period. 

 

Following approval by shareholders, on 18 November 2020 this agreement was amended by a deed of variation. Under the new agreement, Puma Investments and members of the investment management team will be entitled to a performance in relation to each accounting period as determined from the audited annual accounts for that period, subject to the Performance Value per share being at least 110p at the end of the relevant period. Performance Value per Share is calculated as the total of the net asset value, the performance incentive fees previously paid or accrued by the Company for all previous accounting periods and the cumulative amount of dividends paid by the Company before the relevant accounting reference date, with the aggregate amount of these divided by the number of Ordinary Shares in issue in the Company on the relevant date (excluding the Performance Incentive Shares). 

 

The amount of the performance incentive fee will be equal to 20% of the amount by which the Performance Value per Share at the end of an accounting period exceeds the High Water Mark (being the higher of 110p and the highest Performance Value per Share at the end of any previous accounting period), multiplied by the number of relevant Ordinary Shares in issue at the end of the relevant period (excluding any Performance Incentive Shares). That amount will be allocated, at the discretion of the Investment Manager, between the Investment Manager itself and the Management Team. 

 

Under the previous performance incentive arrangement (set out above) 3,895,834 Ordinary Shares are held by the Investment Manager and members of the investment management team ("Performance Incentive Shares").  Under the terms of the incentive arrangement, all rights to dividends will be waived except, amounts payable under the new performance incentive fee will, where possible, be paid as a dividend through these Performance Incentive Shares. 

 

Under the new agreement, a performance fee of £1,897,000 (2021: £717,000) has been calculated under the terms of the new performance incentive arrangement. This is calculated as 20% of the amount by which the Performance Value exceeds the High Water Mark (129.71p), divided by the number of shares in issue. The shares in issue for this calculation exclude the 3,895,834 Performance Incentive Shares under the previous arrangement. 

 

 

12.   Called Up Share Capital  

 


As at 28 February 2022  

As at 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  




Allotted, called up and fully paid:   

40,369,963 (2021: 22,132,844) Ordinary shares of 0.05p each 

20 

11 

Allotted, called up and partly paid:   

50,000 (2021: 50,000) Redeemable preference shares of £1 each 

13 

13 

 

During the year, 18,251,319 shares were issued at an average price of 122.66p per share (2021: 2,653,672 shares were issued at an average price of 116.5p per share). The consideration received for these shares was £22.4 million (2021: £3.1 million). 

 

On 23 February 2022 the Company repurchased 14,200 Ordinary shares. 

 

Following the period end, a further 11,908,313 shares were issued at an average price of 123.97p. The consideration received for these shares was £14.8 million. 

 

 

13.   Net Asset Value per Ordinary Share  

 





As at  
28 February 2022 

As at  
28 February 2021 

Net assets 

52,352,000 

22,936,000 




Number of shares in issue 

40,369,963 

22,132,844 




Less: management incentive shares (see note 11) 

(3,895,834) 

(3,895,834) 




Number of shares in issue for purposes of Net 



Asset Value per share calculation 

36,474,129 

18,237,010 




Net asset value per share  



Basic 

143.53p 

125.77p 

 

14.   Financial Instruments 

 

The Company's financial instruments comprise its investments, cash balances, debtors and certain creditors.  The fair value of all of the Company's financial assets and liabilities is represented by the carrying value in the Balance Sheet. Excluding cash balances, the Company held the following categories of financial instruments at 28 February 2022: 

 


As at 28 February 2022  

As at 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  




Financial assets at fair value through profit 
or loss 

38,747 

21,336 

Financial assets that are debt instruments measured at amortised cost 

2,591 

65 

Financial liabilities measured at amortised cost 

(2,169) 

(861) 





39,169 

20,540 

 

Management of risk  

The main risks the Company faces from its financial instruments are market price risk, being the risk that the value of investment holdings will fluctuate as a result of changes in market prices caused by factors other than interest rate or currency movements, liquidity risk, credit risk and interest rate risk. The Board regularly reviews and agrees policies for managing each of these risks. The Board's policies for managing these risks are summarised below and have been applied throughout the year. 

 

Credit risk  

Credit risk is the risk that the counterparty to a financial instrument will fail to discharge an obligation or commitment that it has entered into with the Company. The Investment Manager monitors counterparty risk on an ongoing basis. The Company's maximum exposure to credit risk is as follows: 

 




 Credit risk 

As at 28 February 2022  

As at 28 February 2021  


£'000  

£'000  




Cash 

13,184 

2,396 

Interest, dividends and other receivables 

2,591 

65 

Investments in loans, loan notes and bonds 

2,481 





18,256 

2,461 

 

Credit risk arising on the sale of investments is considered to be small due to the short settlement and the contracted agreements in place with the settlement lawyers. 

 

The cash held by the Company at the year-end is held in RBS. Bankruptcy or insolvency of the bank may cause the Company's rights with respect to the receipt of cash held to be delayed or limited. The Board monitors the Company's risk by reviewing regularly the financial position of the bank and should the credit quality of RBS deteriorate significantly, the Investment Manager will, on instruction of the Board, move the cash holdings to another bank. 

 

Credit risk associated with interest, dividends and other receivables are predominantly covered by the investment management procedures. Other receivables as at 28 February 2022 was mainly cash held by the company's brokers, that is subject to reviews consistent with the banks noted above. 

 

Investments in loans and loan notes comprises a fundamental part of the Company's venture capital investments, therefore credit risk in respect of these assets is managed within the Company's main investment procedures. 

 

Market price risk  

Market price risk arises mainly from uncertainty about future prices of financial instruments held by the Company. It represents the potential loss the Company might suffer through holding investments in the face of price movements.  The Investment Manager actively monitors market prices and reports to the Board, which meets regularly in order to consider investment strategy. 

 

The Company's strategy on the management of market price risk is driven by the Company's investment policy as outlined in the Strategic Report. The management of market price risk is part of the 

investment management process. The portfolio is managed with an awareness of the effects of adverse price movements through detailed and continuing analysis, with an objective of maximising overall returns to shareholders. 

 

Holdings in unquoted investments may pose higher price risk than quoted investments.  Some of that risk can be mitigated by close involvement with the management of the investee companies along with review of their trading results. 

 

4% (2021: 6%) of the Company's investments are quoted investments and 96% (2021: 94%) are unquoted investments. 

 

Liquidity risk  

Details of the Company's unquoted investments are provided in the Investment Portfolio summary. By their nature, unquoted investments may not be readily realisable and the Board considers exit strategies for these investments throughout the period for which they are held. As at the year end, the Company had no borrowings. 

 

The Company's liquidity risk associated with investments is managed on an ongoing basis by the Investment Manager in conjunction with the Directors and in accordance with policies and procedures in place as described in the Strategic Report and the Directors' Report. The Company's overall liquidity risks are monitored on a quarterly basis by the Board.  The Company maintains access to sufficient cash resources to pay accounts payable and accrued expenses. 

 

Fair value interest rate risk  

The benchmark that determines the interest paid or received on the current account is the Bank of England base rate, which was 0.5% at 28 February 2022 (2021: 0.1%). 

 

Cash flow interest rate risk  

The Company has exposure to interest rate movements primarily through its cash deposits which track the Bank of England base rate. 

 

Interest rate risk profile of financial assets  

The following analysis sets out the interest rate risk of the Company's financial assets as at 28 February 2022. 

 


Rate status  

Average interest rate  

Period until maturity  

Total  





£'000  

Cash at bank - RBS 

Floating 

0.00% 

13,184 






Loan and Loan notes 

Fixed 

10.00% 

53 months 

2,481 






Balance of assets 

Non-interest bearing 

38,587 









54,522 

 

 

The following analysis sets out the interest rate risk of the Company's financial assets as at 28 February 2021. 


Rate status  

Average interest rate  

Period until maturity  

Total  





£'000  

Cash at bank - RBS 

Floating 

0.00% 

2,396 






Balance of assets 

Non-interest bearing 

21,401 









23,797 

Foreign currency risk  

The reporting currency of the Company is Sterling. The Company has not held any non-Sterling investments during the year. 

 

Fair value hierarchy  

Financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value are disclosed using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of the inputs used in making the fair value measurements, as follows:

 

· Level 1 - Fair value is measured using the unadjusted quoted price in an active market for identical assets. 

· Level 2 - Fair value is measured using inputs other than quoted prices that are observable using market data. 

· Level 3 - Fair value is measured using unobservable inputs. 

 

Fair values have been measured at the end of the reporting year as follows:

 


2022  

2021  


£'000  

£'000  

Level 1  



Investments listed on LSE 

1,529 

1,355 




Level 3  



Unquoted investments 

39,699 

19,981 





41,228 

21,336 

 

The Level 3 investments have been valued in line with the Company's accounting policies and IPEV guidelines. This comprises of both loan an equity instruments, which are considered to be one instrument due to them being bound together when assessing the portfolio's returns to the shareholders.

 

Further details of these investments are provided in the Significant Investments section of the Annual Report.

 

15.   Capital management 

 

The Company's objectives when managing capital are to safeguard the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, so that it can provide an adequate return to shareholders by allocating its capital to assets commensurate with the level of risk. 

 

The Company must have an amount of capital, at least 80% (as measured under the tax legislation) of which must be, and remain, invested in the relatively high risk asset class of small UK companies within three years of that capital being subscribed. 

 

The Company accordingly has limited scope to manage its capital structure in the light of changes in economic conditions and the risk characteristics of the underlying assets. Subject to this overall constraint upon changing the capital structure, the Company may adjust the amount of dividends paid to shareholders, issue new shares, or sell assets to maintain a level of liquidity to remain a going concern. 

 

The Board has the opportunity to consider levels of gearing, however there are no current plans to do so. It regards the net assets of the Company as the Company's capital, as the level of liabilities is small, and the management of those liabilities is not directly related to managing the return to shareholders. 

 

 

16.   Contingencies, Guarantees and Financial Commitments 

 

There were no commitments, contingencies or guarantees of the Company at the year-end (2021: none). 

 

 

17.   Controlling Party  

 

In the opinion of the Directors there is no immediate or ultimate controlling party. 

 

 

18.   Post Balance Sheet Events  

 

As detailed in note 12, since the year end 11,908,313 ordinary shares have been issued for cash consideration of £14.8 million. 

 

An interim dividend of 4.5p per Ordinary share in relation to the year ended 28 February 2023 was paid on 24 March 2022 totalling £2.0 million. 

 

On 3 May 2022, the VCT realised it position in Tictrac Limited for total proceeds of £3.6 million. 

 

 

The financial information set out in this announcement does not constitute the Company's statutory financial statements in accordance with section 434 Companies Act 2006 for the year ended 28 February 2022 but has been extracted from the statutory financial statements for the year ended 28 February 2022 which were approved by the Board of Directors on 23 May 2022 and will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The Independent Auditor's Report on those financial statements was unqualified and did not contain any emphasis of matter nor statements under s 498(2) and (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

The statutory accounts for the year ended 28 February 2021 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and received an Independent Auditors report which was unqualified and did not contain any emphasis of matter nor statements under s 498(2) and (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

Copies of the full annual report and financial statements for the year ended 28 February 2022 will be available to the public at the registered office of the Company at Cassini House, 57 St James's Street, London, SW1A 1LD and will be available for download from https://www.pumainvestments.co.uk/pages/view/investors-information-vcts.

 

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