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BlackRock Income (BRIG)

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Thursday 20 April, 2017

BlackRock Income

Portfolio Update

All information is at 31 March 2017 and unaudited.
Performance at month end with net income reinvested


1 April 2012
Share price 1.5% 6.7% 15.3% 32.1% 79.2% 79.2%
Net asset value 1.1% 4.2% 15.7% 32.8% 66.5% 66.5%
FTSE All-Share Total Return 1.2% 4.0% 22.0% 24.9% 58.7% 58.7%
Source: BlackRock
BlackRock took over the investment management of the Company with effect from 1 April 2012.
At month end
Net asset value - capital only: 199.82p
Net asset value - cum income*: 201.53p
Share price: 198.00p
Total assets (including income): £53.1m
Discount to cum-income NAV: 1.8%
Net gearing: 2.7%
Net yield**: 3.2%
Ordinary shares in issue***: 25,354,268
Gearing range (as a % of net assets): 0-20%
Ongoing charges****: 1.0%
* includes net revenue of 1.71 pence per share.
** the Company’s yield based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of the release of this announcement is 3.2% and includes the 2016 final dividend of 3.90p per share declared on 21 December 2016 and paid to shareholders on 10 March 2017 and the 2016 interim dividend of 2.40p per share announced on 29 June 2016 and paid to shareholders on 2 September 2016.
*** excludes 7,579,664 shares held in treasury.
**** calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding finance costs and taxation for the year ended 31 October 2016.
Sector Analysis Total assets (%)
Media 9.7
Support Services 8.1
Tobacco 8.0
Banks 7.9
Travel & Leisure 7.5
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 7.4
Financial Services 6.0
Oil & Gas Producers 6.0
Food Producers 5.5
Non-Life Insurance 4.6
General Retailers 4.3
General Industrials 3.6
Mobile Telecommunications 3.2
Fixed Line Telecommunications 3.2
Construction & Materials 2.7
Aerospace & Defence 2.6
Food & Drug Retailers 2.3
Real Estate Investment & Services 1.8
Chemicals 1.6
Household Goods & Home Construction 1.6
Real Estate Investment Trusts 0.7
Industrial Engineering 0.5
Net current assets 1.2
Total 100.0
Ten Largest Equity Investments
Company Total assets (%)
British American Tobacco 6.9
Unilever 5.5
Lloyds Banking Group 4.8
RELX 3.9
Sky 3.6
Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ 3.5
AstraZeneca 3.4
Vodafone 3.2
BT Group 3.2
GlaxoSmithKline 3.2
Commenting on the markets, Adam Avigdori and Mark Wharrier representing the Investment Manager noted:

The UK stock market made a positive start to the year. US economic and employment data remained supportive as rising inflation and growth expectations lead the US Federal Reserve to increase rates by 0.25, as widely expected. The combined effect of import-led inflation following sterling weakness and stronger oil prices compared to a year ago led to an acceleration in UK prices with inflation expectations rising in the UK and Europe.

The market exuberance which greeted the new US administration did fade towards the end of the period as President Trump’s initial attempts to implement travel restrictions and change Obamacare faced obstacles. Sectors that were relatively strong included personal goods, tobacco and household goods where corporate activity was a major driver of outperformance, whilst the telecommunications, oil & gas and utilities sectors underperformed.

The Company has started the year with strong performance, returning 4.2% for the quarter and outperforming the FTSE All-Share which returned 4.0% during the quarter (figures with income reinvested).

Unilever is one of the largest active positions in the portfolio and was the most significant contributor to performance during the quarter after receiving a surprise £112bn takeover proposal from Kraft, which Unilever rejected. The Kraft proposal has prompted Unilever to conduct a strategic review which should accelerate shareholder returns from a business which has much potential, particularly in the scope to improve margins and cashflow.

Inchcape performed strongly over the quarter driven largely by strong results from their Australasia business with the Subaru brand gaining market share. In the UK, progress on aftermarket sales has been encouraging, despite the impact of Brexit. Europe is also showing pockets of strength.

Another positive contributor was British American Tobacco which agreed terms to buy the remainder of the Reynolds American business it does not own.  This company continues to generate strong revenue growth and make excellent progress on developing new revenue streams from next generation products.

BT Group was the largest detractor from performance. The share price fell after the company quantified the impact of a known fraud issue in Italy as substantially worse than forecast. In addition, the company highlighted a weaker revenue performance in some of its UK business and consequently impacted cash flow prospects. Given the recent underperformance the shares look attractively valued assuming some alleviation of the regulatory pressures and a 5% dividend yield.

Over the quarter we have sold our positions in Cineworld Group and Dixons Carphone whilst making new purchases in Reckitt Benckiser, a multinational consumer goods company and Bodycote, a leading provider in heat treatment services that looks to be in a good place to benefit from a cyclical recovery in industrial activity.

As ever, we remain believers that over the longer-term earnings and cashflow growth tend to be the dominant driver of share prices and where equity markets fail to recognise that, corporate buyers have the potential to exploit the opportunity; the bid for Unilever this quarter was a good reminder of that dynamic as was the bid for both Sky and for ARM Holdings last year. With a combination of continued sterling weakness and a low interest rate environment fuelling cheap debt, we believe that M&A activity will remain a theme throughout the year. Markets are likely to remain skittish given macro headwinds, likely volatility in bond markets and an increasing level of political risks.  However, we continue to find opportunities in those companies that can generate cashflow from strong business models, have favourable industry characteristics or scope for management driven self-help.  While sometimes unnerving, we will continue to use market volatility to provide buying opportunities in those types of companies.

20 April 2017

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