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BlackRock Smll Cos (BRSC)

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Tuesday 13 February, 2018

BlackRock Smll Cos

Portfolio Update

BLACKROCK SMALLER COMPANIES TRUST PLC (LEI: 549300MS535KC2WH4082)
 

All information is at 31 January 2018 and unaudited.
Performance at month end is calculated on a capital only basis

One month
Three months
One
 year
Three
 years
Five
 years
Net asset value* 1.3 3.0 28.1 67.9 126.2
Share price* 3.4 5.1 34.8 64.0 127.0
Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index -2.0 -0.9 14.4 34.8 51.8

*performance calculations based on a capital only NAV with debt at par, without income reinvested. Share price performance calculations exclude income reinvestment.

Sources:  BlackRock and Datastream

At month end
Net asset value Capital only(debt at par value): 1,521.67p
Net asset value Capital only(debt at fair value): 1,514.97p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at par value)**: 1,540.32p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at fair value)**: 1,533.61p
Share price 1,350.00p
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at par value): 12.4%
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at fair value): 12.0%
Net yield^^^: 1.7%
Gross assets^: £812.2m
Gearing range as a % of net assets: 0-15%
Net gearing including income (debt at par): 9.7%
2017 Ongoing charges ratio^^ 0.7%
2017 Ongoing charges ratio (including performance fees): 1.0%
Ordinary shares in issue#: 47,879,792

**includes net revenue of 18.65p

^includes current year revenue

^^As reported in the Annual Financial Report for the year ended 28 February 2017, the ongoing charges ratio is calculated as a percentage of net assets and using operating expenses, excluding performance fees, finance costs and taxation.

^^^Yield calculations are based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of release of this announcement, and comprise of the final dividend of 13.00 pence per share, (announced on 02 May 2017, ex-dividend on 18 May 2017) and the interim dividend of 10.00 pence per share (announced on 30 October 2017 and gone ex-dividend on 9 November 2017)

#excludes 2,113,731 shares held in treasury.

Sector Weightings % of portfolio
Industrials 33.5
Financials 16.4
Consumer Services 13.6
Consumer Goods 8.9
Health Care 8.6
Technology 7.8
Basic Materials 7.7
Oil & Gas 3.1
Utilities 0.4
-----
Total 100.0
=====

   

Ten Largest Equity Investments
Company % of portfolio
Dechra Pharmaceuticals 2.5
CVS Group 2.0
4imprint Group  1.8
Robert Walters 1.8
Avon Rubber 1.8
Central Asia Metals 1.6
Big Yellow 1.5
Ibstock 1.4
Bodycote 1.4
Advanced Medical Solutions 1.4

Commenting on the markets, Mike Prentis, representing the Investment Manager noted:

During January the Company’s NAV per share rose by 1.3% to 1,521.67p on a capital only basis, whilst our benchmark index fell by 2.0%; the FTSE 100 Index also fell by 2.0% on a capital only basis.

Stock selection drove outperformance during the month, with a number of our core holdings performing well following positive trading updates.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals was the largest positive contributor during the month following a positive trading update, reporting revenues ahead of consensus, benefitting from strong performance in North America. The company also announced the €340m acquisition of a Dutch based veterinary pharmaceuticals company focused on generic products. Shares in veterinary surgeries business CVS Group rallied after the company reported better than expected like for like sales growth in the first six months of its financial year. The result was particularly welcome as CVS had been a large detractor in the fourth quarter of 2017 following a trading update flagging more volatility in sales growth. Liontrust Asset Management’s third quarter results showed AUM ahead of expectations, benefitting from strong flows on the back of good performance and investor demand in their Special Situations and Sustainable Investing Funds.

There were no significant stock detractors from relative performance during the month.

Activity during the month included adding to our holdings in RWS, CVS Group and Liontrust Asset Management. We also purchased a new holding in Computacenter, a provider of IT infrastructure services with a good and consistent long-term record.

Stock markets since mid January have been much more volatile, falling by more than 5%. Our current view is that the global economy is in good health; indeed, the falls were mainly driven by higher wage inflation in the US and suggestions that interest rates will rise sooner as a result. We see this as further interest rate normalisation, which handled well should not be the forerunner of recession.


13 February 2018

ENDS
 

Latest information is available by typing www.blackrock.co.uk/brsc on the internet, "BLRKINDEX" on Reuters, "BLRK" on Bloomberg or "8800" on Topic 3 (ICV terminal).  Neither the contents of the Manager’s website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Manager’s website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.


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