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Blackrock Throgmorton Trust Pl (THRG)

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Friday 20 May, 2022

Blackrock Throgmorton Trust Pl

Portfolio Update

The information contained in this release was correct as at 30 April 2022.  Information on the Company’s up to date net asset values can be found on the London Stock Exchange Website at:

https://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-home.html

BLACKROCK THROGMORTON TRUST PLC (LEI: 5493003B7ETS1JEDPF59)
 

All information is at 30 April2022 and unaudited.
Performance at month end is calculated on a cum income basis

One
Month
%
Three
months
%
One
year
%
Three
years
%
Five
years
%
Net asset value -6.4 -14.5 -18.8 28.8 51.0
Share price -13.3 -20.8 -25.3 25.3 74.9
Benchmark* -1.6 -5.8 -9.1 21.7 22.8

Sources: BlackRock and Datastream

*With effect from 22 March 2018 the Numis Smaller Companies plus AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index replaced the Numis Smaller Companies excluding AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index as the Company’s benchmark. The performance of the indices have been blended to reflect this.

At month end
Net asset value capital only: 695.95p
Net asset value incl. income: 701.25p
Share price 654.00p
Discount to cum income NAV 6.7%
Net yield1: 1.6%
Total Gross assets2: £723.7m
Net market exposure as a % of net asset value3: 117.1%
Ordinary shares in issue4: 103,204,864
2021 ongoing charges (excluding performance fees)5,6: 0.57%
2021 ongoing charges ratio (including performance
fees)5,6,7:
1.38%


1. Calculated using the 2021 interim dividend declared on 26 July 2021 and paid on 27 August 2021, together with the 2021 final dividend declared on 07 February 2022 and paid on 31 March 2022.

2. Includes current year revenue and excludes gross exposure through contracts for difference.

3. Long exposure less short exposure as a percentage of net asset value.

4. Excluding 5,000 shares held in treasury.

5. Calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding performance fees and interest costs for the year ended 30 November 2021.

6. With effect from 1 August 2017 the base management fee was reduced from 0.70% to 0.35% of gross assets per annum.

7. Effective 1st December 2017 the annual performance fee is calculated using performance data on an annualised rolling two-year basis (previously, one year) and the maximum annual performance fee payable is effectively reduced to 0.90% of two year rolling average month end gross assets (from 1% of average annual gross assets over one year). Additionally, the Company now accrues this fee at a rate of 15% of outperformance (previously 10%). The maximum annual total management fees (comprising the base management fee of 0.35% and a potential performance fee of 0.90%) are therefore 1.25% of average month end gross assets on a two-year rolling basis (from 1.70% of average annual gross assets).






Sector Weightings





% of Total Assets
Industrials 30.2
Consumer Discretionary 23.2
Financials 17.2
Technology 7.6
Health Care 6.7
Consumer Staples 5.7
Telecommunications 3.3
Basic Materials 3.0
Energy 0.1
Net Current Assets 3.0
-----
Total 100.0
=====
Country Weightings % of Total Assets
United Kingdom 92.4
United States 5.3
France 1.2
Sweden 0.8
Australia 0.6
Germany -0.3
-----
Total 100.0
=====

   

Market Exposure (Quarterly)
31.05.21
%
31.08.21
%
30.11.21
%
28.02.22
%
Long 121.3 119.4 121.3 121.8
Short 1.5 2.4 2.7 2.3
Gross exposure 122.8 121.8 123.9 124.1
Net exposure 119.8 117.0 118.6 119.5

   

Ten Largest Investments
Company % of Total Gross Assets
Electrocomponents 3.6
Gamma Communications 3.3
Watches of Switzerland 3.1
Oxford Instruments 3.0
CVS Group 2.9
IntegraFin 2.8
Next Fifteen Communications 2.6
YouGov 2.5
Impax Asset Management 2.5
Auction Technology 2.4

Commenting on the markets, Dan Whitestone, representing the Investment Manager noted:

The Company returned -6.4%1 in April, underperforming the Numis Smaller Companies +AIM (ex Investment Trusts) Index, benchmark which returned -1.6%1. This is particularly disappointing given the fact most of our investments have continued to deliver very positive updates during the month, but this was a challenging month with the same narrow market leadership (resources) and bifurcation between growth and value that has characterised the year. Notably, and as if often the case during periods of heightening uncertainty and risk-off environments, small and mid-caps are being disproportionately punished, despite positive trading updates. The current dynamic reflects the high level of uncertainty caused by the interplay of three factors:

(i)  war in Ukraine and its impact on energy and wider commodity prices;

(ii) ongoing supply disruptions; particularly the increased COVID-19 lockdowns in China during April; and

(iii)  the ongoing debate about inflation, interest rate policy and the growing risk of a recession.

Two of the largest detractors came from IntegraFin and Impax Asset Management, which have seen mark to market downgrades on falling equity markets. We heard from both companies during the month, and while assets under management have fallen, it was encouraging to see that the businesses have continued to see net inflows during the first quarter which we believe demonstrates the strength of these two franchises and their ability to continue to take share in their respective markets where he long term growth dynamics remains very positive. Shares in Watches of Switzerland also fell in April which we would attribute to ongoing concerns around the outlook for the consumer. Whilst the outlook for the consumer has deteriorated, we do not see the “cost of living” crisis a particularly acute problem for high end luxury watches where demand continues to far exceed supply.

The two largest contributors during the month were Oxford Instruments and Spectris, both industrial companies that have featured in recent updates following the unsuccessful attempt by Spectris to acquire Oxford Instruments. It was reassuring to have updates from both companies in the month, highlighting the strength of recent trading activity in their respective end markets and their confidence in the outlook. The third largest contributor to performance was our holding in US listed pool and spa business, Leslie’s Inc. The shares rose after the company delivered record second quarter sales that were ahead of expectations with upgrades to full year guidance.

We are disappointed to have to report this performance in April, particularly as we had hoped for a recovery after the lows of sentiment in mid-March. While it is fair to say that there were some disappointments in the April reporting this was certainly not universally true and many of our investment reports very encouraging results (Oxford Instruments, GBG Group, Grafton, Leslie’s). The broader macro-outlook has deteriorated in recent weeks, from Chinese lock-downs to ongoing inflationary pressures exacerbated by Russia/Ukraine conflict, with a Federal Reserve that has exhibited an aggressive stance to curb inflation. The cost of debt is rising, a headwind we feel is yet to be felt by many of our short positions and certainly not captured in today’s valuations. As the world slows and uncertainty abounds, we can be sure of one thing which that its impact will not be felt evenly, and it remains our view that well-financed companies with strong and enduring growth prospects is a good place to be, particularly post the large retracement in valuations we have seen.  We are working hard to ensure we cut shares where the investment case has changed but overall, we see plenty of rebound potential once the current level of uncertainty/fear in markets abates and as companies can continue to deliver profit growth. We thank shareholders for your ongoing support during this challenging environment.

1Source: BlackRock as at 30 April 2022

20 May 2022

ENDS

Latest information is available by typing www.blackrock.com/uk/thrg 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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