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RNS

Annual Financial Report

Released 07:00 21-Nov-2017

RNS Number : 0364X
Baronsmead Venture Trust PLC
21 November 2017
 

Baronsmead Venture Trust plc

 

Annual Financial Report for the year ended 30 September 2017

 

Financial Headlines

·      Net asset value ("NAV") per share increased 9.0 per cent to 94.9p in the year to 30 September 2017, before deduction of dividends.

·      396.5p - NAV total return to shareholders for every 100.0p invested at launch.

·      Dividends totalled 6.5p in the year to 30 September 2017, after the proposed final dividend of 3.5p to be paid on 2 March 2018.

·      £7.6m new investment made in the year - £4.5m unquoted investments and £3.1m quoted investments.

 

Our Investment Objective

Baronsmead Venture Trust is a tax efficient listed company which aims to achieve long-term investment returns for private investors, including tax-free dividends.

 

Investment Policy

·      To invest primarily in a diverse portfolio of UK growth businesses, whether unquoted or traded on AIM.

·      Investments are made selectively across a range of sectors in companies that have the potential to grow and enhance their value.

 

Dividend Policy

The Board of Baronsmead Venture Trust aims to sustain a minimum annual dividend level at an average of 6.5p per ordinary share, mindful of the need to maintain net asset value. The ability to meet these twin objectives depends significantly on the level and timing of profitable realisations and cannot be guaranteed. There will be variations in the amount of dividends paid year on year.

 

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

 

I am pleased to report a 9.0 per cent (7.8p) increase in NAV per share for the year to 30 September 2017, before dividend payments. The Board seeks to maintain average annual dividends of 6.5p per share. Following the 3.0p per share interim dividend paid in March 2017; the Board recommends a 3.5p per share final dividend to be paid in March 2018 (subject to shareholders approval).

 

Results

In the year to 30 September 2017, the NAV grew by 7.8p per share (9.0 per cent) to 94.9p before the payment of dividends. This growth, together with reserves accumulated from successful realisations, has enabled us to recommend a final dividend of 3.5p making a total of 6.5p for the year.

 

 

Pence per ordinary share

NAV as at 1 October 2016

87.1

Valuation uplift (9.0 per cent)

7.8

NAV as at 30 September 2017 before dividends

94.9

Less:

Interim dividend paid on 31 March 2017

(3.0)

Proposed final dividend of 3.5p payable, after shareholder approval, on 2 March 2018

(3.5)

Illustrative NAV as at 30 September 2017 after proposed  dividend

88.4

 

Over the past 10 years the Company has provided its shareholders with an annual average tax-free dividend of 8.6p per share. With a share price of 87.0p per share this is equivalent to a net tax free yield of 9.9 per cent representing what I consider to be an excellent return for the Company's loyal shareholders and one of which the Board is proud.

 

Portfolio Review

As at 30 September 2017, the portfolio comprised direct investments in 73 unquoted and AIM-traded companies providing shareholders with a diverse range of investments. In addition, some 44 companies comprise the Micro Cap Fund, so further spreading our investment risk. During the 12 months to 30 September 2017, the underlying value of the unquoted portfolio increased by 5.4 per cent reflecting the continued positive performance of most of the investments. The AIM-traded portfolio increased by 13.3 per cent and CF Livingbridge UK Micro Cap Fund has had a particularly strong year with a 26.9 per cent increase in value.

 

Investments and Divestments

Following a period of adjustment to the more restrictive VCT investment rules introduced in November 2015, the Company invested a total of £7.6m in 7 new and 2 follow on investments in the year to 30 September 2017. The Investment Manager has had to adapt its investment strategy to focus on the provision of development capital to younger companies. This may result in greater volatility in returns over time, albeit the existing portfolio of investments will continue to determine returns for a number of years to come.

 

Livingbridge has continued to invest in its programme of proactively approaching prospective investee companies in order to identify a supply of new and attractive investment opportunities. Its portfolio team provides ongoing support and expertise to portfolio companies following the initial investment.

 

Following an active period of divestments of the Company's more mature investments in 2015 and 2016, the pace of realisations slowed in 2017. The timing of divestments is inevitably somewhat unpredictable. That is why the Board historically has sought to smooth dividend payments from a period when there were more divestments to periods when there were fewer or none, although compliance with the VCT regulations limits the Board's room for manoeuvre in this area. A total of £6.7m was realised from the full and partial sale of investments and from loan note redemptions during the year.

 

Details of the Company's investments and divestments during the period are set out in the tables below and further commentary on portfolio companies is provided in the Managers Report below.

 

VCT Legislation and Policy Review

As reported at the interim stage, following on from the changes to the VCT regulations introduced in November 2015, earlier this year the Government announced that tax advantaged venture capital schemes (SEIS, EIS and VCTs) were to be included in the Patient Capital Review which aims "to ensure that high growth businesses can access the long-term capital that they need to fund productivity enhancing investment."

 

This resulted in the publication of the "Financing growth in innovative firms" consultation in August 2017, with the aim that any policy recommendations concerning VCTs and the other tax advantaged venture capital schemes would be presented to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Budget on 22 November 2017. Over the summer, the Manager, along with others in the VCT industry, including managers and industry representative bodies, have consulted HM Treasury ("HMT") and provided evidence to support the view that VCTs are meeting the Government's policy objectives of providing financial support to developing high growth businesses and does indeed represent value for money for taxpayers.

 

We await the outcome of the consultation and the proposals to be announced in the Autumn Budget and hope that any changes to the VCT scheme will not constrain this support and will enable VCTs to continue to invest money and expertise in small, entrepreneurial UK companies in line with the Government's policy objectives.

 

Fundraising

Following the realisations achieved in 2015 and 2016, the Company did not raise new funds in the 2016/17 year. In line with our intention to hold investments longer and an improvement in the rate on new investment, in August 2017, the Board announced its intention to raise new funds to enhance the Company's resources available for new and follow on investments over the next 2 to 3 years. Consequently, on 4 October 2017 the Company launched an offer for subscription to raise £21m (before costs) which became fully subscribed on 3 November 2017. The Board would like to thank the Company's existing shareholders who invested a further £15.0m and to thank and welcome the Company's new shareholders who invested £6.0m.

 

Annual General Meeting

I look forward to meeting as many new and longstanding shareholders as possible at the Annual General Meeting to be held at 11.00 am on 21 February 2018, at Saddlers' Hall, 40 Gutter Lane, London, EC2V 6BR. As well as my own review of the year, there will also be presentations from the Manager followed by lunch for all shareholders.

 

Outlook

Given the continued uncertainty over the timing and terms of the UK's exit from the European Union, the impact of Brexit on the UK economy remains unknown and largely unquantifiable. Although the UK economy has remained resilient to date, recent inflationary pressures and some softening in consumer confidence may serve to weaken that resilience over the short term. As we await the outcome of HMT's deliberations over the Patient Capital Review, it is hoped the Government has understood the industry's representations and will take full account of the benefits VCTs provide to the UK economy.

 

Despite these macro-economic and regulatory uncertainties, I believe our large and diverse investment portfolio exhibits a strength that underpins returns to our shareholders. Our Investment Manager continues to invest in those systems and people that will help our portfolio companies to deliver profitable growth from which all our shareholders will benefit over the medium to long term.

 

Peter Lawrence

Chairman

21 November 2017

 

MANAGER'S REVIEW

The year has seen another strong performance from the investment portfolio. We have begun to increase the rate of investment following a period of adapting to the VCT legislation introduced in November 2015.

 

PORTFOLIO REVIEW

Overview

The net assets of £159m were invested as follows:

Asset class

NAV

(£m)

% of

NAV*

Number of investees

% return in

 the year**

Unquoted

52

32

20

5

AIM-traded companies

70

44

53

13

CF Livingbridge UK

  Microcap Fund

23

15

45

27

Liquid assets

14

9

N/A

-

Totals

159

100

117

-

* By value as at 30 September 2017.

** Return includes interest received on unquoted realisations during the year.

 

Each quarter the direction of general trading and profitability of all investee companies is assessed so that the overall health and trajectory of the portfolio can be monitored. At 30 September 2017, 76 per cent of the 73 companies directly held in the portfolio (excluding the investments held by Collective Investment Vehicles) were progressing steadily or better.

 

The tables below show the breakdown of new investments and realisations over the course of the year and below is commentary on some of the key highlights in both the unquoted and quoted portfolios.

 

Unquoted Portfolio

The unquoted portfolio performance has been positive, growing by around 5.4 per cent over the course of the year. The portfolio is valued by the Board using a consistent process every quarter. The majority of the value created by portfolio companies comes from trading and operational improvements including revenue and margin growth, rather than financial leverage.

 

Investment Activity

During the year, £7.6m was invested in 9 companies including 7 new additions to the portfolio and 2 follow on investments. The large investments were:

·      In the Style Fashion Ltd (unquoted) is a trend-led, fast growing purely online fashion retailer. Its popularity has been driven, in part by the business' royalty-based collaborations with celebrities and fashion influencers. Our investment will be used to support the business in scaling up its operations including upgrading IT and infrastructure, growing the team and moving into international markets.

·      Symphony Ventures Ltd (unquoted) is a leader in Robotic Process Automation ("RPA"). Symphony provides consulting, implementation and managed services to enterprise clients looking to automate operational processes that are manual, repetitive, complex and time consuming through RPA and Intelligent Automation solutions. Our investment will support new hires and extend Symphony's capabilities into new geographies.

·      FreeAgent Holdings plc (quoted) provides cloud-based accounting software solutions and mobile applications designed specifically for UK micro-SMEs. The company offers intuitive tools to complete tasks such as time tracking, invoicing, expense management and tax related workstreams. Our investment will be used for the growth and development of the business.

 

Unquoted Divestment Activity

Following a number of years of strong realisation activity this financial year has seen limited divestments from the portfolio. Yeo Bridge and Kalyke Investments were two acquisitions vehicles set up in 2015, these became non-qualifying during the year and are subsequently being dissolved. There are now no acquisition vehicles in the portfolio and no intention to set up any new ones.

 

There was also a partial loan note redemption from Create Health during the year.

 

While it is disappointing to have two poor realisations in one financial period, it is in the nature of private equity investment that some investments will fail to achieve their full potential. Our track record of realisations over many years remains strong.

Quoted Portfolio (AIM-traded investments)

The quoted portfolio has shown strong overall performance over the year with an increase of 13 per cent Stand out performers were:

 

·      Bioventix, a developer of antibodies for use in clinical diagnostics, following strong financial results and upgraded forecasts;

 

·      Staffline Group, a blue collar staffing agency, which recovered strongly from Brexit related negative sentiment which had weighed on the shares until it reported strong 2016 full year results;

 

·      Wey Education, a provider of online education services, following the achievement of a maiden group profit.

 

These were partially offset by weaker share price performance from Tasty, a casual dining restaurant operator, which downgraded forecasts on the back of well publicised restaurant sector weakness; and TLA Worldwide, which announced that certain accounting misstatements would result in a worse than expected 2016 financial result.

 

Quoted Divestment Activity

Proceeds from the sale of Electric Word totalled £1.6m making a return of 1.2x cost. £0.4m of proceeds were also received in the year following the partial sale of Escher Group Holdings and Ubisense Group making a return of 1.0x cost and 1.2x costs respectively.

 

Collective Investment Vehicle

CF Livingbridge UK Micro Cap Fund ("Micro Cap") performed strongly over the year increasing by 27 per cent (2016: 5 per cent). At 30 September 2017, Baronsmead Venture Trust's cumulative £7.0m investment was valued at £23.3m. As at 30 September 2017, the Micro Cap Fund held investments in 44 AIM-traded and listed companies.

 

Liquid assets (cash and near cash)

Baronsmead Venture Trust had cash and near-cash resources of approximately £15.7m at the year-end. This asset class is conservatively managed to take minimal or no capital risk, a strategy outlined in prospectuses that have been issued in the past.

 

OUTLOOK

 

Investee companies continue to perform well, providing good returns over the year and a firm foundation for future returns. Having had a lull in the rate of new investment in 2016, we continue to adapt our deal origination and sourcing activities which have resulted in the Company adding 4 unquoted and 3 AIM-traded companies to the portfolio and we look forward to making further additions over the coming year.

 

Livingbridge VC LLP

Investment Manager

21 November 2017

 

Investments in the year

 

Company
Location
Sector
Activity
Book cost
£'000
Unquoted investments
New
 
 
 
 
In The Style Fashion Ltd
Manchester
Consumer Markets
Fast Online Fashion retailer
2,250
Symphony Ventures Ltd
London
Business Services
Robotic Process Automation implementation and consultancy business
1,574
SilkFred Ltd
London
Consumer Markets
Online fashion market place
450
Custom Materials Ltd
London
Consumer Markets
Retailer of customisable products
225
Total unquoted investments
4,499
AIM-traded investments
New
 
 
 
 
Free Agent Holdings plc
Edinburgh
TMT*
Online accounting software
788
Rosslyn Data Technologies plc
London
TMT*
Data analytics software platform
431
Collagen Solutions plc
London
Healthcare & Education
Develops and manufactures medical grade collagen
337
Follow on
 
 
 
 
Plant Impact plc
Hertfordshire
Business Services
Crop enhancing products
900
CloudCall Group plc
Leicestershire
TMT*
Cloud based telephony platform
599
Total AIM-traded investments
3,055
Total investments in the year
7,554

 

* Technology, Media & Telecommunications ("TMT").

 

Realisations in the year

Company

 

First

investment

date

 

Proceeds

£'000

Overall multiple

return*

Unquoted realisations

 

 

 

 

Yeo Bridge Ltd

Dissolved**

Apr 15

1,892

1.0

Kalyke Investments Ltd

Dissolved**

Apr 15

1,890

1.0

Create Health Ltd

Loan repayment

Mar 13

900

1.3

CR7 Services Ltd

Partial sale

Aug 14

11

1.0

Total unquoted realisations

 

 

4,693

 

AIM-traded realisations

 

 

 

 

Electric Word plc

Cash offer

Mar 08

1,645

1.2

Escher Group Holdings plc

Partial market sale

Aug 11

327

1.0

Ubisense Group plc

Partial market sale

Jun 11

37

0.2

Marwyn Management Partners plc

Write off

Nov 09

0

0.0

Total AIM-traded realisations

 

 

2,009

 

Total realisations in the year

 

 

6,702†

 

‡ Proceeds at time of realisation including interest.

 

* Includes interest/dividends received, loan note redemptions and partial realisations accounted for in prior periods.

 

** Acquisition vehicle dissolved during the year.

 

† Deferred consideration of £60,000 was received in respect of Kingsbridge Risk Solutions and £7,000 in respect of Fisher Outdoor Leisure Holdings, both of which had been sold in a prior period.

 

Ten Largest Investments

 

The top ten investments by current value at 30 September 2017 illustrate the diversity of investee companies within the portfolio. For consistency across the top ten and based on guidance from the AIC, data extracted from the last set of published audited accounts is shown in the tables below. However, this may not always be representative of underlying financial performance for several reasons. Published accounts lodged at Companies House are out of date and the Manager works from up to date monthly management accounts and has access to draft but unpublished annual audited accounts. In addition, pre-tax profit in statutory financial accounts is often not a representative indicator of underlying profitability as it can be impacted by, for example, deductions of non-cash items such as amortisation that relates to investment structures rather than operating performance.

 

1. Staffline Group plc - Nottinghamshire

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: July 2000

Total original cost: £174,000

Total equity held: 2.40%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £174,000

Valuation: £7,813,000

Valuation basis: Last Traded Price

% of equity held: 2.40%

 

Year ended 31 December

 

2016

2015

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

882.4

702.2

Pre-tax profits

36.7*

28.3

Net Assets:

83.7

73.2

No. of Employees :

2,793

3,768

 

(Source: Staffline Group plc, Annual Report 31 December 2016.)

* Excludes non-underlying results.

 

2. Crew Clothing Holdings Limited - London

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: November 2006

Total original cost: £5,833,000

Total equity held: 31.00%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £2,904,000

Valuation: £5,032,000

Valuation basis: Earnings Multiple

% of equity held: 15.10%

 

Year ended 30 October

 

2016*

2015**

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

58.3

55.0

Pre-tax profits

(2.8)

(2.6)

Net Assets:

0.3

3.3

No. of Employees:

427

411

 

(Source: Crew Clothing Holdings Limited, Report and Financial Statements 30 October 2016.)

* 53 week period ended 30 October 2016.

** Year ended 25 October 2015.

 

3. Netcall Plc - Hertfordshire

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: July 2010

Total original cost: £4,354,000

Total equity held: 17.30%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £1,738,000

Valuation: £4,754,000

Valuation basis: Bid Price

% of equity held: 6.90%

 

Year ended 30 June

 

2017

2016

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

16.2

16.6

Pre-tax profits

1.7

1.7

Net Assets:

21.0

22.6

No. of Employees:

169

156

 

(Source: Netcall plc, Annual Report and Accounts, 30 June 2017.)

 

 

4. Bioventix plc - Surrey

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: June 2013

Total original cost: £1,008,000

Total equity held: 7.50%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £454,000

Valuation: £4,673,000

Valuation basis: Bid Price

% of equity held: 3.40%

 

Year ended 30 June

 

2016

2015

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

5.5

4.3

Pre-tax profits

4.2

3.1

Net Assets:

8.2

6.6

No. of Employees:

14

13

 

(Source: Bioventix plc, Annual Report and Accounts, 30 June 2016.)

 

5. Pho Holdings Limited - London

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: July 2012

Total original cost: £4,415,000

Total equity held: 28.00%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £1,982,000

Valuation: £4,204,000

Valuation basis: Earnings Multiple

% of equity held: 11.10%

 

Year ended 28 February

 

2016*

2015**

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

19.4

14.1

Pre-tax profits

0.0

0.0

Net Assets:

4.5

4.7

No. of Employees:

399

290

 

(Source: Pho 2012 Limited, Directors' Report and Financial Statements 28 February 2016.)

* 52 week period ended 28 February 2016.

** 53 week period ended 1 March 2015

.

6. IDOX Plc - Berkshire

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: May 2002

Total original cost: £1,641,000

Total equity held: 4.20%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £614,000

Valuation: £4,147,000

Valuation basis: Last Traded Price

% of equity held: 1.60%

 

Year ended 31 October

 

2016

2015

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

76.7

62.6

Pre-tax profits

13.0

9.8

Net Assets:

65.2

53.6

No. of Employees:

676

572

 

(Source: IDOX PLC Annual Report & Accounts 2016.)

 

7. Happy Days Consultancy Limited - Cornwall

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: April 2012

Total original cost: £7,617,000

Total equity held: 65.00%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £3,420,000

Valuation: £4,114,000

Valuation basis: Earnings Multiple

% of equity held: 25.70%

 

Year ended 31 December

 

2016

2015

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

7.0

6.2

Pre-tax profits

(1.8)

(1.6)

Net Assets:

(4.2)

(2.5)

No. of Employees:

309

258

 

(Source: H. Days Holdings Limited Annual Report and Financial Statements 31 December 2016.)

 

8. Ideagen plc - Nottinghamshire

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: January 2013

Total original cost: £3,000,000

Total equity held: 5.60%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £1,350,000

Valuation: £4,012,000

Valuation basis: Bid Price

% of equity held: 2.50%

 

Year ended 30 April

 

2017

2016

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

27.1

21.9

Pre-tax profits

1.0

1.0

Net Assets:

46.4

33.7

No. of Employees:

305

248

 

(Source: Ideagen plc, Annual Report & Accounts, 30 April 2017.)

 

9. Carousel Logistics Limited - Sittingbourne

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: October 2013

Total original cost: £5,595,000

Total equity held: 40.00%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £1,910,000

Valuation: £3,823,000

Valuation basis: Earnings Multiple

% of equity held: 12.00%

 

Year ended 31 December

 

2016

2015

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

21.4

16.8

Pre-tax profits

2.0

1.7

Net Assets:

4.1

2.4

No. of Employees:

92

71

 

(Source: Carousel Logistics Limited Financial Statement 31 December 2016.)

 

10. CableCom II Networking Holdings Ltd - Somerset

 

All funds managed by Livingbridge

First investment: October 2013

Total original cost: £5,000,000

Total equity held: 9.20%

 

Baronsmead Venture Trust only

Original cost: £2,500,000

Valuation: £3,779,000

Valuation basis: Earnings Multiple

% of equity held: 4.00%

 

Year ended 31 October

 

2016

2015

 

£ million

£ million

Sales:

27.6

17.5

Pre-tax profits

(7.0)

(6.6)

Net Assets:

(24.5)*

(17.5)*

No. of Employees:

188

104

 

(Source: Cablecom Bidco Limited Report and Financial Statements 31 October 2016.)

* negative net assets due to investment structure..

 

 

Principal Risks & Uncertainties

 

The Board has included below details of the principal risks & uncertainties facing the Company and the appropriate measures taken in order to mitigate these risks as far as practicable.

 

Principal Risk

Context

Specific risks we face

Possible impact

Mitigation

Loss of approval as a Venture Capital Trust

The Company must comply with section 274 of the Income Tax Act 2007 which enables its investors to take advantage of tax relief on their investment and on future returns.

Breach of any of the rules enabling the Company to hold VCT status could result in the loss of that status.

This risk is particularly affected by recent legislation and EU State Aid.

The loss of VCT status would result in shareholders who have not held their shares for the designated holding period having to repay the income tax relief they had already obtained and future dividends and gains would be subject to income tax and capital gains tax.

The Board maintains a safety margin on all VCT tests to ensure that breaches are very unlikely to be caused by unforeseen events or shocks. The Investment Manager monitors all of the VCT tests on an ongoing basis and the Board reviews the status of these tests on a quarterly basis. Specialist advisors audit the tests on a bi-annual basis and report to the audit committee on their findings.

Legislative

VCTs were established in 1995 to encourage private individuals to invest in early stage companies that are considered to be risky and therefore have limited funding options. In return the state provides these investors with tax reliefs which fall under the definition of state aid.

A change in government policy regarding the funding of small companies or changes made to VCT regulations to comply with EU State Aid rules could result in a cessation of the tax reliefs for VCT investors or changes to the reliefs that make them less attractive to investors.

The Company might not be able to maintain its asset base leading to its gradual decline and potentially an inability to maintain either its buy back or dividend policies.

The Board and the Investment Manager engage on a regular basis with HMT and industry representative bodies to demonstrate the cost benefit of VCTs to the economy in terms of employment generation and taxation revenue. In addition, the Board and the Investment Manager have considered the options available to the Company in the event of the loss of tax reliefs to ensure that it can continue to provide a strong investment proposition for its shareholders despite the loss of tax reliefs.

Investment performance

The Company invests in small, mainly UK based companies, both unquoted and quoted. Smaller companies often have limited product lines, markets or financial resources and may be dependent for their management on a smaller number of key individuals and hence tend to be riskier than larger businesses.

Investment in poor quality companies with the resultant risk of a high level of failure in the portfolio.

Reduction in both the capital value of investors shareholdings and in the level of income distributed.

The Company has a diverse portfolio where the cost of any one investment is typically less than 5 per cent of NAV thereby limiting the impact of any one failed investment. The Board has appointed an Investment Manager that has a strong and consistent track record over a long period, invests in profitable companies in sectors in which it has specialised for the past eighteen years, undertakes extensive due diligence on all prospective investments, has an experienced value enhancement team who actively manage its investments and who take board seats and appoint experienced non executive directors on all unquoted and significant quoted investments.

Economic, political and other external factors

Whilst the Company invests in predominantly UK businesses, it relies heavily on Europe as one of its largest trading partners. This, together with the increase in globalisation, means that economic unrest and shocks in other jurisdictions, as well as in the UK, can impact on UK companies, particularly smaller ones that are more vulnerable to changes in trading conditions. In addition the potential impact of leaving the European Union remains uncertain.

Events such as economic recession, movement in interest or currency rates, civil unrest, war or political uncertainty or pandemics can adversely affect the trading environment for underlying investments and impact on their results and valuations.

Reduction in the value of the Company's assets with a corresponding impact on its share price may result in the loss of investors through buy backs and may limit its ability to pay dividends.

The Company invests in a diversified portfolio of companies across a number of industry sectors, which provides protection against shocks as the impact on individual sectors can vary depending upon the circumstances. In addition, the Manager uses a limited amount of bank gearing in its investments which enables its investments to continue trading through difficult economic conditions. The Company always maintains healthy cash balances so that it can support portfolio companies with further investment should the investment case support it. The Board reviews the make up and progress of the portfolio each quarter to ensure that it remains appropriately diversified and funded.

Regulatory & Compliance

The Company is authorised as a self managed Alternative Investment Fund Manager ("AIFM") under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive ("AIFMD") and is also subject to the Prospectus and Transparency Directives. It is required to comply with the Companies Act 2006, the UKLA Listing Rules.

Failure of the Company to comply with any of its regulatory or legal obligations could result in the suspension of its listing by the UKLA and/or financial penalties and sanction by the regulator or a qualified audit report.

The Company's performance could be impacted severely by financial penalties and a loss of reputation resulting in the alienation of shareholders, a significant demand to buy back shares and an inability to attract future investment. The suspension of its shares would result in the loss of its VCT taxation status and most likely the ultimate liquidation of the Company.

The Board and the Investment Manager employ the services of leading regulatory lawyers, sponsors, auditors and other advisers to ensure the Company complies with all of its regulatory obligations. The Board has strong systems in place to ensure that the Company complies with all of its regulatory responsibilities. The Investment Manager has a strong compliance culture and employs dedicated compliance specialists within its team who support the Board in ensuring that the Company is compliant.

Operational

The Company relies on a number of third parties, in particular the Investment Manager, to provide it with the necessary services such as registrar, sponsor, custodian, receiving agent, lawyers and tax advisers.

The risk of failure of the systems and controls of any of the Company's advisers leading to an inability to service shareholder needs adequately, to provide accurate reporting and accounting and to ensure adherence to all VCT legislation rules.

Errors in shareholders records or shareholdings, incorrect marketing literature, non compliance with listing rules, loss of assets, breach of legal duties and inability to provide accurate reporting and accounting all leading to reputational risk and the potential for litigation.

The Board has appointed an audit committee who, along with the external auditors, review the internal control ("ISAE3402") and/or internal audit reports from all significant third party service providers, including the Investment Manager, on a bi-annual basis to ensure that they have strong systems and controls in place including Business Continuity Plans. The Board regularly reviews the performance of its service providers to ensure that they continue to have the necessary expertise and resources to provide a high class service and always where there has been any changes in key personnel or ownership.

The financial risks faced by the Company are covered within the Notes to the Financial Statements.

 

Extract of the Strategic Report

 

Applying the Business Model

This section of the Strategic Report sets out the practical steps that the Board has taken in order to apply the business model, achieve the investment objective and adhere to the investment policy. The investment policy, which can be found in the full Annual Report and Financial Statements, is designed to ensure that the Company continues to qualify and is approved as a VCT by HM Revenue and Customs.

 

Investing in the Right Companies

Investments are primarily made in companies which are substantially based in the UK, although many of these investees may have some trade overseas. Investments are selected in the expectation that the application of private equity disciplines, including an active management style for unquoted companies, will enhance value and enable profits to be realised from planned exits.

 

The Board has delegated the management of the investment portfolio to Livingbridge VC LLP ("Livingbridge" or the "Manager"). The Manager has adopted a 'top-down, sector-driven' approach to identifying and evaluating potential investment opportunities, by assessing a forward view of firstly the business environment, then the sector and finally the specific potential investment opportunity.

 

Based on its research, the Manager has selected a number of sectors that it believes will offer attractive growth prospects and investment opportunities. Diversification is also achieved by spreading investments across different asset classes and making investments for a variety of different periods.

 

The Manager's Review above provides a review of the investment portfolio and of market conditions during the year, including the main trends and factors likely to affect the future development, performance and position of the business.

 

Risk is spread by investing in a number of different businesses within different qualifying industry sectors using a mixture of securities. The maximum the Company will invest in a single company (including a collective investment vehicle) is 15 per cent of its investments by value of its investments calculated in accordance with Section 278 of the Income Tax Act 2007 (as amended) ("VCT Value"). The value of an individual investment is expected to increase over time as a result of trading progress and a continuous assessment is made of its suitability for sale.

 

The Company invests in a range of securities including, but not limited to, ordinary and preference shares, loan stocks, convertible securities and permitted non qualifying investments as well as cash. Unquoted investments are usually structured as a combination of ordinary shares and loan stocks or preference shares, while AIM-traded investments are primarily held in ordinary shares. Pending investment in VCT qualifying investments, the Company's cash and liquid funds are held in permitted non qualifying investments.

 

VCTs are required to comply with a number of different regulations and the Company has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers ("PwC") as VCT Tax Status Advisers to advise it on compliance with VCT requirements. PwC reviews new investment opportunities, as appropriate, and regularly reviews the investment portfolio of the Company. PwC works closely with the Manager but reports directly to the Board.

 

Environmental, Human Rights, Employee, Social and Community Issues

The Company seeks to conduct its affairs responsibly and the Manager is encouraged to consider environmental, human rights, social and community issues, where appropriate, with regard to investment decisions.

 

The Company is required, by company law, to provide details of environmental (including the impact of the Company's business on the environment), employee, human rights, social and community issues; including information about any policies it has in relation to these matters and the effectiveness of these policies. The Company does not have any employees and as a result does not maintain specific policies in relation to these matters.

 

Livingbridge has an Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") policy. As a responsible investor, Livingbridge fully incorporates ESG factors into its investment programme. The ESG policy focuses on environmental, social and corporate governance factors, including risks and opportunities, affecting both the Company and/or specific portfolio companies.

 

Livingbridge undertakes an in-house risk assessment questionnaire pre-investment to highlight any significant or material ESG issues. Should any such issues be identified, these are then addressed via specific due diligence pre-investment.

 

Upon completion of an investment the completed in-house questionnaires are assessed by an external consultant to corroborate risks identified, advise the company how to address any ESG issues and also to identify any potential upside opportunities (e.g. energy savings). Relevant ESG matters are then included in the portfolio company board meetings as appropriate and also in the standard Livingbridge portfolio progress reports allowing Livingbridge to assess the impact of any interventions or recommendations.

 

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Company has no greenhouse gas emissions to report from the operations of the Company, nor does it have responsibility for any other emissions producing sources under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013, including those within its underlying investment portfolio.

 

Gender Diversity

The Board of Directors of the Company comprises two female and two male Directors. The Manager has an equal opportunity policy and currently employs 47 men and 38 women.

 

Appointment of the Manager

The Board expects the Manager to deliver a performance which meets the objective of achieving long-term investment returns, including tax free dividends. A review of the Company's performance during the financial year, the position of the Company at the year end and the outlook for the coming year is contained within the Chairman's Statement above. The Board assesses the performance of the Manager in meeting the Company's objective against the Key Performance Indicators ("KPIs") highlighted above.

 

The management agreement

Under the management agreement, the Manager receives a fee of 2.0 per cent per annum of the net assets of the Company. In addition, the Manager is responsible for providing all secretarial, administrative and accounting services to the Company. The Manager has appointed Link Alternative Fund Administrators Ltd to provide these services to the Company on its behalf. The Company is responsible for paying the fee charged by Link Alternative Fund Administrators Ltd to the Manager in relation to the performance of these services.

 

Annual running costs are capped at 3.5 per cent of the net assets of the Company (excluding any performance fee payable to the Manager and irrecoverable VAT), any excess being refunded by the Manager by way of an adjustment to its management fee. The running cost as at 30 September 2017 was 2.3 per cent.

 

The management agreement may be terminated at any date by either party giving twelve months' notice of termination and, if terminated, the Manager is only entitled to the management fees paid to it and any interest due on unpaid fees.

 

Performance fees

A performance fee will not be payable to the Manager until the total return on shareholders' funds exceeds an annual threshold of the higher of 4 per cent or base rate plus 2 per cent calculated on a compound basis. To the extent that the total return exceeds the threshold over the relevant period then a performance fee of 10 per cent of the excess will be paid to the Manager. The amount of any performance fee which is paid in an accounting period shall be capped at 5 per cent of shareholders' funds for that period.

 

During the financial year the threshold was exceeded and a £704,000 performance fee is payable (2016: £nil).

 

Management retention

The Board is keen to ensure that the Manager continues to have one of the best investment teams in the VCT and private equity sector. A co-investment scheme was introduced in November 2004 under which members of the Manager's investment team invest their own money into a proportion of the ordinary shares of each unquoted investment made by the Baronsmead VCTs. The Board regularly monitors the co-investment scheme arrangements but considers the scheme to be essential in order to attract, retain and incentivise the best talent. The scheme is in line with current market practice in the private equity industry and the Board believes that it aligns the interests of the Manager with those of the Baronsmead VCTs.

 

Executives have to invest their own capital in every eligible unquoted transaction and cannot decide selectively which investments to participate in. In addition the co-investment only delivers a return after each VCT has realised a priority return built into the structure. The shares held by the members of the co-investment scheme in any portfolio company can only be sold at the same time as the investment held by the Baronsmead VCTs is sold. Any prior ranking financial instruments, such as loan stock, held by the Baronsmead VCTs have to be repaid in full together with the agreed priority annual return before any gain accrues to the ordinary shares. This ensures that the Baronsmead VCTs achieve a good priority return before profits accrue to the co-investment scheme.

 

The executives participating in the co-investment scheme subscribe jointly for a proportion (currently 12 per cent) of the ordinary shares available to the Baronsmead VCTs in each eligible unquoted investment. The level of participation was increased from 5 per cent in 2007 when the Manager's performance fee was reduced from 20 per cent to its current level of 10 per cent.

 

Since the formation of the scheme in 2004, 72 executives have invested a total of £896k in 49 companies. At 30 September 2017, 33 of these investments have been realised generating proceeds of £267m for the Baronsmead VCTs and £14m for the co-investment scheme. For Baronsmead Venture Trust the average money multiple on these 33 realisations was 1.9 times cost. Had the co-investment shares been held instead by the Baronsmead VCTs, the extra return to shareholders would have been the equivalent of 3.9p a share (based on the current number of shares in issue). The Board considers this small cost to retain quality people to be in the best interests of shareholders.

 

Advisory and Directors' fees

During the year the Manager and an affiliate received £39,000 (2016: £nil) advisory fees, £367,000 (2016: £309,000) directors' fees for services provided to companies in the investment portfolio and incurred abort costs of £11,000 (2016: £12,000) with respect to investments attributable to BVT.

 

Alternative Investment Fund Manager's Directive ("AIFMD")

The AIFMD regulates the management of alternative investment funds, including VCTs. On 22 July 2014 the Company was registered as a Small UK registered AIFM under the AIFMD.

 

Viability Statement

In accordance with principle 21 of the AIC Code of Corporate Governance ("AIC Code"), the Directors have assessed the prospects of the Company over the three year period to 30 September 2020. This period is used by the Board during the strategic planning process and is considered reasonable for a business of our nature and size.

 

The three year period is considered the most appropriate given the forecasts that the Board require from the Manager and the estimated timeline for finding, assessing and completing investments.

 

In making this statement the Board carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks facing the Company, including those that might threaten its business model, future performance, solvency, or liquidity.

 

The Board also considered the ability of the Company to raise finance and deploy capital. Their assessment took account of the availability and likely effectiveness of the mitigating actions that could be taken to avoid or reduce the impact of the underlying risks.

 

This review has considered the principal risks as outlined above. The Board concentrated its efforts on the major factors which affect the economic, regulatory and political environment. The Board also paid particular attention to the importance of its close working relationship with the Manager, Livingbridge.

 

The Directors have also considered the Company's income and expenditure projections and find these to be realistic and sensible.

 

Based on the Company's processes for monitoring costs, share price discount, the Manager's compliance with the investment objective, policies and business model, asset allocation and the portfolio risk profile, the Directors have concluded that there is a reasonable expectation that the Company will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the three year period to 30 September 2020.

 

Returns to Investors

Dividend policy

The Board of Baronsmead Venture Trust aims to sustain a minimum annual dividend level at an average of 6.5p per ordinary share, mindful of the need to maintain net asset value. The ability to meet these twin objectives depends significantly on the level and timing of profitable realisations and cannot be guaranteed. There will be variations in the amount of dividends paid year on year.

 

Since launch, the average annual tax free dividend paid to shareholders has been 7.5p per ordinary share.

 

Shareholder choice

The Board wishes to provide shareholders with a number of choices that enable them to utilise their investment in Baronsmead Venture Trust in ways that best suit their personal investment and tax planning and in a way that treats all shareholders equally.

·      Fund raising | From time to time the Company seeks to raise additional funds by issuing new shares at a premium to the latest published net asset value to account for costs. In November 2017, the Company's offer for subscription to raise £21m (£20.4m after costs) was fully subscribed.

·      Dividend Reinvestment Plan | The Company offers a Dividend Reinvestment Plan which enables shareholders to purchase additional shares through the market in lieu of cash dividends. Approximately 638,000 shares were bought in this way during the year to 30 September 2017.

·      Buy back of shares | From time to time the Company buys its own shares through the market in accordance with its share price discount policy. Subject to the likely impact on shareholders as a whole, the funding requirements of the Company and market conditions at the time, the Company seeks to maintain a mid share price discount of approximately 5 per cent to net asset value.

·      Secondary market | The Company's shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and can be bought using a stockbroker or authorised share dealing service in the same way as shares of any other listed company. Approximately 3,767,000 shares were bought by investors in the Company's existing shares in the year to 30 September 2017.

 

On behalf of the Board

Peter Lawrence

Chairman

21 November 2017

 

Extract of the Directors' Report

 

Shares and shareholders

 

Share capital

During the year the Company bought back a total of 1,100,000 ordinary shares to be held in Treasury, representing 0.6 per cent of the issued share capital as at 30 September 2017, with an aggregate nominal value of £110,000. The total amount paid for these shares was £949,000. The Company's remaining authority to buy back shares from the AGM held in 2017 is 24,925,767. During the year the Company also sold 1,250,000 ordinary shares from Treasury. These shares were sold for a total amount of £1,033,000.

 

Since the year end on 26 October 2017 the Company allotted 19,228,312 new ordinary shares pursuant to the offer for subscription set out in the prospectus published on 4 October 2017. These new shares were allotted at a price of 94.80 pence per share, representing 9.5 per cent of the issued share capital following the allotment with an aggregate nominal value of £1,922,831.20, raising a further £18.2m of new funds (before expenses).

 

A second allotment of shares pursuant to the prospectus published on 4 October 2017 was completed on 14 November 2017. The Company allotted 2,932,226 new ordinary shares at a price of 94.50 pence per share, representing 1.4 per cent of the issued share capital following the allotment, with a nominal value of £293,222.60, raising a further £2.8m of new funds (before expenses).

 

As at the date of this report the Company's issued share capital was as follows:

 

Share

Total

% of
Shares in issue

Nominal Value

In issue

206,285,223

100.00

£20,628,522.30

Held in treasury

11,103,819

5.38

£1,110,381.90

In circulation

195,181,404

94.62

£19,518,140.40

 

 

The maximum number of shares held in Treasury during the year was 11,103,819. Shares will not be sold out of Treasury at a discount wider than the discount at which the shares were initially bought back by the Company.

 

Shareholders

Each 10p ordinary share entitles the holder to attend and vote at general meetings of the Company, to participate in the profits of the Company, to receive a copy of the Annual Report & Financial Statements and to participate in a final distribution upon the winding up of the Company.

 

There are no restrictions on voting rights, no securities carry special rights and the Company is not aware of any agreement between holders of securities that result in restrictions on the transfer of securities or on voting rights. There are no agreements to which the Company is party that may affect its control following a takeover bid.

 

In addition to the powers provided to the Directors under UK Company Law and the Company's Articles of Association, at each AGM the shareholders are asked to authorise certain powers in relation to the issuing and purchasing of the Company's own shares. Details of the powers granted at the AGM held in 2017, all of which remain valid, can be found in the last notice of AGM.

 

The Board is not, and has not been throughout the year, aware of any beneficial interests exceeding 3 per cent of the total voting rights.

 

Tax free dividends

The Company paid or declared the following dividends for the year ended 30 September 2017:

 

Dividends

£'000

Interim dividend of 3.0p per ordinary share

paid on 31 March 2017

5,209

Final dividend of 3.5p per ordinary share to be paid on 2 March 2018

6,831

Total dividends paid for the year

12,040

 

Subject to shareholder approval at the AGM, a final dividend of 3.5p per share will be paid on 2 March 2018 to shareholder on the register at 2 February 2018.

 

Annual General Meeting

The notice of the AGM of the Company to be held at 11.00am on 21 February 2018 at Saddlers' Hall, 40 Gutter Lane, London EC2V 6BR has been sent to shareholders and is available on the Company's website.

 

Directors

 

Appointments

The rules concerning the appointment and replacement of Directors are contained in the Company's Articles of Association and the Companies Act 2006. Further details in relation to the appointed Directors and the governance arrangements of the Board can be found in the full Annual Report and Financial Statements.

 

Directors are entitled to a payment in lieu of three month notice by the Company for loss of office in the event of a takeover bid.

 

Directors' Indemnity

Directors' and Officers' liability insurance cover is in place in respect of the Directors. The Company's Articles of Association provide, subject to the provisions of UK legislation, an indemnity for Directors in respect of costs which they may incur relating to the defence of any proceedings brought against them arising out of their positions as Directors, in which they are acquitted or judgement is given in their favour by the Court.

 

Save for such indemnity provisions in the Company's Articles of Association and in the Directors' letters of appointment, there are no qualifying third party indemnity provisions in force.

 

Conflicts of Interest

The Directors have declared any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest to the Board of Directors which has the authority to approve such situations. The Company Secretary maintains the Register of Directors' Conflicts of Interests which is reviewed quarterly by the Board. Directors advise the Company Secretary and the Board as soon as they become aware of any conflicts of interest and do not take part in discussions which relate to any of their conflicts.

 

Responsibility for accounts and going concern

 

The Directors who held office at the date of approval of this Directors' Report confirm that, so far as they are each aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the Company's Auditor is unaware and each Director has taken all the steps that they ought to have taken as a Director to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the Company's Auditor is aware of that information.

 

After making enquires, and bearing in mind the nature of the Company's business and assets, the Directors consider that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. In arriving at this conclusion the Directors have considered the liquidity of the Company and its ability to meet obligations as they fall due for a period of at least twelve months from the date that these financial statements were approved. As at 30 September 2017, the Company held cash balances and investments in readily realisable securities with a value of £15,739,000. Cash flow projections have been reviewed and show that the Company has sufficient funds to meet both its contracted expenditure and its discretionary cash outflows in the form of the share buyback programme and dividend policy. The Company has no external loan finance in place and therefore is not exposed to any gearing or covenants.

 

The Directors have chosen to include its report on global greenhouse emissions in its Strategic Report under the section on environmental, human rights, employee, social and community issues.

 

By Order of the Board

Livingbridge VC LLP

Secretary

100 Wood Street London EC2V 7AN

21 November 2017

 

Statement of Directors' Responsibilities in respect of the Annual Report and the Financial Statements

 

The Directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations.

 

Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law they have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with UK Accounting Standards, including FRS 102 The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

 

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 these financial statements, the Directors are required to:

·      select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;

·      make judgements and estimates that are reason able and prudent;

·      state whether applicable UK Accounting Standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;

·      assess the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern; and 

·      use the going concern basis of accounting unless they either intend to liquidate the Company or to cease operations, or have no realistic alternative but to do so.

 

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 its financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006.  They are responsible for such internal control as they determine is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and have general responsibility for taking such steps as are reasonably open to them to safeguard the assets of the Company and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.

 

Under applicable law and regulations, the Directors are also responsible for preparing a Strategic Report, Directors' Report, Directors' Remuneration Report and Corporate Governance Statement that complies with that law and those regulations.

 

The Directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Company's website. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

 

Responsibility statement of the Directors in respect of the annual financial report

We confirm that to the best of our knowledge:

 

·      the financial statements, prepared in accordance with the applicable set of accounting standards, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company taken as a whole; and

·      the strategic report/Directors' report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the issuer, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.

 

We consider the annual report and financial statements, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the company's position and performance, business model and strategy.

 

On behalf of the Board

Peter Lawrence

Chairman

21 November 2017

 

NON-STATUTORY ACCOUNTS

 

The financial information set out below does not constitute the Company's statutory accounts for the years ended 30 September 2016 and 2017 but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for 2016 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies, and those for 2017 will be delivered in due course. The Auditors have reported on those accounts; their report was (i) unqualified, (ii) did not include a reference to any matters to which the Auditors drew attention by way of emphasis without qualifying their report and (iii) did not contain a statement under Section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006. The text of the Auditors' report can be found in the Company's full Annual Report and Accounts at www.baronsmeadvcts.co.uk 

 

Income Statement

For the year ended 30 September 2017

 

 

 

Year ended

30 September 2017

Year ended

30 September 2016

 

 

Notes

Revenue

£'000

Capital

£'000

Total

£'000

Revenue

£'000

Capital

£'000

Total

£'000

Unrealised gains on movements in fair value of investments

2.3

-

15,108

15,108

-

3,190

3,190

Realised gains on disposal of investments

2.3

-

134

134

-

2,931

2,931

Income

2.5

2,569

-

2,569

2,115

-

2,115

Investment management fee and performance fee

2.6

(750)

(2,955)

(3,705)

(650)

(1,949)

(2,599)

Other expenses

2.6

(501)

-

(501)

(990)

-

(990)

Profit before taxation

 

1,318

12,287

13,605

475

4,172

4,647

Taxation

2.9

-

-

-

-

-

-

Profit for the year, being total comprehensive income for the year

 

1,318

12,287

13,605

475

4,172

4,647

Return per ordinary share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic and Diluted

2.2

0.76p

7.08p

7.84p

0.34p

2.98p

3.32p

 

All items in the above statement derive from continuing operations.

 

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

 

The revenue column of the Income Statement includes all income and expenses. The capital column accounts for the realised and unrealised profit or loss on investments and the proportion of the management fee charged to capital.

 

The total column of this statement is the Statement of Total Comprehensive Income of the Company prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standards ("FRS"). The supplementary revenue return and capital return columns are prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice issued in November 2014 and updated in January 2017 by the Association of Investment Companies ("AIC SORP").

 

Statement of Changes in Equity

For the year ended 30 September 2017

 

 

 

Notes

Non-distributable reserves

Distributable

Reserves

Total

£'000

Called-up share

capital

£'000

Share

premium

£'000

Revaluation

Reserve

£'000

Capital

reserve

£'000

Revenue

reserve

£'000

At 1 October 2016

 

18,412

96,515

25,238

10,089

304

150,558

Cancellation of share premium

 

-

(96,515)

-

96,515

-

-

Share premium cancellation costs

 

-

-

-

(31)

-

(31)

Profit/(loss) after taxation

 

-

-

16,114

(3,827)

1,318

13,605

Net proceeds of share buybacks & sale of shares from treasury

 

-

-

 

79

-

79

Dividends paid

2.4

-

-

-

(4,862)

(347)

(5,209)

At 30 September 2017

18,412

-

41,352

97,963

1,275

159,002

 

 

For the year ended 30 September 2016

 

 

Notes

Non-distributable reserves

Distributable Reserves

 

Called-up

share capital

£'000

Share

premium

£'000

Revaluation

reserve

£'000

Capital

reserve

£'000

Revenue

reserve

£'000

 

Total

£'000

At 1 October 2015

 

9,497

16,561

28,820

34,152

102

85,132

Profit after taxation

 

-

-

418

3,754

475

4,647

Shares issued following the acquisition of Baronsmead VCT plc

 

7,942

71,227

-

-

-

79,169

Net Proceeds of share issues, share buybacks & sale of shares from treasury

 

973

8,727

-

422

-

10,122

Dividends paid

2.4

-

-

-

(28,239)

(273)

(28,512)

At 30 September 2016

 

18,412

96,515

25,238

10,089

304

150,558

Balance Sheet

 

As at 30 September 2017

 

Notes

As at

30 September

2017

£'000

As at

30 September

2016

£'000

Fixed assets

 

 

 

Investments

2.3

160,130

128,261

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

Debtors

2.7

175

1,770

Cash at bank and on deposit

 

409

21,591

 

 

584

23,361

Creditors (amounts falling due within one year)

2.8

(1,712)

(1,064)

Net current (liabilities) / assets

 

(1,128)

22,297

Net assets

 

159,002

150,558

Capital and reserves

 

 

Called-up share capital

3.1

18,412

18,412

Share premium

3.2

-

96,515

Capital reserve

3.2

97,963

10,089

Revaluation reserve

3.2

41,352

25,238

Revenue reserve

3.2

1,275

304

Equity shareholders' funds

 

159,002

150,558

Net asset value per share

 

 

 

- Basic

2.1

91.90p

87.09p

- Treasury

2.1

19.60p

86.80p

 

The financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 21 November 2017 and were signed on its behalf by:

Peter Lawrence

Chairman

Statement of Cash Flows

For the year ended 30 September 2017

 

Year ended

30 September

2017

£'000

Year ended

30 September

2016

£'000

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

Investment income received

2,587

2,225

Deposit interest received

7

73

Investment management fees paid

(2,955)

(3,006)

Other cash payments

(493)

(564)

Merger costs paid

(136)

(246)

Net cash outflow from operating activities

(990)

(1,518)

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

Purchases of investments

(32,014)

(33,957)

Disposals of investments

15,387

49,955

Net cash inflow from investing activities

(16,627)

15,998

Equity dividends paid

(5,209)

(28,512)

Net cash outflow before financing activities

(22,826)

(14,032)

Cash flows from financing activities

-

 

Net proceeds of share issues, share buybacks & sale of shares from treasury

1,648

8,554

Net proceeds received from merger

-

16,362

Share premium cancellation costs

(4)

-

Net cash inflow from financing activities

1,644

24,916

(Decrease) / Increase in cash

(21,182)

10,884

 

 

 

Reconciliation of net cash flow to movement in net cash

 

 

(Decrease) / Increase in cash

(21,182)

10,884

Opening cash position

21,591

10,707

Closing cash at bank and on deposit

409

21,591

 

 

 

Reconciliation of profit on ordinary activities before taxation to net cash outflow from operating activities

 

 

Profit before taxation

13,605

4,647

Gains on investments

(15,242)

(6,121)

Decrease in debtors

28

37

Increase / (decrease) in creditors

619

(72)

Written off expenses from merger

-

(9)

Net cash outflow from operating activities

(990)

(1,518)

 

Notes to the Financial Statements

 

We have grouped notes into sections under three key categories:

1. Basis of preparation

2. Investments, performance and shareholder returns

3. Other required disclosures

 

The key accounting policies have been incorporated throughout the Notes to the Financial Statements adjacent to the disclosure to which they relate. All accounting policies are included within an outlined box.

 

1.    Basis of Preparation

1.1  Basis of accounting

 

These Financial Statements have been prepared under FRS 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland' and in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice ("SORP") for investment trust companies and venture capital trusts issued by the Association of Investment Companies ("AIC") in November 2014 and updated in January 2017 and on the assumptions that the Company maintains VCT status.

 

The application of the Company's accounting policies requires judgement, estimation and assumptions about the carrying amount of assets and liabilities. These estimates and associated assumptions are based on historical experience and other factors that are considered to be relevant. Actual results may differ from these estimates. The key source of estimation uncertainty relates to the assumptions made in the determination of the fair value of the unquoted investments as set out in note 2.3.

 

The Financial Statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, under historical cost convention. The functional currency in which the Company operates is Sterling.

 

2.    Investments, performance and shareholder returns

2.1 Net asset value per share

 

Number

of ordinary shares

Net asset value per share attributable

Net asset value

attributable

 

30 September

 2017

number

30 September 2016

number

30 September 2017

pence

30 September 2016

pence

30 September 2017

£'000

30 September 2016

£'000

Ordinary shares (basic)

173,020,866

172,870,866

91.90

87.09

159,002

150,558

Ordinary shares (including treasury)

184,124,685

184,124,685

91.60

86.80

168,663

159,828

 

The treasury net asset value per share as at 30 September 2017 included ordinary shares held in treasury valued at the mid share price of 87.00p at 30 September 2017 (2016: 82.38p).

 

2.2  Return per share

 

Weighted average number of ordinary shares

Return per

ordinary share

Net profit on ordinary activities after taxation

 

30 September 2017

number

30 September 2016

number

30 September 2017

pence

30 September 2016

pence

30 September 2017

£'000

30 September 2016

£'000

Revenue

173,485,578

139,821,872

0.76

0.34

1,318

475

Capital

173,485,578

139,821,872

7.08

2.98

12,287

4,172

Total

 

 

7.84

3.32

13,605

4,647

 

2.3  Investments

 

The Company has fully adopted sections 11 and 12 of FRS 102.

 

Purchases or sales of investments are recognised at the date of transaction.

 

Investments are measured at fair value. For AIM-traded securities this is either bid price or the last traded price, depending on the convention of the exchange on which the investment is traded.

 

In respect of collective investment vehicles, which consists of investments in open ended investment companies authorised in the UK, this is the closing price.

 

In respect of unquoted investments, these are valued at fair value by the Directors using methodology which is consistent with the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation guidelines ("IPEV"). This means investments are valued using an earnings multiple, which has a discount or premium applied which adjusts for points of difference to appropriate stock market or comparable transaction multiples. Alternative methods of valuation will include application of an arm's length third party valuation, a provision on cost or a net asset value basis.

 

Gains and losses arising from changes in the fair value of the investments are included in the Income Statement for the year as a capital item. Transaction costs on acquisition are included within the initial recognition and the profit or loss on disposal is calculated net of transaction costs on disposal.

 

All investments are initially recognised and subsequently measured at fair value. Changes in fair value are recognised in the Income Statement. The details of which are set out in the box above.

 

The methods of fair value measurement are classified into a hierarchy based on reliability of the information used to determine the valuation.

 

·      Level 1 - Fair value is measured based on quoted prices in an active market.

·      Level 2 - Fair value is measured based on directly observable current market prices or indirectly being derived from market prices.

·      Level 3 - Fair value is measured using a valuation technique that is not based on data from an observable market.

 

30 September 2017

£'000

30 September 2016

£'000

Level 1

 

 

Investments traded on AIM

68,720

60,575

Level 2

 

 

Collective investment vehicles

38,675

18,400

Level 3

 

 

Unquoted investments

51,644

49,286

Investments traded on AIM*

1,091

-

 

160,130

128,261

 

* TLA Worldwide plc has been changed to a level 3 investment due to a suspension of trading during the year.

 

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

 

 

Traded

on AIM

£'000

Collective

investment

vehicles

£'000

Traded

on AIM

£'000

Unquoted

£'000

Total

£'000

Opening book cost

50,409

12,451

-

40,163

103,023

Opening unrealised appreciation

10,166

5,949

-

9,123

25,238

Opening valuation

60,575

18,400

-

49,286

128,261

Movements in the year:

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer between levels

(2,315)

-

2,315

-

-

Purchases at cost

3,055

24,460

-

4,499

32,014

Sale  - proceeds

(2,009)

(9,130)

-

(4,248)

(15,387)

 - realised gains / (losses) on sales

620

-

-

(486)

134

Unrealised losses realised during the year

(1,005)

-

-

(1)

(1,006)

Increase / (decrease) in unrealised appreciation / (depreciation)

9,799

4,945

(1,224)

2,594

16,114

Closing valuation

68,720

38,675

1,091

51,644

160,130

Closing book cost

48,755

27,781

2,315

39,927

118,778

Closing unrealised appreciation / (depreciation)

19,965

10,894

(1,224)

11,717

41,352

Closing valuation

68,720

38,675

1,091

51,644

160,130

Equity shares

68,720

-

1,091

17,291

87,102

Loan notes

-

-

-

34,353

34,353

Collective investment vehicles

-

38,675

-

-

38,675

Closing valuation

68,720

38,675

1,091

51,644

160,130

 

The gains and losses included in the above table have all been recognised in the Income Statement above.

 

TLA Worldwide plc has been changed to a level 3 investment due to a suspension of trading during the year.

 

2.4  Dividends

 

Year ended

30 September 2017

Year ended

30 September 2016

 

 

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Amounts recognised as distributions to equity holders in the year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the year ended 30 September 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Interim dividend of 3.0p per ordinary share paid on 31 March 2017

347

4,862

5,209

-

-

-

For the year ended 30 September 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

-First interim dividend of 3.5p per ordinary share paid on 18 December 2015

-

-

-

-

2,905

2,905

-Second interim dividend of 6.5p per ordinary share paid on 3 June 2016

-

-

-

85

10,990

11,075

-Third interim dividend of 8.5p per ordinary share paid on 30 September 2016

-

-

-

188

14,344

14,532

 

347

4,862

5,209

273

28,239

28,512

2.5  Income

 

Interest income on loan notes and dividends on preference shares are accrued on a daily basis. Provision is made against this income where recovery is doubtful.

 

Where the terms of unquoted loan notes only require interest or a redemption premium to be paid on redemption, the interest and redemption premium is recognised as income once redemption is reasonably certain. Until such date interest is accrued daily and included within the valuation of the investment. When a redemption premium is designed to protect the value of the instrument holder's investment rather than reflect a commercial rate of revenue return the redemption premium should be recognised as capital. The treatment of redemption premiums is analysed to consider if they are revenue or capital in nature on a company by company basis. No redemption premiums were received for the year ended 30 September 2017.

 

Income from fixed interest securities and deposit interest is included on an effective interest rate basis.

 

Dividends on quoted shares are recognised as income when the related investments are marked ex-dividend and where no dividend date is quoted, when the Company's right to receive payment is established.

 

 

Year ended

30 September 2017

Year ended

30 September 2016

 

Quoted

securities

£'000

Unquoted

securities

£'000

Total

£'000

Quoted

securities

£'000

Unquoted

securities

£'000

Total

£'000

Income from investments†

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dividend income

1,200

-

1,200

1,465

-

1,465

Interest Income

14

1,350

1,364

20

558

591

 

1,214

1,350

2,564

1,485

558

2,043

Other income‡

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposit interest

 

 

5

 

 

60

Other income

 

 

-

 

 

12

Total income

 

 

2,569

 

 

2,115

 

† All investments have been included at fair value through profit or loss on initial recognition, therefore all investment income arises on investments at fair value through profit or loss.

 

‡ Other income on financial assets not including at fair value through profit or loss.

 

2.6        Investment management fee and other expenses

 

All expenses are recorded on an accruals basis.

 

 

Year ended 30th September 2017

Year ended 30th September 2016

 

Revenue

£'000

Capital

£'000

Total

£'000

Revenue

£'000

Capital

£'000

Total

£'000

Investment management fee

750

2,251

3,001

650

1,949

2,599

Performance fee

-

704

704

-

-

-

 

750

2,955

3,705

650

1,949

2,599

 

Management fees are allocated 25 per cent income and 75 per cent capital derived in accordance with the Board's expected split between long term income and capital returns. Performance fees are allocated 100 per cent capital.

 

The management agreement may be terminated by either party giving twelve months' notice of termination.

 

The Manager, Livingbridge VC LLP, receives a fee of 2 per cent per annum of the net assets of the Company, calculated and payable on a quarterly basis.

 

The Manager is entitled to a performance fee if at the end of any calculation period, the total return on shareholders' funds exceeds the threshold of the higher of 4 per cent or base rate plus 2 per cent on shareholders' funds (calculated on a compound basis). The Manager is entitled to 10 per cent of the excess. The amount of any performance fee which is paid in respect of a calculation period shall be capped at 5 per cent of shareholders' funds at the end of the period.

 

Amounts payable to the Manager at the year end are disclosed in note 2.8.

 

Other expenses

 

Year ended

Year ended

 

30 September

30 September

 

2017

2016

 

£'000

£'000

Directors' fees

99

123

Secretarial and accounting fees paid to the Manager

143

147

Remuneration of the auditors and their associates:

 

 

 - audit

31

31

 - other services supplied pursuant to legislation (interim review)

6

6

Merger costs*

(33)

415

Other

255

268

 

501

990

* The negative merger costs reflected in the year ended 30 September 2017 relate to an over provision in the year ended 30 September 2016 which has been written off.

 

Information on directors' remuneration is given in the directors' emoluments table in the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

 

Charges for other services provided by the auditors in the year ended 30 September 2017 were in relation to the interim review.

 

The Audit Committee reviews the nature and extent of non-audit services to ensure that independence is maintained. The Directors consider that the auditors were best placed to provide such services.

 

2.7  Debtors

 

As at

As at

 

30 September

30 September

 

2017

2016

 

£'000

£'000

Prepayments and accrued income

175

203

Amounts due from sale of shares from treasury

-

1,567

 

175

1,770

 

2.8  Creditors (amounts falling due within one year)

 

As at

As at

 

30 September

30 September

 

2017

2016

 

£'000

£'000

Management, secretarial and accounting fees due to the Manager

1,542

792

Merger costs

-

169

Share premium cancellation costs

27

-

Other creditors

143

103

 

1,712

1,064

 

2.9  Tax

 

UK corporation tax payable is provided on taxable profits at the current rate.

 

Provision is made for deferred taxation on the liability method, without discounting, on all timing differences calculated at the current rate of tax relevant to the benefit or liability.

 

The tax charge for the year is lower than the standard rate of corporation tax in the UK for a company. The differences are explained below:

 

Year ended

 

30 September 2016

 

Revenue

£'000

Capital

£'000

Total

£'000

Revenue

£'000

Capital

£'000

Total

£'000

Profit before taxation

1,318

12,287

13,605

475

4,172

4,647

Corporation tax at 19.5 per cent

(2016: 20.0 per cent)*

257

2,396

2,653

95

834

929

Effect of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Non-taxable gains

-

(2,972)

(2,972)

-

(1,224)

(1,224)

  Non-taxable dividend income

(234)

-

(234)

(293)

-

(293)

  Non-deductible expenses

(7)

-

(7)

-

-

-

  Losses carried forward

(16)

576

560

198

390

588

Tax charge/(credit) for the year

-

-

-

-

-

-

 

* The corporation tax rate applied is based on the average tax rates for the financial years ended 30 September 2017 and 2016. The actual rates were 20 per cent until 31 March 2017 and 19 per cent from 1 April 2017.

 

At 30 September 2017 the Company had surplus management expenses of £10,024,604 (2016: £7,583,134) which have not been recognised as a deferred tax asset. This is because the Company is not expected to generate taxable income in a future period in excess of the deductible expenses of that future period and, accordingly, the Company is unlikely to be able to reduce future tax liabilities through the use of existing surplus expenses. Due to the Company's status as a VCT, and the intention to continue meeting the conditions required to obtain approval in the foreseeable future, the Company has not provided deferred tax on any capital gains and losses arising on the revaluation or disposal of investments.

 

3.    Other Required Disclosures

 

3.1  Called-up share capital

Allotted, called-up and fully paid:

 

Ordinary shares

£'000

184,124,685 ordinary shares of 10p each listed at 30 September 2016

18,412

184,124,685 ordinary shares of 10p each listed at 30 September 2017

18,412

11,253,819 ordinary shares of 10p each held in treasury at 30 September 2016

(1,125)

1,100,000 ordinary shares of 10p each repurchased during the year and held in treasury

(110)

1,250,000 ordinary shares of 10p each sold from treasury during the year

125

11,103,819 ordinary shares of 10p each held in treasury at 30 September 2017

(1,110)‌‌

173,020,866 ordinary shares of 10p each in circulation* at 30 September 2017

17,302

 

* Carrying one vote each.

 

During the year the Company bought back 1,100,000 ordinary shares and sold from treasury 1,250,000 ordinary shares, representing (0.08) per cent of the ordinary shares in issue at the beginning of the financial year.

 

In October 2017, the Company allotted 19,228,312 new ordinary shares and a further 2,932,226 new ordinary shares in November 2017. See above for further details.

 

Treasury shares

When the Company reacquires its own shares, they are held as treasury shares and not cancelled.

 

Shareholders have authorised the Board to sell treasury shares at a discount to the prevailing NAV subject to the following conditions:

 

- It is in the best interests of the Company;

- Demand for the Company's shares exceeds the shares available in the market;

- A full prospectus must be produced if required; and

- HMRC will not consider these 'new shares' for the purposes of the purchasers' entitlement to initial income tax relief.

 

3.2  Reserves

 

Gains and losses on realisation of investments of a capital nature are dealt with in the capital reserve. Purchases of the Company's own shares to be either held in treasury or cancelled are also funded from this reserve. 75 per cent of management fees are allocated to the capital reserve in accordance with the Board's expected split between long term income and capital returns.

 

 

Distributable reserves

Non-distributable reserves

Capital

reserve

£'000

Revenue

reserve

£'000

Total

£'000

Share

premium

£'000

Revaluation

reserve*

£'000

Total

£'000

At 1st October 2016

10,089

304

10,393

96,515

25,238

121,753

Cancellation of share premium

96,515

-

96,515

(96,515)

-

-

Share premium cancellation costs

(31)

-

(31)

-

-

-

Purchase of shares for treasury

(949)

-

(949)

-

-

-

Sale of Shares from treasury

1,033

-

1,033

-

-

-

Expenses of share issue and buybacks

(5)

-

(5)

-

-

-

Reallocation of prior year unrealised losses

(1,006)

-

(1,006)

-

1,006

1,006

Realised gain on disposal of investment#

134

-

134

-

-

-

Net increase in value of investments#

-

-

-

-

15,108

15,108

Management fee capitalised#

(2,955)

-

(2,955)

-

-

-

Profit after taxation#

-

1,318

1,318

-

-

-

Dividends paid in the year

(4,862)

(347)

(5,209)

-

-

-

At 30 September 2017

97,963

1,275

99,238

-

41,352

41,352

 

# The total of these items is £13,605,000, which agrees to the total profit for the year.

* Changes in fair value of investments are dealt with in this reserve.

 

Distributable reserves include the net unrealised loss on investments whose prices are quoted in an active market and deemed readily realisable in cash.

 

Share premium is recognised net of issue costs.

 

The Company does not have any externally imposed capital requirements.

 

On 20 September 2017, the share premium account was cancelled by an Order of Court following the passing of a Special Resolution. The credit arising of £96,515,000 has been applied in creating a special reserve, within the capital reserve, which shall be able to be applied in any manner in which the Company's profits available for distribution (as determined in accordance with section 649 of the Companies Act 2006) are able to be applied.

 

3.3  Financial instruments risks

 

The Company's financial instruments comprise equity and fixed interest investments, cash balances and liquid resources including debtors and creditors. The Company holds financial assets in accordance with its investment policy to invest in a diverse portfolio of UK growth businesses.

 

The Company's investing activities expose it to a range of financial risks. These key risks and the associated risk management policies to mitigate these risks are described below.

 

Market risk

Market risk includes price risk on investments and interest rate risk on investments and other financial assets and liabilities.

 

Price Risk

The investment portfolio is managed in accordance with the policies and procedures described above.

 

Investments in unquoted stocks & AIM-traded companies involve a higher degree of risk than investments in the main market. The Company aims to reduce this risk by diversifying the portfolio across business sectors and asset classes.

 

Management performs continuing analysis on the fair value of investments and the Company's overall market positions are monitored by the Board on a quarterly basis. Management are comfortable that a 5 per cent movement in share price is a reasonable estimate of the upside and downside alternatives.

 

 

As at 30 September 2017

As at 30 September 2016

 

% of total

investment

5% increase

in share price

effect on

net assets

and profit

£'000

5% decrease

in share price

effect on

net assets

and profit

£'000

% of total

investment

5% increase

in share price

effect on

net assets

and profit

£'000

5% decrease

in share price

effect on

net assets

and profit

£'000

AIM & CIV

68

5,424

(5,424)

62

3,949

(3,949)

Unquoted

32

2,582

(2,582)

38

2,464

(2,464)

 

Valuation methodology includes the application of earnings multiples derived from either listed companies with similar characteristics or recent comparable transactions. Therefore the value of the unquoted element of the portfolio may also indirectly be affected by price movements on the listed exchanges.

 

Interest rate risk

The Company has the following investments in fixed and floating rate financial assets:

 

 

As at 30 September 2017

As at 30 September 2016

 

 

Total

investment

£'000

Weighted

average

interest

rate

%

Weighted

average

time for

which rate

is fixed days

Total

investment

£'000

Weighted

average

interest

rate

%

Weighted

average

time for

which rate

is fixed days

Fixed rate loan note securities

34,353

9.28

2.34

37,022

8.95

2.08

Floating rate sterling liquidity funds

15,330

-

-

-

-

-

Cash at bank and on deposit

409

-

-

21,591

-

-

 

50,092

 

 

58,613

 

 

               

 

Credit risk

Credit risk refers to the risk that counterparty will default on its obligation resulting to a financial loss to the Company. The Investment Manager monitors credit risk on an ongoing basis.

At the reporting date, the Company's financial assets exposed to credit risk amounted to the following:

 

As at

As at

 

30 September

30 September

 

2017

2016

 

£'000

£'000

Cash at bank and on deposit

409

21,591

Interest, dividends & other receivables

175

1,770

 

584

23,361

 

Credit risk on unquoted loan stock held within unlisted investments is considered to be part of market risk as disclosed earlier in the note.

 

Credit risk arising on transactions with brokers relates to transactions awaiting settlement. Risk relating to unsettled transactions is considered to be small due to the short settlement period involved and the high credit quality of the brokers used. The Board monitors the quality of service provided by the brokers used to further mitigate this risk.

 

All the assets of the Company which are traded on a recognised exchange are held by JP Morgan Chase ("JPM"), the Company's custodian. The Board monitors the Company's risk by reviewing the custodian's internal controls reports as described in the Corporate Governance section of the Annual Report and Financial Statements.

 

The cash held by the Company is held by JPM. The Board monitors the Company's risk by reviewing regularly the internal control reports of these banks. Should the credit quality or the financial position of either bank deteriorate significantly the Investment Manager will seek to move the cash holdings to another bank.

 

There were no significant concentrations of credit risk to counterparties at 30 September 2017 or 30 September 2016. No individual investment exceeded 4.9 per cent of the net assets attributable to the Company's shareholders at 30 September 2017 (2016: 3.9 per cent).

 

Liquidity risk

The Company's financial instruments include investments in unquoted companies which are not traded in an organised public market, as well as AIM traded equity investments, all of which generally may be illiquid. As a result, the Company may not be able to liquidate quickly some of its investments in these instruments at an amount close to their fair value in order to meet its liquidity requirements, or to respond to specific events such as deterioration in the creditworthiness of any particular issuer.

 

The Company's liquidity risk is managed on an ongoing basis by the Investment Manager. The Company's overall liquidity risks are monitored on a quarterly basis by the Board.

 

The Company maintains sufficient investments in cash and readily realisable securities to pay accounts payable and accrued expenses. At 30 September 2017 these investments were valued at £15,739,000 (2016: £21,591,000)

 

3.4  Related parties

 

Related party transactions include Management, Secretarial, Accounting and Performance fees payable to the Manager, Livingbridge VC LLP, as disclosed in notes 2.6 and 2.8, and fees paid to the Directors as disclosed in note 2.6. In addition, the Manager operates a Co-investment Scheme, detailed in the Management retention section of the Strategic Report above, whereby members and staff of the Manager are entitled to participate in all unquoted investments alongside the Company.

 

During the year the Manager and an affiliate received £39,000 (2016: £nil) advisory fees, £367,000 (2016: £309,000) was received in connection with directors' fees for services provided to companies in the investment portfolio and incurred abort costs of £11,000 (2016: £12,000) with respect to investments attributable to BVT.

 

3.5 Segmental reporting

 

The Company has one reportable segment being investing in primarily a portfolio of UK growth businesses, whether unquoted or traded on AIM.

 

3.6 Post balance sheet events

 

Realisations

Following the balance sheet date the Company realised its investment in IP Solutions Limited at the trading company level with funds being retained at the group level at present, this realisation is expected to return proceeds to the Company totalling £0.8m and making a return of 0.4x cost.

 

Following the balance sheet date the Company realised its investment in Eque2 Limited returning proceeds totalling £4.2m and making a return of 3.0x cost.

 

Fundraising

Since the year end on the 26 October 2017 the Company allotted 19,228,312 new ordinary shares pursuant to the offer for subscription set out in the prospectus published on 4 October 2017. These new shares were allotted at a price of 94.80 pence per share, representing 9.4 per cent of the issued share capital following the allotment with an aggregate nominal value of £1.9m raising a further £18.2m of new funds (before expenses).

 

Following the first allotment of shares on 26 October 2017 a further 2,932,226 new ordinary shares were allotted on 10 November 2017 pursuant to the offer for subscription set out in the prospectus published on 4 October 2017. These new shares were allotted at a price of 94.50 pence per share, representing 1.4 per cent of the issued share capital following the allotment with an aggregate nominal value of £0.3m raising a further £2.8m of new funds (before expenses).

 

TLA Worldwide plc

The suspension for trading on AIM was lifted on 16 November 2017.

 

National Storage Mechanism

A copy of the Annual Report and Financial Statements will be submitted shortly to the National Storage Mechanism ("NSM") and will be available for inspection at the NSM, which is situated at: http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM

 

END

Neither the contents of the Company's website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on this announcement (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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