May 18, 2018 - 10:39 AM EDT
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BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust Plc - Portfolio Update


All information is at 30 April 2018 and unaudited.
Performance at month end is calculated on a capital only basis

One month
Three months
Net asset value* 5.5 1.5 14.7 58.3 113.9
Share price* 6.1 5.7 24.5 71.2 128.0
Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index 4.8 0.0 5.4 25.8 46.9

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

Sources:  BlackRock and Datastream

At month end
Net asset value Capital only(debt at par value): 1,544.63p
Net asset value Capital only(debt at fair value): 1,537.15p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at par value)**: 1,569.26p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at fair value)**: 1,561.77p
Share price 1,427.50p
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at par value): 9.0%
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at fair value): 8.6%
Net yield^^^^: 1.8%
Gross assets^: £826.0m
Gearing range as a % of net assets: 0-15%
Net gearing including income (debt at par): 9.1%
2018 Ongoing charges ratio^^ 0.7%
2018 Ongoing charges ratio (including performance fees)^^^: 1.0%
Ordinary shares in issue#: 47,879,792

**includes net revenue of 24.63p

^includes current year revenue

^^As reported in the Annual Financial Report for the year ended 28 February 2018, the ongoing charges ratio is calculated as a percentage of net assets and using operating expenses, excluding performance fees, finance costs and taxation. 

^^^With effect from 1 March 2018 the Company’s management fee and performance fee arrangements have changed. The new fee basis is set out in note 4 on page 53 of the Company’s 2018 Annual Report, and the performance fee has been removed. This will impact the Ongoing Charges ratio for the Company. The Ongoing Charges Ratio (both including and excluding any Performance Fee) for the year to 28 February 2018 had the new fee arrangements been in place for the full year is estimated to be 0.77%.

^^^^Yield calculations are based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of release of this announcement, and comprise of the final dividend of 16.00 pence per share, (announced on 27 April 2018, ex-dividend on 17 May 2018) and the interim dividend of 10.00 pence per share (announced on 30 October 2017 and gone ex-dividend on 9 November 2017)

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

Sector Weightings % of portfolio
Industrials 35.1
Financials 19.1
Consumer Services 13.3
Health Care 8.1
Technology 7.9
Consumer Goods 6.4
Basic Materials 6.0
Oil & Gas 3.6
Utilities 0.5
Total 100.0


Ten Largest Equity Investments
Company % of portfolio
Robert Walters 2.0
Dechra Pharmaceuticals 1.9
Ibstock 1.7
Avon Rubber 1.7
CVS Group 1.6
Big Yellow 1.6
Hill & Smith 1.6
Central Asia Metals 1.6
Restore 1.5
Premier Asset Management Group 1.5

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

During April the Company’s NAV per share rose by 5.5% to 1,544.63p on a capital only basis with debt at par, outperforming our benchmark index which returned 4.8%; the FTSE 100 Index rose 6.4% on a capital only basis.

Stock selection was the key contributor to performance during the month, whilst gearing also added to relative returns.

During the month the energy sector outperformed as the oil price surged to a 40-month high off the back of tighter U.S. inventories and possible extended OPEC production cuts. As a result, our holdings in Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Faroe Petroleum and Premier Oil all rallied by more than 25%. Identity verification software provider GB Group saw its shares rise after releasing a trading statement showing strong revenue and profit growth ahead of consensus. Sumo Group, which we purchased at IPO in December 2017, delivered good full year results. The company is seeing strong demand for its products and expects organic growth to continue whilst also looking to supplement this by acquiring complementary businesses, providing further scale.

Shares in IFG Group continued to fall after the company announced changes to its leadership team; however, this only modestly detracted from relative contribution.

Activity during the month included purchasing new holdings in SIPP provider Curtis Banks Group and Ten Entertainment, the operator of bowling venues throughout the UK. We sold our holding in Kaz Minerals as the company is now on the verge of entering the FTSE 100.

18 May 2018


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

Source: PR Newswire (May 18, 2018 - 10:39 AM EDT)

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