Source - PRN

BLACKROCK SMALLER COMPANIES TRUST PLC (LEI: 549300MS535KC2WH4082)
 

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

One month
Three months
One
 year
Three
 years
Five
 years
Net asset value* -1.5 -2.5 16.1 57.0 102.1
Share price* 1.5 3.1 28.7 65.0 114.9
Numis ex Inv Companies + AIM Index -1.5 -6.5 4.4 24.2 38.7

*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): 1,464.64p
Net asset value Capital only(debt at fair value): 1,456.32p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at par value)**: 1,487.16p
Net asset value incl. Income(debt at fair value)**: 1,478.83p
Share price 1,345.00p
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at par value): 9.6%
Discount to Cum Income NAV (debt at fair value): 9.0%
Net yield^^^: 1.7%
Gross assets^: £786.7m
Gearing range as a % of net assets: 0-15%
Net gearing including income (debt at par): 10.3%
2017 Ongoing charges ratio^^ 0.7%
2017 Ongoing charges ratio (including performance fees): 1.0%
Ordinary shares in issue#: 47,879,792

**includes net revenue of 22.52p

^includes current year revenue

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

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

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

Sector Weightings % of portfolio
Industrials 33.9
Financials 17.9
Consumer Services 12.8
Technology 8.2
Consumer Goods 8.1
Basic Materials 7.9
Health Care 7.8
Oil & Gas 3.0
Utilities 0.4
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Total 100.0
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Ten Largest Equity Investments
Company % of portfolio
Dechra Pharmaceuticals 2.1
Robert Walters 2.0
Central Asia Metals 1.8
Ibstock 1.7
Hill & Smith 1.6
Avon Rubber 1.6
CVS Group 1.6
Big Yellow 1.6
Accesso Technology 1.4
4imprint Group  1.4

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

During March the Company’s NAV per share fell by 1.5% to 1,464.64p on a capital only basis, in line with our benchmark index; the FTSE 100 Index fell 2.4% on a capital only basis.

March was a tough month for UK consumer exposed companies. Long term holding Headlam reported full year earnings per share up by 6.3%, strong cash generation and net cash of £35 million. However, Headlam also reported that January and February trading had been weak, although these are the quietest months of the year for the company. The shares fell 19% during the month and were our largest detractor from a relative contribution point of view, costing us 0.21% of net assets. We reduced our holding to 0.5% of net assets, on the basis that a quick recovery is unlikely.

On the positive side we did not own shares in Conviviality, the drinks supplier, which collapsed into administration during the month. Conviviality was in our benchmark, so not owning the shares helped our relative performance.

Amongst stocks we own we saw further good performances by Avon Rubber, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Hill & Smith, YouGov and Zotefoams, all of which contributed usefully to relative performance.  

We sold a few smaller, lower conviction holdings during the month.
 

17 April 2018

ENDS
 

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