BlackRock Income and Growth Investment Trust NAV returned 27.1% for the half-year

BlackRock

BlackRock Income and Growth Investment Trust plc (LON:BRIG) has announced its half-yearly financial report for the six months ended 30 April 2021.

For more information on the BlackRock Income and Growth Investment Trust and how to access the opportunities presented by the income and growth sector, please visit: www.blackrock.com/uk/brig

PERFORMANCE RECORD



 
As at 
30 April 
2021 
As at 
31 October 
2020 

Change 
Net assets (£’000)143,924 36,401 20.7 
Net asset value per ordinary share (pence)200.63 161.70 24.1 
Ordinary share price (mid-market) (pence)184.00 162.50 13.2 
(Discount)/premium to net asset value2(8.3)% 0.5% 
FTSE All-Share Index7,754.43 6,036.60 28.5 
======== ======== ======== 
Performance (with dividends reinvested)
Net asset value per share227.1% -16.7% 
Ordinary share price216.2% -14.8% 
FTSE All-Share Index28.5% -18.6% 
======== ======== 


 
For the six 
months ended 
30 April 2021 
For the six 
months ended 
30 April 2020 



Change 
Revenue
Net profit after taxation (£’000)699 699 – 
Revenue earnings per ordinary share (pence)33.15 3.06 2.9 
Dividends (pence)
Interim2.60 2.60 –  
======== ======== ======== 

1               The change in net assets reflects the market movements during the period, the purchase of the Company’s own shares and dividends paid.
2               Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary in the Half Yearly Financial Report.
3               Further details are given in the Glossary in the Half Yearly Financial Report.

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Dear Shareholder

OVERVIEW
Once again, it is necessary to begin my report to our shareholders with a reference to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in creating economic upheaval and volatility in financial markets. The several new variants of the COVID-19 virus which have been detected in the UK in recent months have contributed to uncertainty about the pace of reopening of our economy whilst recent months have also witnessed an upturn in inflation as prices of fuel, energy and commodities have all risen. The UK’s exit from the EU and the operation of the trade and services agreement now in force have yet to see early teething problems ironed out, and amongst the other effects of the pandemic there are signs that certain supply chains may have been temporarily or even permanently altered with potentially far-reaching consequences. Many companies are responding to this disruption and improving resilience in their supply chains through collaboration and technology.

That said, there are also reasons for optimism as an investor in the UK. As COVID-19 restrictions have eased, we have seen a surge in activity across many sectors and industries. The latest data on economic activity, productivity and employment are promising and consumer confidence is returning, demonstrated by a spike in retail spending which has risen sharply in recent months, providing a much-needed boost to the UK economy. Fiscal and monetary policy remain supportive and the Bank of England has forecast that growth for 2021 will exceed 7%. This would represent the strongest expansion in over 70 years, albeit partly based on lockdown restrictions being lifted and remaining so. As we move into a more stable and benign environment, and in light of what has been a very successful vaccination programme, in the UK at least, the near-term outlook appears to be bright. Against this backdrop your portfolio managers remain optimistic and believe our portfolio is well-positioned to benefit from the many opportunities available as the economy returns to growth.

PERFORMANCE
During the period, the Company’s net asset value per share (NAV) returned 27.1%, compared with the Company’s benchmark, the FTSE All-Share Index (Total Return), which returned 28.5%. The Company’s share price returned 16.2% (all percentages are in Sterling with dividends reinvested).

Subsequent to the period end and as at 22 June 2021, the net asset value per share of the Company has increased by 1.7% from 200.63 pence per share to 204.05 pence per share and the Company’s share price has risen by 6.0% from 184.00 pence to 195.00 pence per share. The Company’s Benchmark Index has increased by 1.5% over the same period.

Further information on the significant components of overall performance and the changes to portfolio composition are set out in the Investment Manager’s Report below.

REVENUE PROFIT AND DIVIDENDS
Revenue profit for the period was 3.15 pence per share (six months to 30 April 2020: 3.06 pence per share). The Board is pleased to declare an interim dividend of 2.60 pence per share (2020: 2.60 pence per share). This dividend will be paid on 1 September 2021 to shareholders on the Company’s register at the close of business on 23 July 2021 (the ex-dividend date is 22 July 2021).

As an investment trust, we have been able in years past to accumulate a measure of revenue reserves which can then be used to support the Company’s dividend distributions in years when the underlying revenue from the portfolio is under pressure, as it is currently. Your Company has one of the largest revenue reserves as a percentage of net assets in the UK Equity Income sector and the Board is mindful of the importance of dividend income to shareholders so intends to use these reserves to support the dividend this year should it be required. After the payment of this year’s interim dividend, the Company will have approximately one year’s dividend cover in revenue reserves. The Board will continue to keep under review how this reserve should be used in future years.

OPERATIONAL RESILIENCE
As I reported in this year’s Annual Report, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak the Board has been working closely with our Manager, BlackRock, and the Company’s key suppliers to minimise the risk the virus poses to the health and wellbeing of all those engaged in the management and administration of the Company. I am pleased to report that the Company’s operations have continued not to be adversely affected. As a Board, we have continued to meet regularly, via video conference, and I am hopeful that we can all return to some form of normalcy in the near future.

SHARE CAPITAL
The Directors recognise the importance to investors that the Company’s share price should not trade at a significant discount to NAV, and therefore, in normal market conditions, may use the Company’s share buy back, sale of shares from treasury and share issuance powers to seek to ensure that the share price does not differ excessively from the underlying NAV. Buying back shares at a discount is accretive to NAV and can help narrow the discount to NAV at which the Company’s shares trade. It can also help to provide additional liquidity. During the period, the Company’s shares traded at an average discount of 7.6% to cum income NAV per share. At the close of business on 22 June 2021 the discount stood at 4.4%.

A total of 618,635 ordinary shares were bought back and cancelled during the period at an average price of 174.10 pence and for a total consideration of £1,077,000. No shares were issued or sold from treasury during the period under review. As at 22 June 2021, 31.7% of the Company’s issued ordinary share capital is held in treasury and may be issued to satisfy any demand for the Company’s shares that may arise.

GEARING
The Company operates a flexible gearing policy which depends on prevailing conditions and the outlook for the market. Gearing is subject to a maximum level of 20% of net assets at the time of investment. The Company has been modestly geared during the period under review and at 30 April 2021 the Company had net gearing of 8.4%. Gearing levels and sources of funding are reviewed regularly to ensure that the Company has access to the most competitive borrowing rates available to it. The Company currently has a two-year unsecured Sterling revolving credit facility of £4,000,000 with ING Bank (Luxembourg) S.A., which is fully drawn down and is scheduled to mature in October 2021.

OUTLOOK
At the time of writing the full extent of the economic and social impact of the pandemic remains necessarily unclear. Equally, the longer-term impacts on how we live our lives, how businesses and public services operate and how governments will seek to regain equilibrium in their finances are very hard to predict.

As you will read in their report which follows below, your investment managers’ fundamental strategy has not changed. As active managers they are excited about the opportunities the economic recovery will bring, but also measured and cautious regarding the near term given the uncertainty that remains. They continue to seek out companies that can generate cash flow from strong business models and have favourable industry characteristics or scope for management driven self-help. The focus remains on bottom-up stock selection, assembling a portfolio of individual companies which, taken as a whole, should prove capable of delivering attractive returns and supporting dividend growth into the future.

Your Board remains fully supportive of this approach. Moreover, I am confident that in BlackRock we have a Manager of deep capabilities for our portfolio managers to draw upon as they seek to position the portfolio to deliver on the Company’s investment objective over the longer term.

GRAEME PROUDFOOT
Chairman
23 June 2021

INVESTMENT MANAGER’S REPORT

PERFORMANCE
For the six months since 31 October 2020, the Company’s NAV returned 27.1%, underperforming its benchmark, the FTSE All-Share Index, which returned 28.5% over the same period.

INVESTMENT APPROACH
In assembling the Company’s portfolio, we adopt a concentrated investment approach to ensure that our best ideas contribute significantly to returns. We believe that it is the role of the portfolio overall to generate an attractive and growing yield alongside capital growth rather than every individual company within the portfolio. This gives the Company increased flexibility to invest where returns are most attractive. This approach results in a portfolio which differs substantially from the index and in any individual year the returns will vary, sometimes significantly from those of the index. Over longer periods our objective is to achieve returns greater than the index, but with lower volatility. The foundation of the portfolio, approximately 70%, is in high free cash flow companies that can sustain cash generation and pay a growing dividend whilst aiming to deliver a double-digit total return. Additionally, we look to identify and invest 20% of the portfolio in ‘growth’ companies that have significant barriers to entry and scalable business models that enable them to grow consistently. We also look for turnaround companies, at around 10% of portfolio value, which represent those companies that are out of favour with the market, facing temporary challenges with high yields or very low valuations, but with attractive recovery potential.

MARKET REVIEW
The end to 2020 was marked by the turbulence that characterised an extraordinary year. Politics were, as expected, a significant factor as Joe Biden won the US Presidential Election after a sustained period of inconclusion and Brexit negotiations provided a degree of uncertainty, however, the progress of the pandemic and its ramifications were the major source of market movements. Investors were both buoyed by the strong clinical data from a number of vaccines and alarmed by the impact of repeat waves of the virus and its mutation. The announcement on 9 November 2020 of the data from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine showing greater than 90% efficacy generated remarkable and rapid market moves; equity markets soared, momentum reversed at a rate never previously seen and the value factor rallied strongly.

December finally delivered positive progress on Brexit, with an agreement on trade terms for goods. Small and mid-cap indices outperformed the FTSE 100 in the fourth quarter as their domestic bias benefited from the progress in Brexit negotiations. Positive news on Brexit was offset by an alarming increase in the incidence of the COVID-19 virus as several new variants proved particularly contagious. This triggered a renewed lockdown in the UK, initially eased at the start of March with reopening of schools, and further eased in April with the reopening of non-essential retail.

Global stock markets made a strong start to 2021 as vaccination programmes and stimulus-boosted optimism around the recovery trumped concerns around virus variants. Rising bond yields undermined longer-duration sectors and a rebound in cyclical earnings continued to drive a rally in value-related names. Reflation risks were placed under the spotlight as commodity prices appreciated. Risk on sentiment swelled towards the end of the period, further bolstered by a robust corporate earnings season, strong global economic data releases and increasing COVID-19 inoculation.

While the UK and US made a strong start to virus inoculation and continued strong vaccine deployment throughout the period, Europe’s vaccine rollout had a slower start, however, but later significantly improved. At the end of the period, concerning virus news came from India where the country grappled with soaring COVID-19 cases and shortages of medical resources.

The FTSE All-Share benchmark rose 28.5% over the six months to 30 April 2021 with Basic Materials, Oil & Gas and Telecommunications as top outperformers.

CONTRIBUTORS AND DETRACTORS TO PERFORMANCE
As the market rotation at the end of 2020 continued into 2021, the six-month period to 30 April saw a shift into more cyclical sectors and stocks as confidence grew around vaccine progress and increased stimulus. Sectors including Housebuilders, Industrials, and Travel & Leisure were beneficiaries of this shift and more defensive sectors including Consumer Staples and Health Care lagged.

Housebuilder, Taylor Wimpey, was the top contributor to the portfolio during the period. Halifax has reported average house prices are +8.2% year-on-year in April. High demand levels, driven by a reassessment of space requirements post lockdown and ongoing support from the stamp duty holiday are combining with a tight supply environment. Grafton was another top contributor as strong performance continued and the company lifted profit guidance. Another Industrial, Electrocomponents, performed well as recovery in the company’s end markets and ongoing market share gains powered accelerated growth. After facing unprecedented challenges on the back of global lockdowns in early 2020, the Travel & Leisure sector rallied strongly after the announcement of effective COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, companies including hotel group, Whitbread and airport and train station caterer, SSP, fared well during the period after having been previously severely impacted by COVID-19.

As a quality business with a defensive earning stream, Reckitt Benckiser underperformed and was the top detractor from the portfolio during the period; the market favoured more cyclical companies despite Reckitt Benckiser delivering strong results at the end of the period. Other defensive names such as Rentokil InitialRightmove and AstraZeneca also detracted from the portfolio as shares lagged. One key stock-specific disappointment during the period was insurer, Hiscox, which issued a poor trading statement that highlighted further investments needed within its retail business. Our underweight positioning to the Basic Materials sector and lack of holding in Glencore and Anglo American also detracted from performance given the strength in the sector during the period.

TRANSACTIONS
As the Company moved through the early part of the crisis in March and April last year, the significant dislocation in the market provided opportunities to buy new positions. Notably, the Company had its busiest four weeks on record adding a total of eight new positions following substantial falls in share prices. With the confirmation of effective vaccines in November and continued fiscal and monetary support, our optimism around a recovery grew and we began tilting the portfolio more cyclically. We purchased HaysIntegraFinSmiths Group and sold National GridUnited Utilities, and Vodafone.

Investment platform, IntegraFin, is a high-quality play on pensions freedoms and people taking a more active approach to savings. IntegraFin provides infrastructure for Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) which we view as a unique offering compared to other platforms. We purchased recruiting firm Hays as we feel it is well placed to benefit from reopening and increased employee mobility. Smiths Group is a diversified engineering business consisting of a collection of four predominantly industrial focused divisions and a medical devices division. The sale or demerger of the medical devices division this year will leave the rest of the group trading at an attractive valuation and at a significant discount to industrial peers despite its collection of high-quality businesses where activity is improving in the end markets.

We now have the ability to invest up to 20% of the Company in overseas holdings, and we believe that investing overseas enhances the potential capital return and income generation of the portfolio. Investing overseas broadens our universe of income generators and provides access to themes or industries not available in the UK market, for example digital payments through exposure to Mastercard. During the period we increased our overseas exposure to 10.8% (as at 30 April 2021); we participated in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Hemnet which is the leading residential property portal in Sweden and is well-placed to grow through developing its product suite. We also purchased AXA; a leading composite insurer in Europe where the investment case is a function of an improving backdrop for insurance rates, an attractive absolute and relative valuation (including a 6% dividend yield), and operational improvement as legacy issues are addressed.

We sold our holding in Vodafone after recent news flow around their towers business underwhelmed and given the competition for capital elsewhere in the portfolio. We also sold National Grid and United Utilities as we tilted the portfolio more cyclically and we exited Fevertree following its strong performance. We also sold our position in Rightmove as we see better opportunities elsewhere.

During the period, we sought out idiosyncratic opportunities including participating in the IPO of Moonpig Group, which is a beneficiary of the shift to online retail. The company has built an enviable position in the UK greeting card market; it has delivered exceptional growth in the pandemic which will normalise in coming months but growth should resume in 2022, driven by increased frequency of purchase at higher values following the development of the gifting range.

We remain constructive on economic growth and the tailwind to cyclical areas of the stock market while remaining cognisant of more defensive companies’ attractive free cash flow generation.

OUTLOOK
Despite the continuation of COVID-19 lockdowns globally, economic activity has been less impacted as consumers and corporates have adapted their behaviours since the development of effective vaccines. Looking ahead, the focus is firmly on the cyclical recovery buoyed by ongoing monetary and fiscal support overwhelming concerns around virus variants.

As economic activity rebounds this has caused some strains on supply chains with specific industry shortages as well as building inflationary pressures including significant increases in commodity prices versus twelve months ago. The prospect of higher inflation has driven bond yields higher with central bankers appearing to indicate willingness, for now, to refrain from any material rise in interest rates. We are also cognisant of the evolution of relationships between China and the West and the potential impact on industries and shares.

Turning to the UK specifically, the recently published Bank of England report showed continued momentum in UK Gross Domestic Product with expected growth the fastest in post-war records as the UK recovers from an extremely weak COVID-19 impacted 2020. This is against a backdrop of UK valuations that have been extreme, trading at multi-decade lows versus other international markets with a recent flurry of merger and acquisition deals highlighting the dispersion and value on offer in the FTSE. We continue to believe that this dispersion should narrow given the increased certainty and reduced risk regarding Brexit in addition to the UK’s strong vaccination effort.

We view the dividend outlook for the UK market with renewed optimism as we expect dividends, in aggregate, to be more resilient and to grow faster in the future as those companies that had been overdistributing for a number of years reset their dividends during the pandemic. Resilience was a crucial feature of the Company and its underlying holdings in 2020 and while this will still be important in 2021, we are excited by the approaching economic recovery and the opportunity to deliver strong capital and dividend growth for our clients over the long-term.

ADAM AVIGDORI AND DAVID GOLDMAN
BLACKROCK INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED
23 June 2021

TEN LARGEST INVESTMENTS

1 = AstraZeneca (2020: 1st)
Sector: Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
Market value: £2,927,000
Percentage of portfolio: 6.1% (2020: 7.1%)

AstraZeneca is a multinational pharmaceutical group with its headquarters in the UK. It is a science-led biopharmaceutical business with a portfolio of products for major disease areas including cancer, cardiovascular infection, neuroscience and respiratory.

2 + Rio Tinto (2020: 6th)
Sector: Mining
Market value: £2,540,000
Percentage of portfolio: 5.3% (2020: 3.9%)

Rio Tinto is a metals and mining group operating in about 36 countries around the world, producing iron ore, copper, diamonds, gold and uranium.

3 = Reckitt Benckiser (2020: 3rd)
Sector: Household Goods & Home Construction
Market value: £2,194,000
Percentage of portfolio: 4.6% (2020: 5.0%)

Reckitt Benckiser is a global leader in consumer health, hygiene and home products. Its products are sold in 200 countries and its 19 most profitable brands are responsible for 70% of net revenues.

4 – Unilever (2020: 2nd)
Sector: Food Producers
Market value: £1,963,000
Percentage of portfolio: 4.1% (2020: 5.8%)

Unilever is a global supplier of food, home and personal care products with more than 400 brands focused on health and well-being.

5 – RELX (2020: 4th)
Sector: Media
Market value: £1,899,000
Percentage of portfolio: 4.0% (2020: 5.0%)

RELX is a global provider of professional information solutions that includes publication of scientific, medical, technical and legal journals. It also has the world’s leading exhibitions, conference and events business.

6 – British American Tobacco (2020: 5th)
Sector: Tobacco
Market value: £1,773,000
Percentage of portfolio: 3.7% (2020: 4.6%)

British American Tobacco is one of the world’s leading tobacco groups, with more than 200 brands in the portfolio selling in approximately 180 markets worldwide.

7 + Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ (2020: 9th)
Sector: Oil & Gas Producers
Market value: £1,710,000
Percentage of portfolio: 3.6% (2020: 2.9%)

Royal Dutch Shell is a global oil and gas group. The group operates in both Upstream and Downstream divisions. The Upstream division is engaged in searching for and recovering crude oil and natural gas, the liquefaction and transportation of gas. The Downstream division is engaged in manufacturing, distribution and marketing activities for oil products and chemicals.

8 + Smith & Nephew (2020: 12th)
Sector: Health Care Equipment & Services
Market value: £1,607,000
Percentage of portfolio: 3.4% (2020: 2.8%)

Smith & Nephew is a multinational medical equipment manufacturing group. It produces advanced wound management products, arthroscopy products, trauma and clinical therapy products and orthopaedic reconstruction products, selling its products into over 120 countries.

9 + Standard Chartered (2020: 14th)
Sector: Banks
Market value: £1,412,000
Percentage of portfolio: 3.0% (2020: 2.5%)

Standard Chartered is a multinational banking and financial services group headquartered in London. It operates a network of more than 1,200 branches and outlets across more than 70 countries; working across some of the world’s most dynamic markets including Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

10 + Ferguson (2020: 15th)
Sector: Support Services
Market value: £1,316,000
Percentage of portfolio: 2.8% (2020: 2.4%)

Formerly called Wolseley, Ferguson has scale as the largest plumbing and heating distributor in the world with market leading procurement, technology and supply chains. The group also has a strong investment grade balance sheet which allows for good financing terms.

All percentages reflect the value of the holding as a percentage of total investments as at 30 April 2021.

Together, the ten largest investments represent 40.6% of total investments (ten largest investments as at 31 October 2020: 43.4%).

DISTRIBUTION OF INVESTMENTS AS AT 30 APRIL 2021

Analysis of portfolio by sector

% of investments by market value
Benchmark
1Financial Services11.04.5
2Support Services10.74.5
3Household Goods & Home Construction8.11.8
4Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology8.07.7
5Mining7.40.4
6Oil & Gas Producers6.17.2
7Banks5.17.8
8Life Insurance4.63.3
9Travel & Leisure4.53.9
10Food Producers4.10.7
11Media4.02.9
12General Retailers3.83.5
13Tobacco3.73.2
14Health Care Equipment & Services3.40.9
15Non-Life Insurance2.81.0
16General Industrials2.42.0
17Industrial Engineering2.20.7
18Food & Drug Retailers1.97.9
19Personal Goods1.70.5
20Electronic & Electrical Equipment1.61.1
21Electricity1.00.7
22Technology Hardware & Equipment0.90.1
23Real Estate Investment Trusts0.72.5
24Real Estate Investment & Services0.30.6

Sources: BlackRock and Datastream.

Investment size

Number of
investments
% of investments
by market value
< £1m3239.9
£1m to £2m1544.1
£2m to £3m316.0

Source: BlackRock.

INVESTMENTS AS AT 30 APRIL 2021


 
Market value 
£’000 
% of 
investments 
Financial Services
3i Group1,288 2.7 
John Laing Group1,130 2.4 
Premier Asset Management Group876 1.8 
Mastercard1828 1.8 
Intermediate Capital Group620 1.3 
IntegraFin486 1.0 
—————– —————– 
5,228 11.0 
========== ========== 
Support Services
Ferguson1,316 2.8 
Electrocomponents1,264 2.6 
Grafton999 2.1 
Hays864 1.8 
Rentokil Initial656 1.4 
—————– —————– 
5,099 10.7 
========== ========== 
Household Goods & Home Construction
Reckitt Benckiser2,194 4.6 
Taylor Wimpey1,073 2.2 
Berkeley Group607 1.3 
—————– —————– 
3,874 8.1 
========== ========== 
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
AstraZeneca2,927 6.1 
Sanofi1918 1.9 
—————– —————– 
3,845 8.0 
========== ========== 
Mining
Rio Tinto2,540 5.3 
BHP996 2.1 
—————– —————– 
3,536 7.4 
========== ========== 
Oil & Gas Producers
Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’1,710 3.6 
BP Group1,176 2.5 
—————– —————– 
2,886 6.1 
========== ========== 
Banks
Standard Chartered1,412 3.0 
Lloyds Banking Group1,010 2.1 
—————– —————– 
2,422 5.1 
========== ========== 
Life Insurance
Phoenix Group1,244 2.6 
Legal & General Group952 2.0 
—————– —————– 
2,196 4.6 
========== ========== 
Travel & Leisure
Whitbread889 1.9 
Fuller Smith & Turner – A Shares580 1.2 
Restaurant Group373 0.8 
SSP289 0.6 
Patisserie Holdings2– – 
—————– —————– 
2,131 4.5 
========== ========== 
Food Producers
Unilever1,963 4.1 
—————– —————– 
1,963 4.1 
========== ========== 
Media
RELX1,899 4.0 
—————– —————– 
1,899 4.0 
========== ========== 
General Retailers
Moonpig Group751 1.6 
Next657 1.4 
WH Smith378 0.8 
—————– —————– 
1,786 3.8 
========== ========== 
Tobacco
British American Tobacco1,773 3.7 
—————– —————– 
1,773 3.7 
========== ========== 
Health Care Equipment & Services
Smith & Nephew1,607 3.4 
—————– —————– 
1,607 3.4 
========== ========== 
Non-Life Insurance
Hiscox500 1.1 
AXA1470 1.0 
Direct Line Group339 0.7 
—————– —————– 
1,309 2.8 
========== ========== 
General Industrials
Smiths Group1,120 2.4 
—————– —————– 
1,120 2.4 
========== ========== 
Industrial Engineering
Bodycote674 1.4 
Chart Industries1394 0.8 
—————– —————– 
1,068 2.2 
========== ========== 
Food & Drug Retailers
Tesco908 1.9 
—————– —————– 
908 1.9 
========== ========== 
Personal Goods
Burberry Group433 0.9 
THG Holdings404 0.8 
—————– —————– 
837 1.7 
========== ========== 
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
Oxford Instruments756 1.6 
—————– —————– 
756 1.6 
========== ========== 
Electricity
Enel1492 1.0 
—————– —————– 
492 1.0 
========== ========== 
Technology Hardware & Equipment
Maxim Integrated1427 0.9 
—————– —————– 
427 0.9 
========== ========== 
Real Estate Investment Trusts
Big Yellow Group317 0.7 
—————– —————– 
317 0.7 
========== ========== 
Real Estate Investment & Services
Hemnet Group1119 0.3 
—————– —————– 
119 0.3 
========== ========== 
Total investments47,598 100.0 
========== ========== 

1    Non-UK listed investments.

2    Company under liquidation.

All investments are in ordinary shares unless otherwise stated. The total number of investments held at 30 April 2021 was 50 (31 October 2020: 48).

As at 30 April 2021, the Company did not hold any equity interests comprising more than 3% of any company’s share capital.

INTERIM MANAGEMENT REPORT AND RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT

The Chairman’s Statement and the Investment Manager’s Report above give details of the important events which have occurred during the period and their impact on the financial statements.

PRINCIPAL RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES
The principal risks faced by the Company can be divided into various areas as follows:

·              Investment performance;
·              Income/dividend;
·              Gearing;
·              Legal & regulatory compliance;
·              Operational;
·              Market; and
·              Financial.

The Board reported on the principal risks and uncertainties faced by the Company in the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 October 2020. A detailed explanation can be found in the Strategic Report on pages 36 to 39 and in note 16 on pages 91 to 97 of the Annual Report and Financial Statements which are available on the website maintained by BlackRock at: www.blackrock.com/uk/brig.

An outbreak of an infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has developed into a global pandemic. This coronavirus has resulted in travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in health care service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines, cancellations, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer demand, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The impact of COVID-19 has adversely affected the economies of many nations across the entire global economy, individual issuers and capital markets, and could continue with extents that cannot necessarily be foreseen.

In addition, the impact of infectious illnesses in emerging market countries may be greater due to generally less established health care systems. Public health crises caused by the COVID-19 outbreak may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally. The duration of the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects cannot be determined with certainty.

No investment objective is expected to be altered as a result of this event, and the Investment Manager and Directors will continue to monitor the performance of the Company on an ongoing basis.

In the view of the Board, other than those matters noted above, there have not been any material changes to the fundamental nature of these risks since the previous report and these principal risks and uncertainties, as summarised, are as applicable to the remaining six months of the financial year as they were to the six months under review.

GOING CONCERN
The Directors, having considered the nature and liquidity of the portfolio, the Company’s investment objective and the Company’s projected income and expenditure, are satisfied that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future and is financially sound. For this reason, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. The Company has a portfolio of investments which are considered to be readily realisable and is able to meet all of its liabilities from its assets and income generated from these assets. Ongoing charges (calculated as a percentage of average daily net assets and using the management fee and all other operating expenses, excluding finance costs, direct transaction costs, custody transaction charges, VAT recovered, taxation and certain non-recurring items) for the year ended 31 October 2020 were approximately 1.19%.

RELATED PARTY DISCLOSURE AND TRANSACTIONS WITH THE MANAGER
BlackRock Fund Managers Limited (BFM) was appointed as the Company’s Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) with effect from 2 July 2014. BFM has, with the Company’s consent, delegated certain portfolio and risk management services, and other ancillary services, to BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited (BIM (UK)). Both BFM and BIM (UK) are regarded as related parties under the Listing Rules. Details of the management fee payable are set out in note 3 and note 11 below. The related party transactions with the Directors are set out in note 10 below.

DIRECTORS’ RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT
The Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the UK Listing Authority require the Directors to confirm their responsibilities in relation to the preparation and publication of the Interim Management Report and Financial Statements.

The Directors confirm to the best of their knowledge that:

·        the condensed set of financial statements contained within the Half Yearly Financial Report has been prepared in accordance with the applicable UK Accounting Standard FRS 104 ‘Interim Financial Reporting’; and

·        the Interim Management Report, together with the Chairman’s Statement and Investment Manager’s Report, include a fair review of the information required by 4.2.7R and 4.2.8R of the FCA’s Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules.

The Half Yearly Financial Report has not been audited or reviewed by the Company’s Auditors.

The Half Yearly Financial Report was approved by the Board on 23 June 2021 and the above responsibility statement was signed on its behalf by the Chairman.

GRAEME PROUDFOOT
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
23 June 2021

For more information on the BlackRock Income and Growth Investment Trust and how to access the opportunities presented by the income and growth sector, please visit: www.blackrock.com/uk/brig

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