BlackRock Throgmorton Trust half-year NAV rose by 31.0%, outperforming the benchmark index by 3.3%

BlackRock

BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc (LON:THRG) has announced its half yearly financial report 31 May 2021.

To learn more about the BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc please follow this link: blackrock.com/uk/thrg

Performance record


 
31 May 2021 
(unaudited) 
30 November 2020 
(audited) 
Net assets (£’000)1826,371 596,215 
Net asset value per ordinary share883.45p 681.24p 
Ordinary share price (mid-market)891.00p 682.00p 
Benchmark Index219,451.94 15,232.31 
Premium to cum income net asset value30.9% 0.1% 
Average premium to cum income net asset value for the period/year31.2% 0.2% 
————— ————— 
Performance
Net asset value per share (with dividends reinvested)3+31.0% +9.1% 
Benchmark Index (with dividends reinvested)2+27.7% +3.8% 
Ordinary share price (with dividends reinvested)3+31.9% +8.2% 
======== ======== 



 
For the six 
months ended 
31 May 2021 
(unaudited) 
For the six 
months ended 
31 May 2020 
(unaudited) 


Change 
Revenue
Net profit after taxation (£’000)4,749 1,724 +175.5 
Revenue earnings per ordinary share5.24p 2.16p +142.6 
Dividends per ordinary share
Interim2.50p 2.50p – 
======== ======== ======== 

Sources: BlackRock and Datastream.

1     The change in net assets reflects market movements, dividends paid and share issues during the period.
     The Company’s Benchmark Index is the Numis Smaller Companies plus AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index.
     Alternative Performance Measures, see Glossary contained within the Half Yearly Financial Report.

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

Dear Shareholder

PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS

·        NAV rose by 31.0%, outperforming the benchmark index by 3.3%
·       
 Share price rose by 31.9%, outperforming the benchmark index by 4.2%
·        6,020,108 new shares issued, raising £48.2m
·       
 Interim dividend declared of 2.50p per share (2020: 2.50p)

OVERVIEW
As was the case this time last year, it has been another remarkable and challenging first half to the financial year, dominated by the continuing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of writing, there have been several new variants of the COVID-19 virus identified in the UK and this has contributed to uncertainty around the speed and extent of the reopening of our economy. However, on 19 July 2021 the UK Government implemented the final stage of its roadmap to reopening, removing the vast majority of the lockdown restrictions in place. This action has been well received by markets in anticipation of increased economic activity and productivity.

We have seen a surge in inflation, as prices of fuel, energy and commodities have all risen. This spike is believed to be largely due to a combination of supply chain bottlenecks, resulting from operational disruption caused by the effects of the lockdown, and the speed at which economic activity is restarted, and is currently considered to be temporary. Nonetheless, there are signs that certain supply chains may have been temporarily or even permanently altered as a result of COVID-19.

As COVID-19 restrictions have eased, we have seen increasing activity across many sectors and industries. The latest data on economic activity, productivity and employment is promising and consumer confidence is returning, demonstrated by a spike in retail spending which has risen sharply in recent months and which has provided a much-needed boost to the UK economy. Fiscal and monetary policy remain supportive and the Bank of England has forecast that growth will exceed 7% in 2021. This would represent the strongest expansion in over 70 years. It is based on lockdown restrictions being permanently removed. Nonetheless, as we move into a more stable environment and our successful vaccination programme takes effect, the near term outlook is bright.

Against this backdrop your portfolio manager remains optimistic and believes our portfolio is well positioned to benefit from the many opportunities available as the economy returns to growth. It is also clear that our portfolio manager’s longstanding focus on financially strong companies, with innovative and disruptive business models, has served the Company well during this period and will hopefully stand the portfolio in good stead in the second half of the year and beyond.

PERFORMANCE RECORD TO 31 MAY 2021 (WITH DIVIDENDS REINVESTED)




1 Year change %



3 Year change %



5 Year change %
% change since BlackRock was appointed
on 1 July 2008
NAV per share62.454.9143.9645.4
Share price63.173.9193.1748.8
Benchmark55.627.264.9220.5

PERFORMANCE
Over the six months to 31 May 2021, the Company’s Net Asset Value (NAV) return was +31.0% compared to a return of +27.7% from the Company’s benchmark index, an outperformance of 3.3%. The Company’s share price rose by 31.9%, an outperformance of 4.2% ending the period on a premium to NAV of 0.9% (30 November 2020: a premium of 0.1%). Since the period end and up to the close of business on 21 July 2021, the Company’s NAV has risen by 3.6%, and the benchmark index has fallen by 2.8% (all figures in sterling terms with dividends reinvested).

Further information on portfolio activity, the factors that contributed to performance during the period and the outlook for the second half of the financial year are set out in the Investment Manager’s Report below.

REVENUE RETURN AND DIVIDENDS
The revenue return per share for the period amounted to 5.24 pence per share, compared to 2.16 pence per share earned during the same six-month period last year. This represents an increase of 142.6% and results from increases in both the ordinary and special dividends received during the period, predominantly as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the comparative period many companies suspended their dividend payments due to the uncertain outlook and this marks the resumption of normal dividend receipts.

The Board recognises that, although the Company’s objective is capital growth, shareholders value consistency of dividends paid by the Company; an interim dividend of 2.50p per share (2020: 2.50p per share) payable on 27 August 2021 to shareholders on the register on 6 August 2021 (the ex-dividend date is 5 August 2021) has therefore been declared.

Consistent with this approach, the Board will continue to consider the use of brought forward distributable reserves to support the full year dividend if deemed appropriate to do so at the time.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
As I mentioned in the Company’s Annual Report, the Board hopes to continue to grow your Company which may result in membership of the FTSE 250, which would bring with it some additional governance requirements. Having considered the provisions and application of the UK Code, in February 2021 the Board resolved to appoint an existing Director, Louise Nash, as the Company’s Senior Independent Director and also established a new Remuneration Committee which is chaired by Angela Lane. The Remuneration Committee will make its first report to shareholders on its activities in this year’s Annual Report.

As part of the Board’s succession plans, we also welcomed two new Directors to the Board during the period; Nigel Burton and Merryn Somerset Webb who were appointed on 21 December 2020 and 24 March 2021 respectively.

ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE (ESG)
The Board recognises that ESG issues can present both opportunities and risks to long term investment performance. An assessment of these issues forms an important part of the decision making process of the Investment Manager, which determines whether the Company will invest in, or divest of, the securities of a company. These considerations also guide BlackRock, the Investment Manager, in its reviews of portfolio companies and its assessment of the issues on which to engage with investee companies, how this is best done and whether or not to support proposals put to shareholders.

BlackRock therefore incorporates material ESG information and consideration of sustainability risks into investment decisions in order to seek to enhance risk-adjusted returns. ESG insights and data, including sustainability risks, are considered as part of the investment process, including company research and portfolio construction. These ESG insights are not the sole consideration when making investment decisions; ESG integration does not change the Company’s investment objective and the extent to which ESG insights are considered during investment decision making will also be determined by other factors including, for example, the portfolio company’s sector and operations.

OPERATIONAL RESILIENCE
As I reported in last year’s Annual Report, throughout the COVID-19 outbreak the Board has been working closely with your 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 there has been no adverse impact on the Company’s operations which have continued to be unaffected.

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 normality, meeting in person, in the near future.

SHARE PRICE PREMIUM/DISCOUNT
During the six months to 31 May 2021, the Company’s share price premium/discount to NAV ranged between a discount of 1.5% and a premium of 2.8%, ending the period at a premium of 0.9%. As at 21 July 2021 the Company’s shares were trading at a premium of 1.4%. The Company is once again one of very few investment companies in the UK smaller companies’ sector that has been trading at a premium to NAV during the majority of the period.

The Board believes that the best way of addressing any discount over the longer-term is to continue to generate good performance and to create demand for the Company’s shares in the secondary market through broadening awareness of the Company’s unique structure and other attractions.

The Board also believes that it is in shareholders’ interests that the share price does not trade at an excessive premium or discount to NAV. Therefore, where deemed to be in shareholders’ long-term interests, it may exercise its powers to issue shares or buy back shares with the objective of ensuring that an excessive premium or discount does not arise. As a result, the Board will seek to renew the authority from shareholders to buy back shares when it believes that it is in the interests of shareholders to do so.

During the period the Company issued a total of 6,020,108 new Ordinary shares for a total consideration of £48,189,000. Since 31 May 2021 and up to the latest practicable date of 21 July 2021, a further 2,122,504 shares have been issued for a total consideration of £19,606,961. All share issuance is conducted at a sufficient premium to the prevailing NAV such that it is accretive to NAV. The issue of new shares, where demand cannot be met in the market, is beneficial to existing shareholders as it often aids liquidity in the Company’s shares and may help to avoid any excessive premium to NAV at which the existing shares trade arising. It also broadens the shareholder base over which the fixed operational costs of the Company are shared.

OUTLOOK
COVID-19 has clearly damaged the global economy in the short term and disrupted our way of life. There is little doubt that its impact will have far reaching consequences for many years to come and will change how companies operate and how people interact. In response to the pandemic, governments have deployed fiscal stimulus measures and monetary easing the like of which has not been seen in modern times.

More recently, central banks in the US, Europe and the UK have indicated that they will continue with this supportive policy, in the near term at least, and appear willing to allow the global economy and inflation to run a little hotter as the world recovers from COVID-19. This should provide a helpful economic backdrop for our portfolio manager and one within which the high-quality growth companies in our portfolio can continue to prosper.

The pandemic has accelerated changes in industries to which we were already exposed. We expect that the financially strong businesses in which we invest will thrive and take greater market share as weaker competitors fall. Overall, our portfolio manager, Dan Whitestone, believes the outlook for the UK market looks very favourable and that our portfolio of fast growing, innovative and differentiated companies are well placed to prosper as the economy returns to growth.

SHAREHOLDER COMMUNICATION
We appreciate how important access to regular information is to our shareholders. To supplement our Company website, we now offer shareholders the ability to sign up to the Trust Matters newsletter which includes information on the Company as well as news, views and insights. Further information on how to sign up is set out at the foot of this announcement.

CHRISTOPHER SAMUEL
Chairman
23 July 2021

INVESTMENT MANAGER’S REPORT

MARKET REVIEW AND OVERALL INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE
The first six months of the Company’s financial year have been characterised by the ongoing recovery in the UK stock market, as vaccination programmes and stimulus-boosted optimism around the recovery trumped concerns around virus variants. The steepening yield curve amidst much discussion of the recent pick-up in inflation drove some extreme style rotations, notably away from “growth” shares and into “value” areas of the market.

On Brexit, there were swings in trade negotiations during December, but finally an agreement was reached at the very end of the month. Having been out of favour since the referendum, clarity over Brexit removed the huge cloud that had been hanging over the UK market for the last four years, eliminating the Brexit ‘no-deal’ risk premium. As a result, interest in the UK equity market has risen, both in terms of institutional and retail demand, but also corporate interest with many M&A transactions occurring over the period. Small and mid-cap shares have performed strongly through the period.

PERFORMANCE REVIEW
The outperformance of the value factor has naturally created a headwind to our growth focused investment style but despite this backdrop the Company has delivered a positive result during the first half of our financial year, returning 31.0% and outperforming the benchmark by 3.3%. This we believe is very creditable performance and an indicator of just how much opportunity we are seeing even in an environment where the UK equity market is less favourable to differentiated growth companies. Underlying trading across the companies in our long book has for the most part been very strong. Many of our holdings have delivered very positive updates, a continuation of the trends that drove performance last year, beating estimates and raising guidance on both revenues and profits. This has reaffirmed our faith in the differentiation of these business models, and their ability to continue delivering on their strategies. Once again, our focus on the micro has triumphed over the macro challenges of the current environment and gives us confidence in the outlook for Company returns going forward.

Unsurprisingly the strong outperformance of the Company versus our benchmark during the first half of the year has been driven by the long book. This reflects firstly, the strong delivery across a number of our long positions and secondly, the fact that we have been operating with a lower than usual short exposure. This demonstrates our optimism in stock markets, the outlook for UK plc more broadly and the structural and industrial trends to which the Company is exposed.

During the year to date, it has been pleasing to see that the largest contributors to performance have come from a broad range of companies across different industries with the common feature being continuous delivery (and upgrades) against their clear business strategies, which, in most cases, are benefiting from strong secular growth drivers. The largest positive contributor during the period was the sustainable-focused fund manager, Impax Asset Management. The business has continued to show impressive growth in assets under management for a sustained period and this growth looks well set to continue given the strength of their franchise, market-leading investment performance and the structural growth/interest in sustainability which underpins the company’s investment philosophy.

Watches of Switzerland (WOSG) once again contributed positively to performance. This is a retailer that has provided multiple strong updates with upgrades to forward guidance as its multi-channel approach has enabled the business to meet customer demand through successfully transitioning sales to online, while also benefiting as retail stores reopen post COVID-19 closures. The outlook for the group remains strong with demand for luxury watches far outweighing supply and the company’s long-standing relationships with key brands such as Rolex provides WOSG with exclusive supply which is a key differentiating feature for any retailer. Treatt, the manufacturer of flavour and fragrance ingredients rose after delivering profits ahead of expectations. Positive organic revenue growth and an improving product mix has resulted in progress on margins and with this current momentum the group upgraded full year guidance.

One key feature in the UK market in recent months has been an increase in takeover activity, notably from private equity and overseas bidders. Strategic buyers have been willing to look through the period of current uncertainty and focus on what is perceived as the undervaluation of UK equities versus their global peers, particularly in smaller companies. One of our holdings which benefited from this dynamic was IMIMobile, a leading player in communications software, which soared after the company agreed to a takeover approach from US-listed IT giant Cisco Systems. We were very excited by the long-term secular growth prospects for this company so we were sorry to see it go, but we understand the strategic rationale. Similarly, industrial tape manufacturer Scapa added to performance after the company was acquired by US materials group Schweitzer-Mauduit International Inc.

Another feature of the period has been the increase in IPO activity in the UK market since the beginning of 2021. This has presented us with the opportunity to invest in several exciting new businesses which have contributed positively to performance. One example is Auction Technology Group, a market leader in digital auction marketplaces, which made a positive start to life as a public company and rose further after delivering very strong results in May. The shares have now doubled since we purchased at IPO earlier this year and the outlook for the business remains attractive for the foreseeable future.

On the negative side it was reassuring to see that detractors to performance were primarily driven by the market rotation away from growth and the outperformance of value, rather than disappointments at the stock level. A common theme across the detractors was that they were shares that performed very well during 2020, for example MasimoTeam 17 and Trade Desk. We think they have only suffered in the very short term for no other reason than they have been such great performers so have succumbed to some profit taking. The fundamentals for all three remain very strong and we retain high conviction in the positions. Chegg, another of our US positions, reported a strong update, in our opinion, but fell back after some great share price performance in the last year. In our mind, the company is so much more than a “COVID-19 trade”. It delivered growth that exceeded analyst forecasts for several years pre-dating COVID-19 due to the strength of its offering and the huge underlying changes occurring in the education market. While Chegg clearly saw an acceleration of these trends during COVID-19 we believe it has the potential for many more years of growth.

One stock specific detractor to highlight was Avon Rubber. The shares fell on the disappointing news that some US Army body armour contracts would not be signed as quickly as anticipated and as a result revenue would be delayed. While this is disappointing, we continue to believe in the long-term attractions of the business and the steps taken to increase its focus on the protection business.

ACTIVITY
Since the end of the financial year in November 2020 we have modestly added to our total number of holdings which is now 139. The number of short positions remains low at 8 and we have 131 long holdings. Consequently, the net gearing of the Company remains towards the upper end of our range at 120.3%, with the gross at 123.3%. This positioning reflects the opportunity that we believe is ahead for many differentiated emerging companies given the high level of industrial change that we are witnessing across our investable universe.

A number of companies have listed on the UK market during the first half of the year. This has presented some really interesting opportunities for the Company to take part in. We have taken a selective approach to these companies as they have not all been of the quality we seek but two purchases in Moonpig and Auction Technology Group (ATG) are worth highlighting. Moonpig is the UK’s leading online greetings card retailer. During the pandemic they substantially strengthened their market position as more people shopped online for gift cards. Their very attractive unit economics mean customers are highly profitable once acquired. Since listing, they have released a positive trading update showing all the main drivers of customer lifetime value moving in the right direction. ATG provides auction houses with a scalable technology platform to take their auctions online. This is another industry that has seen digitalisation accelerate during the COVID-19 pandemic and where we believe the shift will be permanent and therefore there is a sizeable opportunity for ATG to capitalise on this trend.

We also used volatility caused by the rotation away from growth companies that had been deemed “COVID-19 winners” to add selectively to high conviction ideas at attractive valuations. In March, for example, we significantly added to our position in Gamma Communications, a leading cloud communications provider in both the UK and Europe, as the shares fell to their cheapest valuation in several years, despite a materially better outlook and positive accelerating structural changes in the markets they operate in. This proved to be an opportune time to add to our holding as shortly thereafter the shares rose to new highs on the back of another upgrade to forecasts accompanying their strong trading update.

PORTFOLIO POSITIONING
As a reminder, portfolio positioning is driven by stock and industry specific analysis and our focus on two types of company. First are what we define as quality differentials, essentially differentiated long-term growth investments. These we characterise as companies that have strong management teams, with a strong market position, a unique and compelling product offering and an attractive route to market, often benefiting from structural growth, and that are well-financed with clean accounting. The second type of company are those that are leading industry change, the ‘disruptors’ and alternatively on the short side it is the victims of industry change, the ‘disrupted’. Given the conviction in our holdings and the long-term secular trends that the Company is exposed to, portfolio positioning does not change materially from period to period.

Digital Transformation is one secular area of spend where growth rates have meaningfully accelerated during COVID-19 as corporates continue to invest in their digital capabilities to drive demand and win market share, adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and remove costs and complexity from their operations. It remains a key focus for every board globally. We have deliberately sought exposure to these trends in recent years and have increased our exposure recently as we think the growth outlook has improved, notably in digital payments, software-as-a-service, online learning, and cloud enabled audio and visual communications.

COVID-19 has also driven an acceleration of profound seismic market share shifts intra-industry, which we think of as “Corporate Darwinism”, as the well-capitalised leaders benefit from a confluence of changing consumer and corporate behaviours and structural withdrawal of capacity as weakened peers exit the market. Across a range of industries, we have witnessed many differentiated businesses solidify their market position through accelerated organic market share gains or through acquisition e.g. omni-channel retailers, veterinary services and component distribution.

One sector where we have increased exposure is the UK construction market. This may not initially seem the most high quality place to invest, but within a broad sector there are several differentiated businesses run by long-standing and trustworthy management teams e.g. Morgan SindallGrafton Group or Breedon. We believe the sector is set to see an extended period of strong trading as, for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, all three major areas of construction (new build housing, repairs & maintenance and, infrastructure) are growing at the same time. The industry structure has also changed for the better, with a great deal of capacity having left the market and those left standing able to negotiate more favourable contractual terms with their customers.

OUTLOOK
Our outlook remains broadly unchanged and if anything we feel that the opportunity for this Company is more exciting than ever before. We are always positive on the prospect for truly differentiated growth companies to deliver amazing results, regardless of the macro environment.

Clearly the biggest reservation that investors might have for a company like BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc is the ongoing debate about ‘value vs growth’, and this is certainly a question that we have faced regularly in recent months. However, as mentioned in the past, and perhaps surprisingly, we really do not see the ‘value vs growth’ discussion as a critical issue in investment returns. Rather we see the high level of ongoing industrial change as creating many more opportunities for emerging companies to generate strong performance and this is far more important in delivering good returns to our investors.

In summary, the outperformance that we have delivered during the period and the strength of trading across many of our holdings continues to validate our positioning and provides us with confidence that our strategy of focusing on stock and industry analysis is the right one. We thank shareholders for their ongoing support.

DAN WHITESTONE
BLACKROCK INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED
23 July 2021

PORTFOLIO OF INVESTMENTS

1 GAMMA COMMUNICATIONS*
Mobile Telecommunications
Market value1: £26,622,000
Share of net assets: 3.2%

Provider of communication services to UK businesses.

2 IMPAX ASSET MANAGEMENT*
Financial Services
Market value: £23,562,000
Share of net assets: 2.9%

Provider of asset management services.

3 ELECTROCOMPONENTS
Support Services
Market value1: £22,504,000
Share of net assets: 2.7%

Distributor of industrial and electronics products.

4 YOUGOV*
Media
Market value: £21,427,000
Share of net assets: 2.6%

Provider of survey data and specialist data analytics.

5 WATCHES OF SWITZERLAND
Personal Goods
Market value: £21,424,000
Share of net assets: 2.6%

Retailer of luxury watches.

6 MOONPIG
General Retailers
Market value1: £20,209,000
Share of net assets: 2.4%

Internet based provider of personalised cards and gifts.

7 OXFORD INSTRUMENTS
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
Market value: £17,932,000
Share of net assets: 2.2%

Designer and manufacturer of tools and systems for industry and research.

8 PETS AT HOME
General Retailers
Market value1: £17,601,000
Share of net assets: 2.1%

Retailer of pet supplies.

9 BREEDON*
Construction & Materials
Market value: £16,929,000
Share of net assets: 2.0%

British construction materials group.

10 GAMES WORKSHOP
Leisure Goods
Market value: £16,770,000
Share of net assets: 2.0%

Developer, publisher and manufacturer of miniature war games.

1     Includes long derivative positions.

*     Traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

#Company£’000 Description
11CVS Group*
General Retailers
15,992 1.9 Operator of veterinary surgeries
12Treatt
Chemicals
15,173 1.8 Development and manufacture of ingredients for the flavour and fragrance industry
13Qinetiq Group
Aerospace & Defence
15,0351 1.8 Provider of scientific and technological services to the defence, security and aerospace markets
14IntegraFin
Financial Services
14,781 1.8 UK savings platform for financial advisors
15Ergomed*
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
14,6441 1.8 Provider of pharmaceuticals services
16Grafton Group
Support Services
14,471 1.8 Builders merchants in the UK, Ireland and Netherlands
17Dunelm Group
General Retailers
13,7281 1.7 Retailer of homeware products
18Learning Technologies*
Software & Computer Services
12,652 1.5 Provider of e-learning services
19Computacenter
Software & Computer Services
12,637 1.5 Computer services
20Dechra Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
12,563 1.5 Developer and supplier of pharmaceutical and other products focused on the veterinary market
21XP Power
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
12,472 1.5 Leading provider of power solutions
22Workspace Group
Real Estate Investment Trusts
12,4551 1.5 Supply of flexible workspace to businesses in London
234imprint Group
Media
12,361 1.5 Supplier of promotional merchandise in the US
24Sumo Group*
Leisure Goods
12,124 1.5 Provider of creative and development services to the video games and entertainment industries
25OSB Group
Financial Services
12,066 1.5 Specialist lending business
26Spectris
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
11,447 1.4 Supplier of productivity enhancing instrumentation and controls
27Howden Joinery Group
General Retailers
11,3891 1.4 Kitchen and joinery product supplier
28Liontrust Asset Management
Financial Services
10,794 1.3 Provider of asset management services
29Morgan Sindall
Construction & Materials
10,493 1.3 Supplier of office fit out, construction and urban regeneration services
30DiscoverIE
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
10,3511 1.3 International designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics
31WH Smith
General Retailers
10,300 1.2 British retailer of books, stationery, magazines and confectionary
32Tyman
Support Services
10,061 1.2 Supplier of engineered components and access solutions to the construction industry
33Robert Walters
Support Services
9,954 1.2 Provider of specialist recruitment services
34Diploma
Support Services
9,787 1.2 Supplier of specialised technical products and services
35Next Fifteen Communications*
Media
9,654 1.2 Provider of digital communication products and services
36Jet2*
Travel & Leisure
9,288 1.1 UK airline and tour operator
37Sirius Real Estate
Real Estate Investment & Services
9,066 1.1 Owner and operator of business parks, offices and industrial complexes in Germany
38Safestore Holdings
Real Estate Investment Trusts
9,056 1.1 Provider of self-storage units
39Johnson Service Group*
Support Services
8,759 1.1 Provider of textile services
40Team 17*
Leisure Goods
8,7321 1.1 Video game developer and publisher
41Spirent
Technology Hardware & Hardware
Equipment
8,695 1.1 Multinational telecommunications testing
42Greggs
Food & Drug Retailers
8,597 1.0 Bakery chain
43Clipper Logistics
Support Services
8,364 1.0 Retail logistics business
44Alliance Pharma*
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
8,364 1.0 Distributor of pharmaceutical and healthcare products
45Vistry Group
Household Goods & Home Construction
8,164 1.0 UK housebuilder
46GB Group*
Software & Computer Services
8,001 1.0 Developer and supplier of identity verification solutions
47TT Electronics
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
7,939 1.0 Global manufacturer of electronic components
48Bytes Technology
Software & Computer Services
7,924 1.0 Specialist in software, security and cloud services
49Sanne Group
Financial Services
7,8861 1.0 Provider of alternative asset and corporate services
50Chegg
General Retailers
7,820 0.9 Provider of education related services
51Tatton Asset Management*
Financial Services
7,818 0.9 Provider of discretionary fund management services to financial advisors
52Polar Capital Holdings*
Financial Services
7,7521 0.9 Provider of investment management services
53Kainos Group
Software & Computer Services
7,7321 0.9 Provider of digital technology solutions
54Joules*
General Retailers
7,708 0.9 Clothing retailer inspired by British country lifestyles
55Balfour Beatty
Construction & Materials
7,7041 0.9 Multinational infrastructure group
56Luceco
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
7,662 0.9 Supplier & manufacturer of high quality LED lighting products
57Avon Rubber
Aerospace & Defence
7,662 0.9 Producer of safety masks
58Young & Co’s Brewery*
Travel & Leisure
7,632 0.9 Owner and operator of pubs mainly in the London area
59Auction Technology Group
General Retailers
7,564 0.9 Operator of marketplaces for curated online auctions
60NCC Group
Software & Computer Services
7,363 0.9 Cyber security business
61Restaurant Group
General Retailers
7,2161 0.9 Operator of restaurants and pubs
62Euronext
Financial Services
6,9911 0.8 European stock exchange
63Xero
Software & Computer Services
6,980 0.8 Software company specialising in accounting for small businesses
64Cranswick
Food Producers
6,798 0.8 Producer of premium, fresh and added-value food products
65Chrysalis Investments
Financial Services
6,420 0.8 Closed end investment company investing in later stage private companies with long-term growth potential
66Dr. Martens
Leisure Goods
6,311 0.8 Supplier and manufacturer of footwear
67Vesuvius
Industrial Engineering
6,228 0.8 British engineered ceramics company
68Serco Group
Support Services
6,221 0.8 Provider of public services across health, transport, immigration, defence, justice and citizen services
69SThree
Support Services
6,215 0.8 Provision of specialist professional recruitment services
70DSV
Industrial Transportation
6,0071 0.7 Danish transport and logistics company
71Londonmetric Property
Real Estate Investment Trusts
5,9281 0.7 Investor in, and developer of, property
72Boku*
Support Services
5,846 0.7 Digital payments platform
73S4 Capital
Media
5,648 0.7 Digital advertising and marketing services business
74Draper Esprit*
Financial Services
5,491 0.7 Technology-focused venture capital firm
75Helios Towers
Mobile Telecommunications
5,321 0.6 Provider of telecommunications infrastructure
76Hollywood Bowl Group
General Retailers
5,1551 0.6 Operator of ten-pin bowling services
77Masimo
Health Care Equipment & Services
5,119 0.6 Developer and manufacturer of non-invasive patient monitoring technologies
78Close Brothers Group
Banks
5,0231 0.6 Provider of lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading
79888
Travel & Leisure
4,915 0.6 Operator and platform for online gaming
80Mattioli Woods*
Financial Services
4,859 0.6 Provider of wealth management services
81Marshalls
Construction & Materials
4,856 0.6 British construction materials group
82Redrow
Household Goods & Home Construction
4,765 0.6 UK housebuilder
83The Pebble Group*
Media
4,648 0.6 Designer and manufacturer of promotional goods
84Activeops*
Software & Computer Services
4,602 0.6 Provider of management process automation solutions
85Eckoh*
Software & Computer Services
4,4851 0.5 Global provider of secure payments products
86Zotefoams
Chemicals
4,4361 0.5 Manufacturer of polyolefin foams used in sport, construction, marine, automation, medical equipment and aerospace
87Judges Scientific*
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
4,382 0.5 Designer and producer of scientific instruments
88Ascential
General Retailers
4,297 0.5 Specialist information, data and analytics company
89GlobalData*
Media
4,2511 0.5 Data analytics and consulting
90AB Dynamics*
Industrial Engineering
4,209 0.5 Developer and supplier of specialist automotive testing systems
91Accesso Technology*
Software & Computer Services
4,1761 0.5 Provider of ticketing and virtual queuing solutions
92Future
Media
4,133 0.5 Multi-platform media business covering technology, entertainment, creative arts, home interest and education
93Synthomer
Chemicals
4,104 0.5 Supplier and manufacturer of plastics and industrial specialities
94Domo
Software & Computer Services
4,0931 0.5 US based operator of mobile, cloud-based operating systems
95Renishaw
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
4,090 0.5 Engineering and scientific technology company
96Anpario*
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
4,009 0.5 Manufacturer and distributor of natural animal feed additives for animal health, nutrition and biosecurity
97Worldline
Software & Computer Services
3,9471 0.5 Digital payments company
98Aptitude Software
Software & Computer Services
3,946 0.5 Provider of specialist finance software and technology
99Porvair
Industrial Engineering
3,812 0.5 Specialist filtration and environmental technology
100Craneware*
Software & Computer Services
3,761 0.5 Provider of financial business software for US hospitals
101Adyen
Support Services
3,7171 0.4 Digital payments company
102Frontier Developments*
Leisure Goods
3,642 0.4 British video game developer and publisher
103Gooch & Housego*
Electronic & Electrical Equipment
3,641 0.4 Designer and manufacturer of advanced photonic systems
104Axon Enterprise
Support Services
3,6331 0.4 US based provider of technology and weapons products
105Shoals Technologies
Support Services
3,5051 0.4 Provider of electrical balance of system solutions
106MongoDB
Software & Computer Services
3,4861 0.4 Global cloud-based database
107Five9
Software & Computer Services
3,475 0.4 Provider of cloud-based contact centre software
108Fevertree Drinks*
Beverages
3,362¹ 0.4 Developer and seller of soft drinks and mixers
109Freshpet
Food Producers
3,3461 0.4 Producer of fresh, refrigerated food and treats for dogs and cats
110St. Modwen Properties
Real Estate Investment & Services
3,302 0.4 Investor in, and developer of, property
111Keywords Studios*
Support Services
3,2441 0.4 Provider of video games technical services
112Foresight Group Holdings
Financial Services
3,2291 0.4 Infrastructure and private equity manager
113AJ Bell
Financial Services
3,169 0.4 UK savings platform for financial advisors & individual investors
114Fuller Smith & Turner – A Shares
Travel & Leisure
3,149 0.4 Owner and operator of pubs mainly in the London area
115Bellway
Household Goods & Home Construction
3,1451 0.4 UK housebuilder
116MaxCyte*
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology
3,098 0.4 Clinical-stage global cell-based therapies and life sciences company
117Alfa Financial Software
Software & Computer Services
3,079 0.4 Provider of software to the finance industry
118ITM Power*
Alternative Energy
2,997 0.4 British manufacturer of polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers for hydrogen production via electrochemical splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen
119Medpace Holdings
Health Care Equipment & Services
2,9601 0.4 Clinical research organization (CRO) conducting global clinical research for the development of drugs and medical devices
120Etsy
General Retailers
2,745 0.3 Operator of online marketplaces
121Trade Desk
Media
2,7131 0.3 Digital advertising software
122Coupa Software
Software & Computer Services
2,521 0.3 Provider of cloud-based platform for business spend
1232U
General Retailers
2,5061 0.3 Digital provider of educational offerings and infrastructure
124Clarkson
Industrial Transportation
2,399 0.3 Provider of shipping services
125Okta
Software & Computer Services
2,3381 0.3 Identity and access management company
126Pegasystems
Software & Computer Services
2,2381 0.3 Provider of innovative software and automation solutions
127Chapel Down†
Beverages
2,197 0.3 UK producer of sparkling and still wines, and Curious beers and ciders
128Wix.com
Software & Computer Services
2,1721 0.3 Cloud-based web development business
129MarketAxess
Financial Services
2,0351 0.2 International electronic trading platform for institutional credit markets
130Kier Group
Support Services
179 – UK construction, services and property group
131Kier Group Rights 14/06/2021
Support Services
41 – UK construction, services and property group
Long investment positions (excluding BlackRock’s Institutional Cash Series plc – Sterling Liquid Environmentally Aware Fund)1,006,573 121.8 
========== 
Short investment positions(12,071)(1.5)
========== 

1     Includes long derivative positions.
*     Traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.
†     Traded on NEX exchange.

Percentages shown are the share of net assets.

At 31 May 2021, the Company held equity interests in three companies comprising more than 3% of a company’s share capital as follows: Tatton Asset Management (3.5%), Anpario (3.1%) and Activeops (3.1%).

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