BlackRock Throgmorton Trust outperformed its benchmark with NAV returning 0.7% in October


BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc (LON:THRG) has announced its latest portfolio update.

All information is at 31 October 2021 and unaudited.

To learn more about the BlackRock Throgmorton Trust plc please follow this link:

Performance at month end is calculated on a cum income basis

Net asset value0.70.756.789.1159.0
Share price2.20.356.7113.1231.3

Sources: BlackRock and Datastream

*With effect from 22 March 2018 the Numis Smaller Companies plus AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index replaced the Numis Smaller Companies excluding AIM (excluding Investment Companies) Index as the Company’s benchmark. The performance of the indices have been blended to reflect this.

At month end

Net asset value capital only:947.62p
Net asset value incl. income:955.98p
Share price966.00p
Premium to cum income NAV1.0%
Net yield1:1.1%
Total Gross assets2:£954.8m
Net market exposure as a % of net asset value3:119.0%
Ordinary shares in issue4:99,876,263
2020 ongoing charges (excluding performance fees)5,6:0.60%
2020 ongoing charges ratio (including performance

1. Calculated using the 2021 interim dividend declared on 26 July 2021 and paid on 27 August 2021, together with the 2020 final dividend declared on 10 February 2021 and paid on 1 April 2021.

2. Includes current year revenue and excludes gross exposure through contracts for difference.

3. Long exposure less short exposure as a percentage of net asset value.

4. Excluding 0 shares held in treasury.

5. Calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding performance fees and interest costs for the year ended 30 November 2020.

6. With effect from 1 August 2017 the base management fee was reduced from 0.70% to 0.35% of gross assets per annum.

7. Effective 1st December 2017 the annual performance fee is calculated using performance data on an annualised rolling two year basis (previously, one year) and the maximum annual performance fee payable is effectively reduced to 0.90% of two year rolling average month end gross assets (from 1% of average annual gross assets over one year). Additionally, the Company now accrues this fee at a rate of 15% of outperformance (previously 10%). The maximum annual total management fees (comprising the base management fee of 0.35% and a potential performance fee of 0.90%) are therefore 1.25% of average month end gross assets on a two-year rolling basis (from 1.70% of average annual gross assets).

Sector Weightings% of Total Assets
Consumer Discretionary22.6
Consumer Staples7.4
Health Care6.2
Basic Materials1.9
Net current assets                                0.9
Country Weightings% of Total Assets
United Kingdom90.9
United States6.8

Market Exposure (Quarterly)

Gross exposure122.3128.3122.8121.8
Net exposure118.6125.3119.8117.0

Ten Largest Investments

Company% of Total Gross Assets
Watches of Switzerland3.1
Gamma Communications3.0
Auction Technology2.8
Oxford Instruments2.5
Impax Asset Management2.4
Dechra Pharmaceuticals2.1
CVS Group2.1

Commenting on the markets, Dan Whitestone, representing the Investment Manager noted:

The Trust returned 0.7% in October, outperforming its benchmark the Numis Smaller Companies +AIM ex Investment Trusts which returned -0.6%. Strong stock selection resulted in both the long and short book contributing positively during the month.

After the sell-off in September, there was a recovery across many markets globally in October. The UK however, saw stronger performance in the largest companies (such as oil) but the small & mid cap space was subdued as investors continue to grapple with rising costs, supply chain issues and, in some cases, worries over domestic spending habits as we roll out of the Covid pandemic and return to work. We see this as a transitory pattern and, indeed, an opportunity, as we believe that the small & mid cap space has some excellent and differentiated companies which can beat to their own rhythms.

The largest positive contributor to performance was Watches of Switzerland, the second largest holding in the Trust. Despite no stock specific news during the month, the shares remained in high demand having successfully navigated the challenging period throughout the pandemic. Shares in IntegraFin, the operator of the market leading Transact investment platform, rose in response to a positive update showing continued growth in funds under management, with strong retention of customers acquired during the pandemic. Shares in Electrocomponents (ECM) rose after the group reported strong like for like sales growth for the 6 months to September with upgrades to full year guidance despite the current supply chain challenges that are being felt across many industries. The recent success in new customer wins, as peers have struggled with Covid disruption and more recently supply challenges, strengthens ECM’s market position.

The largest stock specific detractor during the month was Qinetiq which provided a disappointing update, highlighting a dispute over a large contract and we therefore chose to reduce the holding as a precautionary measure as contract disputes can escalate and Qinetiq really does need this customer. SigmaRoc reported continued demand across its business and management remain confident that supply chain and inflationary pressures are being managed effectively, however the shares fell back slightly which we would simply put down to a pullback having performed well in recent months. Shares in WH Smith fell back on broader concerns around rising Covid cases and the impact on UK consumer spending.

In summary, October was a positive month for the trust, and despite the broader weakness seen within small & mid-cap companies, the Trust was able to benefit from holdings in a number of differentiated companies which continue to deliver on their long-term strategies. Furthermore, we are now beginning to see more dispersion in financial performance and share prices, of companies that are successfully navigating the current environment and those that are beginning to face real problems. For example, while not a top ten contributor, our short in an online electrical goods retailer that has seen slowing sales and supply-side challenges, added to performance in October. We therefore remain confident in the investment cases of our long holdings and are seeing more opportunities to add new shorts to capitalise on dispersion between winners and losers. We thank shareholders for their ongoing support

1Source: BlackRock as at 31 October 2021

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