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PR Newswire
London, July 17

All information is at 30 June 2017 and unaudited.
Performance at month end with net income reinvested

1 April
Share price-2.7%0.8%20.6%31.8%80.5%83.3%
Net asset value-3.3%2.1%18.4%32.6%70.0%72.6%
FTSE All-Share Total Return-2.5%1.4%18.1%23.9%60.9%65.2%
Source: BlackRock

BlackRock took over the investment management of the Company with effect from 1 April 2012.

At month end
Net asset value - capital only:201.40p
Net asset value - cum income*:205.79p
Share price:199.50p
Total assets (including income):£54.2m
Discount to cum-income NAV:3.1%
Net cash:2.0%
Net yield**:3.2%
Ordinary shares in issue***:25,354,268
Gearing range (as a % of net assets):0-20%
Ongoing charges****:1.0%

* includes net revenue of 4.39 pence per share
** The Company's yield based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of the release of this announcement is 3.2% and includes the 2016 final dividend of 3.90p per share declared on 21 December 2016 and paid to shareholders on 10 March 2017 and the 2017 interim dividend of 2.50p per share announced on 26 June 2017 to be paid to shareholders on 1September 2017.
*** excludes 7,579,664 shares held in treasury
**** Calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding performance fees and interest costs for the year ended 31October2016.

Sector Analysis Total assets (%)
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology8.5
Support Services7.7
Travel & Leisure6.1
Oil & Gas Producers5.9
Financial Services5.7
Food Producers5.7
Non-Life Insurance5.3
General Retailers4.0
General Industrials3.9
Construction & Materials3.0
Fixed Line Telecommunications2.9
Food & Drug Retailers2.1
Real Estate Investment & Services1.9
Mobile Telecommunications1.9
Aerospace & Defence1.8
Household Goods & Home Construction1.7
Industrial Engineering1.5
Real Estate Investment Trusts0.8
Net current assets5.6

Ten Largest Equity Investments
CompanyTotal assets (%)
British American Tobacco6.6
Lloyds Banking Group4.7
Royal Dutch Shell 'B'3.5
Rentokil Initial3.4
John Laing Group3.1
BT Group2.9

Commenting on the markets, Adam Avigdori and David Goldman representing the Investment Manager noted:
The second quarter saw an increase in political risk in the UK following the hung parliament result in the UK General Election, whilst in France the election of President Macron led to a reduction in political risk. Economic data was broadly supportive of the reflation trend, which led the US Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. Confused rhetoric from the European Central Bank and Bank of England led to a significant increase in bond yields towards the end of the quarter. Political tensions in the Middle East increased as neighbouring states isolated Qatar. As expected, real household income has come under pressure as domestic inflation picks up.

Performance by sector was mixed with few clear trends, although the resources sector consitently underperformed on commodity price weakness and financials outperformed, led by banks and notably HSBC Holdings. Defensive sectors such as tobacco and pharmaceuticals underperformed as the market rotated at the end of the quarter towards the value factor. Sterling proved remarkably resilient in the face of increased political uncertainty and this domestic resilience was further evidenced by outperformance of small and mid-sized companies.

Over the second quarter the Company has delivered a return of 2.1%, outperforming the FTSE All-Share which returned 1.4%.

John Laing Group was the largest contributor to performance over the quarter as full year results confirmed a 14% rise in net asset value with strong underlying cash generation supporting a special dividend. The investment pipeline for the company remains attractive; they have made investment commitments of £111million so far this year across Asia Pacific and Europe, have completed 6 projects and have a further 5 projects planned for completion over the remainder of the year.

Rentokil Initial released their first quarter statement in which they announced 10% revenue growth coming from both organic channels and acquisitions. The investment case for the company remains robust as we continue to see strong structural drivers in pest control and a favourable industry backdrop where innovation and scale can make a difference.

Forterra, a supplier of building products for the UK construction industry, continues to perform well and is supported by a strong dynamic for UK brick manufacturers as sterling weakness limits imports. The shares trade on a low Price-to-Earnings multiple and deliver a high free cash flow yield.

HSBC Holdings was the largest detractor for the quarter as our underweight position created a relative performance lag against the benchmark. Shares in the bank rose strongly following the US Federal Reserve's stress test results and the prospect that capital may be returned to shareholders. Amongst the UK banks, the stress test results were seen as particularly beneficial for HSBC due to its large US division.

ITV Group shares have suffered following concerns over advertising trends following weaker than expected first quarter results. This weakness is at odds with the improvement in GDP and ignores the growing importance of ITV's attractive Studios business.

Over the quarter we have added a position in Premier Asset Management, a company with strong AUM growth and fund performance which is benefitting from the overall move from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution pensions. Elsewhere in the portfolio, we sold out of Essentra due to concerns around trading which remains under pressure with modest revenue declines. We have also sold our position in Stagecoach due to the industry dynamics not playing out as we originally expected when implementing the position.

As ever, we remain believers that over the longer-term earnings and cashflow growth tend to be the dominant driver of share prices and where equity markets fail to recognise that, corporates buyers have the potential to exploit the opportunity. With a combination of continued sterling weakness and a low rate environment fuelling cheap debt, we believe that M&A activity will remain a theme throughout the year.

We see increasing pressure in the UK consumer space as rock bottom household savings is coupled with rising household debt levels1. Whilst we remain cautious in this area, we certainly don't treat all companies equally. By focussing on those companies that can generate cashflow from strong business models, have strong balance sheets or scope for management driven self-help, we are able to access some of the fantastic domestic opportunities starting to emerge.

After the end of the reporting period, Mark Wharrier announced his resignation from BlackRock. The BlackRock Income and Growth Investment Trust continues to be managed by co-portfolio manager Adam Avigdori. David Goldman, a senior director within the BlackRock UK Equity Team, has been appointed co-portfolio manager alongside Adam Avigdori. There has been no change to the Company philosophy, structure or process.

1 Source: ONS and Bank of England
17 July 2017

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