Resilient portfolio as new strategy continues

The Newcastle-based Northern Investors Company PLC continues to hold a “resilient” portfolio as it presses ahead with changes in its investment strategy

The private investment equity trust, which is managed by NVM Private Equity Limited, decided to cease making new investments in July 2011, beginning instead an orderly realisation of its portfolio with a view to returning capital to shareholders.

A half-yearly report, posted on the London Stock Exchange, showed net assets worth £45.5m in the six months to September 30, 2013, compared to £56.1m in 2012. The number of shares in issue at the end of the period was around 12.1m, compared to 15.1m in 2012, while the net asset per share was 375.3p, compared to 340.9p. Return for the six months in 2013 was 21p per share, compared with 22.2p.

On September 30, 2013, the residual portfolio comprised 22 unquoted holding with an aggregate carrying value of £42.6m.

The four largest holdings, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Control Risks Group Holding, Alaric systems and Kitwave One, currently represent around two thirds of the total carrying value of the portfolio.

The latest report said: “The overall performance of the portfolio has been resilient. In the six months ended September 30, 2013, a total of £2.8m in cash was realised from the sale of investment.

“The principal contribution was made by the sale of IG Doors to Hormann Group in June, which produced cash proceeds of £1.9m compared with a March 2013 carrying value of £1.5m.”

Subsequent to September 30, Northern Investors Company has agreed terms for the sale of its investment in Mantis Deposition Holdings for £0.7m. Three other companies are at various stages in sales processes.

The report said: “The short-to-medium term prospects for the UK economy appear to be improving and this should be conducive to achieving successful exits from the company’s remaining investments within the next three to four years.”

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