Brest, France
Brest, France

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

10 May 2017 Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc ("the Company" or "OT4") Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2017 The Directors are pleased to announce the audited results of the Company for the year ended 28 February 2017 and a copy of the Annual Report and Accounts ("Accounts") will be made available to Shareholders shortly.  Set out below are extracts of the audited Accounts. References to page numbers below are to those Accounts. The AGM will be held at The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA on Wednesday 5 July 2017, at 11am. A copy of the Annual Report and Accounts will be available from the registered office of the Company at The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA, as well as on the Company's website: www.oxfordtechnology.com I am pleased to present my annual report for the year to 28 February 2017 to fellow shareholders. Whilst last year, I was pleased to be able to report significant realisations from the portfolio, this year has been a year of portfolio growth, with several portfolio companies raising additional capital during the year, with your company supporting most of them. Whilst most fundraisings were successful, confirming the company valuation, not all were as successful as might have been hoped, and as a result some significant reductions in valuation have been recorded. Follow on investments were made into five portfolio companies:  Arecor (£200k), Immbio (£98k), Orthogem (£100k), Plasma Antennas (£202k) and Zuvasyntha (£30k).  Glide also raised money during the year but on unattractive terms. Whilst your company only holds two AIM stocks, both showed significant falls in share price during the year. Largely because of Glide and AIM movements, net asset value per share fell by 14.9p during the year. The net asset value per share on 28 February 2017 was 51.9p compared to 66.8p on 29 February 2016.  No dividend was paid during the year. The Company's portfolio still contains 18 holdings, at different stages of development.  The directors continue to monitor all companies, looking for the optimum time to realise your investment. Your company continues to invest in support of its portfolio as investee companies develop. £200k was invested in Arecor to support its transition from a research-led company to a product-led company including an initiative with the US Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for the delivery of ultra-concentrated rapid acting insulin. In February 2017, Arecor was awarded a £1m grant from Innovate UK towards clinical trials. £98k was invested into ImmBio to support the completion of their First-in-Human study of its novel vaccine, PnuBioVax(TM), against the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.  PnuBioVax was found to be safe and well tolerated, and capable of producing antibody responses against key S. pneumoniae antigens broadly conserved across strains.  The company is now in detailed discussions with larger organisations regarding commercialisation. A further £100k was invested in Orthogem to enable it to register its new product TriPore Putty.  The synthetic bone market has moved significantly towards putties, and the commercial launch of their new product is expected to have a significant impact on sales. Plasma Antennas received a further investment of £200k, with an additional £2k being used to exercise warrants.  Plasma continues in discussion with several large players particularly around 4G and 5G telecommunications. £30k was invested into ZuvaSyntha who continue to progress towards commercialisation of their products with potential customers identified. Select Technology remains profitable and cash generative, paying another dividend in January, and further dividends are expected in future.  The company has continued to grow, though profits have been slightly impacted as Select Technology transitions its business model to ensure long term growth.  However, the lower reported profits have caused a reduction in our valuation (by £96K). Glide Pharmaceuticals was anticipating an AIM flotation, but needed to raise pre-IPO funding.  Despite considerable interest, the eventual offer that the company accepted was at an extremely high discount to previous rounds, and has a significant preference ahead of ordinary shareholders.  Combined with existing preferences from earlier funding rounds, this has resulted in a significant write down in valuation. This is highly disappointing for the Oxford VCTs as the initial investors in the company.   OT4 chose not to invest as the advantageous terms were not available to OT4. The share price of Castleton Technology plc fell from 79.0p on 29 February 2016 to 56.8p on 28 February 2017.  The share price of Abzena fell from 49.5p to 36.8p over the same period.  Whilst disappointing, your board continues to believe both shares have potential for increased value and remain sensible holds as part of managing the company's cash reserves. Further details on the other major investments are contained within the Investment Manager's Report, and on our website. We continue to seek opportune moments to maximise value from our portfolio, but we do not currently foresee any further major liquidity events in the near future. Continued Improvements to Cost Effectiveness and VCT Market Changes. Following the reduction of fees announced last year, your Board continues to look at methods of reducing running costs as well as improving liquidity for shareholders who wish to realise their holdings. Your VCT does not have shareholders sheltering Capital Gains, so has options available which might not be possible for older VCTs. Shareholders may be aware of some significant changes to the VCT market in recent years.  Current fund raisings into VCTs are at a record high, as changes to pension tax reliefs are driving investors to look for alternative tax efficient investments.  Combined with changes to VCT legislation designed to target more VCT money towards the types of companies that OT4 has always invested in may present an opportunity for your VCT to exploit. Several options are being explored, and your Board is hoping to bring forward proposals later in the year which will increase options for shareholders. In the interim the Board would like to have the flexibility to buy back shares and is therefore proposing a buyback resolution at the AGM. This will be proposed as an Ordinary Resolution in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 (Amendment of Part 18) Regulations 2013. Audit Tender New legislation has been introduced in the UK on audit firm rotation, resulting from the new European Audit Regulation Directive, making it mandatory for listed companies to undergo a tender process for the audit of their company at least every ten years. An audit firm can, however, be appointed for up to twenty years provided a public tender process has been carried out after ten years. The Company has therefore recently conducted an audit tender process. The Board, on the recommendation of the Audit Committee, has decided to recommend the re-appointment of James Cowper Kreston as the Company's external auditor. For further information on the audit tender, please see the Audit Committee section of the Corporate Governance Statement on page 34 of this Annual Report. Shareholders should note that the AGM for the Company will be held on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at the Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, starting at 11am and will include presentations by Oxford Technology Management and some of the companies that the Oxford Technology VCTs have invested in. A formal Notice of the AGM has been enclosed with these Financial Statements together with a Form of Proxy for those not attending. We appreciate the input of our shareholders and look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible on the day. The year under review was dominated by two major political events, the UK's vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump to the office of US President. In the case of the EU referendum, the leave result triggered a significant fall in the value of sterling, and it has so far remained weak. This in turn led to the increase in valuation of UK larger companies, which have a bias towards overseas earnings. The more immediate impact on our own UK smaller investees has been to improve those with overseas revenues in sterling terms while increasing the costs for those with foreign activities or imports. These impacts are not yet material. The longer term UK/EU trading issues will take time to emerge but clearly one impact is that our investee company sterling valuations now look more attractive to overseas buyers. Post referendum the new Theresa May government has retained the VCT model although we anticipate it will continue to be kept under review to ensure that it delivers value to the taxpayer. The Oxford Technology VCTs have operated and continue to operate very much in the spirit of the VCT legislation by investing in and subsequently supporting early stage technology companies. Unfortunately the current VCT rules sometimes limit the amount of follow on investment that we are able to make. Whilst this year has contained some disappointing news, the Board's outlook has not changed from a year ago. The portfolio remains diversified, with investees at different stages of development.  Your Board monitors each investee, with clear views as to the value milestones which will allow investments to be realised.  We continue to work to maximise value for shareholders and will, as per our stated strategy, seek to crystallise this value and distribute to shareholders via dividend payments when valuations and liquidity allow. OT4 was formed in 2004 and has invested in 35 companies which were start-up or early stage technology companies.  Some of these companies failed with the loss of the investment.  Some have succeeded and have been sold.  The table on page 14 and 15 shows the companies remaining in the portfolio.  A more detailed analysis is given of the major investments on the following pages.  Several still have the potential to deliver significant returns. OT4 received shares in AIM-listed Castleton Technology as part of the proceeds of sale when Castleton purchased Impact Applications in 2015. Castleton is a provider of software, services and IT infrastructure to the social, public and commercial housing sector.  During the year Castleton posted its first profits and had several major contract wins including first contracts in Australia.  The effective price of acquisition of these shares for OT4 was 45p.   As at 28 February 2017, the bid price for the shares was 56.5p. Select Technology specialises in software for photocopiers - now known as MFDs - Multi-Function Devices.  Over the last decade Select has built up a global network of distributors and dealers through which it sells both products which it has developed itself and products which have been produced by others.  These products now include PaperCut, Kpax, Foldr and Drivve Image. Select has made steady financial progress.  Sales have increased from £210k in the year to July 2010 to £5.2m in the year to July 2016.  Select is profitable and cash generative and is likely to be a position to pay regular dividends in future.  It is a modern company in the sense that it has employees all over the world, and usually only one person in the office in Basingstoke: everyone works remotely. Arecor is making encouraging progress.  In particular it is developing its own products for the better treatment of diabetes.  In February 2017, Arecor won a grant of just over £1m to help with this programme.  Arecor has signed a £45m headline license deal regarding insulin glargine with India's largest privately held pharmaceutical company, Cadila.  Details of the deal have not been disclosed. Plasma Antennas has developed a range of next generation smart selectable antenna technologies and has a prototype of a true plasma antenna, which it is hoped may be at the centre of tomorrow's communications systems.  Plasma Antennas is currently in discussions with three large electronics companies.  It is hoped that a partnership deal can be concluded with one or more of them. £98,000 was invested in March 2016 into ImmBio to help support the commercialisation of the Pneumonia vaccine which had a successful phase 1 clinical trial in spring 2016.  Discussions with potential licensees are progressing satisfactorily, but of course nothing will be certain until deals are actually signed. Dynamic Extractions was formed as a spin-out from Brunel University in 2005.  The objective of the company was to commercialise a technology developed at Brunel University for high performance counter current chromatography.  Initially the business was based on the trading estate in Slough, and designed and sold HPCCC instruments which were manufactured by subcontract.  The company and its business model have been transformed in the last two years.  The HPCC instruments have been redesigned from scratch and the first of the much improved instruments, manufactured by a subcontractor in Wales which has added a mezzanine floor to its factory specifically for the purpose, emerged in late 2016.  Also, although the sale of HPCCC instruments remains part of the business (these are now in use all over the world) more of the company's effort will be devoted to using its own technology to produce valuable compounds for sale. OT4 was the first investor in Diamond Hard Surfaces (DHS) when the company was formed and owns just under 50%.   It has taken a long time, but it is good to report that DHS is now making regular sales to a growing number of companies and many of them overseas, and that the company made a small profit for the first time in the year to December 2016.  There are numerous applications in many industries for the DHS coating, and new applications and new customers are being added all the time, many of whom have tried other coatings first. The other remarkable property of the DHS coating is that it is an almost perfect electrical insulator, but has three times the thermal conductivity of copper.  This means the coating is finding increasing applications in microchips and electrical circuits to dissipate heat. Oxis Energy is developing a Lithium Sulphur rechargeable battery with a significantly higher specific energy (energy storage per unit weight) than the currently available Lithium Ion batteries. OT2 was the first investor in Oxis Energy (then known as Intellikraft) in January 2000. OT4 invested in November 2005. In October 2016 Oxis Energy announced that it had successfully demonstrated that its battery cells now store 400Wh/Kg.  This battery is now planned to be tested in electric vehicles. Despite having a successful clinical trial in summer 2016, in December Glide raised capital on terms which were very unfavourable to the early shareholders, resulting in a significant reduction in the valuation of OT4's shareholding. New Investments in the year There were five follow on investments during the year of £100,000 into Orthogem, £30,000 into ZuvaSyntha, £200,000 into Arecor, £202,000 into Plasma Antennas and a further £98,000 into ImmBio.  All new investments have complied with both EU State Aid rules and HMRC VCT rules. OT4's holding in Naked Objects was sold for £10,000. The remaining payments due from Pharma Engineering were received with OT4 getting £17,000. Further payments were received from Imagineer Systems totalling £19,000. Quoted and unquoted investments are valued in accordance with current industry guidelines that are compliant with International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines and current financial reporting standards. Compliance with the main VCT regulations as at 28 February 2017 and for the year then ended is summarised as follows: At least 10% of each investment in a qualifying company is held in 'eligible shares' - Complied. No more than 15% of the income from shares and securities is retained - Complied. No investment constitutes more than 15% of the Company's portfolio (by value at time of investment) - Complied. No investment made by the VCT has caused the company to receive more than £5m of State Aid investment in the year - Complied. Table of Investments held by Company at 28 February 2017 Number of shares in issue:  11,516,946 Net Asset Value per share at 28 February 2017: 51.9p Dividends paid to date: 37.0p The table shows the current portfolio holdings.  The investments in Bluewater Bio, Cutting the Wires, Dynamic Discovery, EKB, Ingenious, Inspiration Matters, Kinomi, MirriAd and Water Innovate have been written off.   The investments in Dexela, Imagineer Systems, Impact Applications, Incentec, Mecira, OxTox, Pharma Engineering, Telegesis and Naked Objects have been sold.   Some shares in Abzena and Castleton have also been sold. The Directors present their report together with financial statements for the year ended 28 February 2017. The Directors consider that the Annual Report and Financial Statements, taken as a whole is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's performance, business model and strategy. This report has been prepared by the Directors in accordance with the requirements of s415 of the Companies Act 2006.  The Company's independent auditor is required by law to report on whether the information given in the Directors' Report is consistent with the financial statements. The Company commenced business in 2004.  The Company invests in start-up and early stage technology companies in general located within 60 miles of Oxford.  The Company has maintained its approved status as a Venture Capital Trust by HMRC. The Directors of the Company are required to notify their interests under Disclosure and Transparency Rule 3.12R.  The present and previous membership of the Board and their beneficial interests in the ordinary shares of the company at 28 February 2017 and at 29 February 2016 are set out below: Under the Company's Articles of Association one third of the Directors are required to retire by rotation each year.  Richard Roth and David Livesley will be nominated for re-appointment at the forthcoming AGM.  The Board believes that both non-executive Directors continue to provide a valuable contribution to the Company and remain committed to their roles.  The Board recommends that Shareholders support the resolutions to re-elect Richard Roth and David Livesley at the forthcoming AGM. The Board is cognisant of shareholders' preference for Directors not to sit on the boards of too many larger companies ("overboarding").  Shareholders will be aware that in July 2015, the Company, along with the other VCTs that were managed by Oxford Technology Management, appointed directors such that the four VCTs each had a Common Board.  In addition, Richard Roth has subsequently also become a Director of Hygea VCT plc, a VCT investing in the Med Tech sector which is also self-managed and has a number of investments in common with the Oxford Technology VCTs.  Whilst great care is taken to safeguard the interests of the shareholders of each separate company, there is an element of overlap in the workload of each Director across the four OT funds due to the way the VCTs are managed.  The Directors note that the workload related to the four OT funds is less than it would be for four totally separate and larger funds, and are satisfied that Richard Roth has the time to focus on the requirements of each OT fund. OT4 Managers Ltd, the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, has an agreement to provide investment management services to the Company for a fee of 1% of net assets per annum.  David Livesley and Richard Roth, together with Lucius Cary are Directors in OT4 Managers Ltd. The Company has maintained insurance cover on behalf of the Directors, indemnifying them against certain liabilities which may be incurred by them in relation to their duties as Directors of the Company The Board has reviewed and continues to review all aspects of internal governance to mitigate the risk of breaches of VCT rules or company law.     Whistleblowing The Board has been informed that the Investment Manager has arrangements in place in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code's recommendations by which staff of Oxford Technology Management or the Secretary of the Company may, in confidence, raise concerns within their respective organisations about possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting or other matters. The Company is committed to carrying out business fairly, honestly and openly.  The Investment Manager has established policies and procedures to prevent bribery within its organisation.  The Company has adopted a zero tolerance approach to bribery and will not tolerate bribery under any circumstance in any transaction the Company is involved in. The Company has instructed the Investment Manager to adopt the same approach with investee companies. The Company values the views of its shareholders and recognises their interest in the Company.   The Company's website provides information on all of the Company's investments, as well as other information of relevance to shareholders (www.oxfordtechnology.com/vct4). Shareholders have the opportunity to meet the Board at the Annual General Meeting.  In addition to the formal business of the AGM the Board is available to answer any questions a shareholder may have. The Board is also happy to respond to any written queries made by shareholders during the course of the year and can be contacted at the Company's registered office:  The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford OX4 4GA. After making enquiries, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason they have adopted the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. At 28 February 2017, the Company has been notified by Neville Registrars of two investors whose interest exceeds three percent of the Company's issued share capital (Harewood Nominees Ltd 8.9% (representing the beneficial interest of Oxfordshire County Council Pension Fund); and Hargreaves Lansdown (Nominees) Ltd, 3.4%). James Cowper Kreston offer themselves for re-appointment in accordance with Section 489 of the Companies Act 2006. On behalf of the Board David Livesley Chairman 10 May 2017 This report has been prepared by the Directors in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. The Company's independent auditor, James Cowper Kreston, is required to give its opinion on certain information included in this report. This report includes a statement regarding the Directors' Remuneration Policy. Resolutions to approve the Directors' Remuneration Report will be proposed at the Annual General Meeting on 5 July 2017. The Directors' Remuneration Policy was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 26 August 2015. The Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ended 29 February 2016 was approved by shareholders at the AGM on 8 July 2016 on a unanimous show of hands and 86% of proxies voted in favour. This report sets out the Company's forward-looking Directors' Remuneration Policy and the Annual Remuneration Report which describes how this policy has been applied during the year. The Board consists entirely of non-executive Directors who meet at least four times a year and on other occasions as necessary to deal with important aspects of the Company's affairs. Directors are appointed with the expectation that they will serve for at least three years and are expected to devote the time necessary to perform their duties.  All Directors retire at the first general meeting after election and thereafter every third year, with at least one Director standing for election or re-election each year.  Re-election will be recommended by the Board but is dependent upon shareholder vote. Directors who have been in office for more than nine years will stand for annual re-election in line with the AIC Code. There are no service contracts in place, but Directors have a letter of appointment. The Board acts as the Remuneration Committee and meets annually to review Directors' pay to ensure it remains appropriate given the need to attract and retain candidates of sufficient calibre and ensure they are able to devote the time necessary to lead the Company in achieving its strategy.  The Board has not engaged any third party consultancy services, but did consult with the previous Chairmen, Michael O'Regan of Oxford Technology 2 VCT and Richard Vessey of Oxford Technology 3 VCT when the current levels were determined in 2015. The Articles of Association of the company state that the aggregate of the remuneration (by way of fee) of all the Directors shall not exceed £50,000 per annum unless otherwise approved by Ordinary Resolution of the Company. Based on the Company sharing a Common Board with the other Oxford Technology VCT funds the following Directors' fees are payable by the Company; David Livesley chairs the Company. Richard Roth chairs the Audit Committee, with Robin Goodfellow as a member of the Committee.  As the VCT is self-managed, the Audit Committee carries out a particularly important role for the VCT and has played a greater part in the production of the annual accounts compared to earlier years. Fees are currently paid annually. The fees are not specifically related to the Directors' performance, either individually or collectively.  No expenses are paid to the Directors.  There are no share option schemes or pension schemes in place but Directors are entitled to a share of the carried interest as detailed below. David Livesley and Richard Roth receive no remuneration in respect of their directorships of OT4 Managers Ltd, the Company's Investment Manager. The performance fee is detailed in note 3. Current Directors are entitled to benefit from any payment made, subject to a formula driven by relative lengths of service.  The performance fee becomes payable if a certain cash return threshold to shareholders is exceeded - the excess is then subject to a 20% carry that is distributed to Oxford Technology Management, past Directors and current Directors; the remaining 80% is returned to shareholders.  At 28 February 2017 no performance fee was accrued for. Should any performance fee be payable at the end of the year to 28 February 2018, Alex Starling, Robin Goodfellow, and Richard Roth would each receive 0.19% of any amount over the threshold and David Livesley 1.17%.  No performance fee will be payable for the year ending 28 February 2017 unless original shareholders have received back at least 113.1p in cash for each 100p (gross) invested. The Company has no employees, so no consultation with employees or comparison measurements with employee remuneration are appropriate. In the event of anyone ceasing to be a Director, for any reason, no loss of office payments will be made.  There are no contractual arrangements entitling any Director to any such payment. Prior to his appointment as a director of OT4, Richard Roth received an additional one off payment of £2,000 in the year to 29 February 2016 as compensation for executive work undertaken in relation to the setting up of the Common Board structure. There was no other Comprehensive Income recognised during the year. The 'Total' column of the Income Statement is the Profit and Loss account of the Company, the supplementary Revenue and Capital return columns have been prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies. All Revenue and Capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has only one class of business and derives its income from investments made in shares and securities and from bank and money market funds. The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. Statement of Changes in Equity The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. The statements were approved by the Directors and authorised for issue on 10 May 2017 and are signed on their behalf by David Livesley Chairman The accompanying notes are an integral part of the financial statements. Notes to the Financial Statements The financial statements have been prepared under Financial Reporting Standard 102 - 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland' ('FRS 102').  The accounting policies have not materially changed from last year. Basis of Preparation The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention, except for the measurement at fair value of certain financial instruments, and in accordance with UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice ("GAAP"), including FRS 102 and with the Companies Act 2006 and the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts (revised 2014)' issued by the AIC. The principal accounting policies have remained materially unchanged from those set out in the Company's 2016 Annual Report and financial statements. A summary of the principal accounting policies is set out below. FRS 102 sections 11 and 12 have been adopted with regard to the Company's financial instruments. The Company held all fixed asset investments at fair value through profit or loss. Accordingly, all interest income, fee income, expenses and gains and losses on investments are attributable to assets held at fair value through profit or loss. The most important policies affecting the Company's financial position are those related to investment valuation and require the application of subjective and complex judgements, often as a result of the need to make estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain and may change in subsequent periods. These are discussed in more detail below. Going Concern After reviewing the Company's forecasts and expectations, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. The Company therefore continues to adopt the going concern basis in preparing its financial statements. Key Judgements and Estimates The preparation of the financial statements requires the Board to make judgements and estimates regarding the application of policies and affecting the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Estimates and assumptions mainly relate to the fair valuation of the fixed asset investments particularly unquoted investments. Estimates are based on historical experience and other assumptions that are considered reasonable under the circumstances. The estimates and the assumptions are under continuous review with particular attention paid to the carrying value of the investments. Investments are regularly reviewed to ensure that the fair values are appropriately stated. Unquoted investments are valued in accordance with current International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation (IPEV) guidelines, which can be found on their website at www.privateequityvaluation.com, although this does rely on subjective estimates such as appropriate sector earnings multiples, forecast results of investee companies, asset values of investee companies and liquidity or marketability of the investments held. Although the Directors believe that the assumptions concerning the business environment and estimate of future cash flows are appropriate, changes in estimates and assumptions could result in changes in the stated values. This could lead to additional changes in fair value in the future. Functional and Presentational Currency The financial statements are presented in Sterling (£). The functional currency is also Sterling (£). Cash and Cash Equivalents Cash and cash equivalents includes cash in hand, deposits held at call with banks, other short-term highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less and also include bank overdrafts. Fixed Asset Investments The Company's principal financial assets are its investments and the policies in relation to those assets are set out below. Purchases and sales of investments are recognised in the financial statements at the date of the transaction (trade date). These investments will be managed and their performance evaluated on a fair value basis and information about them is provided internally on that basis to the Board.  Accordingly, as permitted by FRS 102, the investments are measured as being fair value through profit or loss on the basis that they qualify as a group of assets managed, and whose performance is evaluated, on a fair value basis in accordance with a documented investment strategy.  The Company's investments are measured at subsequent reporting dates at fair value. In the case of investments quoted on a recognised stock exchange, fair value is established by reference to the closing bid price on the relevant date or the last traded price, depending upon convention of the exchange on which the investment is quoted. In the case of AIM quoted investments this is the closing bid price. In the case of unquoted investments, fair value is established by using measures of value such as the price of recent transactions, earnings multiple, revenue multiple, discounted cash flows and net assets.  These are consistent with the IPEV guidelines. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value of investments are recognised as part of the capital return within the Income Statement and allocated to the unrealised capital reserve. In the preparation of the valuations of assets the Directors are required to make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and incorporate their knowledge of the performance of the investee companies. Fair Value Hierarchy Paragraph 34.22 of FRS 102 regarding financial instruments that are measured in the balance sheet at fair value requires disclosure of fair value measurements dependent on whether the stock is quoted and the level of the accuracy in the ability to determine its fair value. The fair value measurement hierarchy is as follows: For Quoted Investments: Level a: quoted prices in active markets for an identical asset. The fair value of financial instruments traded in active markets is based on quoted market prices at the balance sheet date. A market is regarded as active if quoted prices are readily and regularly available, and those prices represent actual and regularly occurring market transactions on an arm's length basis. The quoted market price used for financial assets held is the bid price at the Balance Sheet date. Level b: where quoted prices are not available (or where a stock is normally quoted on a recognised stock exchange that no quoted price is available), the price of a recent transaction for an identical asset, providing there has been no significant change in economic circumstances or a significant lapse in time since the transaction took place. The Company holds no such investments in the current or prior year. For investments not quoted in an active market: Level c: the fair value of financial instruments that are not traded in an active market is determined by using valuation techniques. These valuation techniques maximise the use of observable data (e.g. the price of recent transactions, earnings multiple, discounted cash flows and/or net assets) where it is available and rely as little as possible on entity specific estimates.  If all significant inputs required to fair value an instrument are observable, the instrument is included in level c (i). If one or more of the significant inputs is not based on observable market data, the instrument is included in level c (ii). There have been no transfers between these classifications in the year (2016: Castleton Technology (AIM listed) bought Impact Applications (unquoted)). The change in fair value for the current and previous year is recognised in the income statement. Income Investment income includes interest earned on bank balances and from unquoted loan note securities, and dividends.  Fixed returns on debt are recognised on a time apportionment basis so as to reflect the effective yield, provided it is probable that payment will be received in due course.  Dividend income from investments is recognised when the shareholders' rights to receive payment have been established, normally the ex dividend date. Expenses All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis.  Expenses are charged wholly to revenue with the exception of the investment management fee which has been charged 75% to capital and 25% to revenue.  Any applicable performance fee will be charged 100% to capital. Revenue and Capital The revenue column of the Income Statement includes all income and revenue expenses of the Company.  The capital column includes gains and losses on disposal and holding gains and losses on investments.  Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value of investments are recognised as part of the capital return within the Income Statement and allocated to the appropriate capital reserve on the basis of whether they are realised or unrealised at the balance sheet date. Taxation Current tax is recognised for the amount of income tax payable in respect of the taxable profit for the current or past reporting periods using the current tax rate. The tax effect of different items of income/gain and expenditure/loss is allocated between Capital and Revenue return on the "marginal" basis as recommended in the SORP. Deferred tax is recognised on an undiscounted basis in respect of all timing differences that have originated but not reversed at the balance sheet date, except as otherwise indicated. Deferred tax assets are only recognised to the extent that it is probable that they will be recovered against the reversal of deferred tax liabilities or other future taxable profits. Financial instruments The Company's principal financial assets are its investments and the policies in relation to those assets are set out above.  Financial liabilities and equity instruments are classified according to the substance of the contractual arrangements entered into. An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all of its financial liabilities. Where the contractual terms of share capital do not have any terms meeting the definition of a financial liability then this is classed as an equity instrument. The Company does not have any externally imposed capital requirements. Reserves Called up Equity Share Capital - represents the nominal value of shares that have been issued. Share Premium Account - includes any premiums received on issue of share capital. Any transaction costs associated with the issuing of shares are deducted from Share Premium Account. Unrealised Capital Reserve arises when the Company revalues the investments still held during the period and any gains or losses arising are credited/charged to the Unrealised Capital Reserve.  When an investment is sold, any balance held on the Unrealised Capital Reserve is transferred to the Profit and Loss Reserve as a movement in reserves. The Profit and Loss Reserve represents the aggregate of accumulated realised profits, less losses and dividends. Dividends payable are recognised as distributions in the financial statements when the Company's liability to make payment has been established.  This liability is established for interim dividends when they are declared by the Board, and for final dividends when they are approved by the Shareholders. Expenses are charged wholly to revenue with the exception of the investment management fee which has been charged 75% to capital in line with industry practice. In the year to 28 February 2017 the manager received a fee of 1% of the net asset value as at the previous year end (2016: 1%). Oxford Technology Management is also entitled to certain monitoring fees from investee companies and the Board reviews the amounts. Oxford Technology Management had previously agreed to defer 25% of the 2% management fee to which it was contractually entitled (i.e. 0.5% of net assets) until such a time when the finances of the Company made this payment more affordable.  As part of the revised agreement with effect from 1 March 2015 the Board have agreed to pay the deferred balance over a 36 month period. A performance fee is payable to the Investment Manager once original shareholders have received a specified threshold in cash for each 100p (gross) invested.  The original threshold of 100p has been increased by compounding that portion that remains to be paid to shareholders by 6% per annum with effect from 1 March 2015, resulting in the remaining required threshold rising to 71.7p at 28 February 2017, corresponding to a total shareholder return of 108.7p after taking into account the 37p already paid out (37p + 71.7p = 108.7p). After this amount has been distributed to shareholders, each extra 100p distributed goes 80p to the shareholders and 20p to the beneficiaries of the performance incentive fee, of which Oxford Technology Management receives 15p. No performance fee has become due or been paid to date.  Any applicable performance fee will be charged 100% to capital. Expenses are capped at 3%, including the management fee but excluding Directors' fees and any performance fee. All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis.  All expenses are charged through the income statement except as follows: Corporation tax payable at 20% (2016: 20%) is applied to profits chargeable to corporation tax, if any.  The corporation tax charge for the period was £nil (2016: £nil) Unrelieved management expenses of £2,023,217 (2016: £1,891,985) remain available for offset against future taxable profits. The calculation of earnings per share (basic and diluted) for the period is based on the net loss of £1,718,000 (2016: profit of £2,366,000) attributable to shareholders divided by the weighted average number of shares 11,516,946 (2016: 11,516,946) in issue during the period. There are no potentially dilutive capital instruments in issue and, therefore, no diluted returns per share figures are relevant.  The basic and diluted earnings per share are therefore identical. Subsidiary Company The Company also holds 100% of the issued share capital of OT4 Managers Ltd at a cost of £1. Results of the subsidiary undertaking for the year ended 28 February 2017 are as follows: Consolidated group financial statements have not been prepared as the subsidiary undertaking is not considered to be material for the purpose of giving a true and fair view.  The Financial Statements therefore present only the results of Oxford Technology 4 VCT plc, which the Directors also consider is the most useful presentation for Shareholders. 9. Creditors - amounts falling due in less than 1 year Creditors - amounts falling due in more than 1 year The Investment Manager has previously deferred 25% of fees, as detailed in Note 3.  These are now being paid between March 2015 and February 2018. When the Company revalues its investments during the period, any gains or losses arising are credited/charged to the Income Statement.  Changes in fair value of investments are then transferred to the Unrealised Capital Reserve.  When an investment is sold any balance held on the Unrealised Capital Reserve is transferred to the Profit and Loss Account Reserve as a movement in reserves. The transfer between the Unrealised Capital Reserve and the Profit and Loss Reserve in 2016 was the result of the correction of historic misclassifications between the two reserves.  The historic misclassifications were immaterial as they had no impact on reported returns or net assets and had no bearing on any distributions. The Company paid two dividends in 2016. 10p per Ordinary share was paid on 7 August 2015 and a further 10p per Ordinary share was paid on 19 February 2016. The Company's financial instruments comprise equity and loan note investments, cash balances and debtors and creditors.  The Company holds financial assets in accordance with its investment policy of investing mainly in a portfolio of VCT - qualifying quoted and unquoted securities whilst holding a proportion of its assets in cash or near cash investments in order to provide a reserve of liquidity.  The risk faced by these instruments, such as interest rate risk or liquidity risk is considered to be minimal due to their nature.  All of these are carried in the accounts at fair value. The Company's strategy for managing investment risk is determined with regard to the Company's investment objective.  The management of market risk is part of the investment management process and is a central feature of venture capital investment.  The Company's portfolio is managed with regard to the possible effects of adverse price movements and with the objective of maximising overall returns to shareholders.   Investments in unquoted companies, by their nature, usually involve a higher degree of risk than investments in companies quoted on a recognised stock exchange, though the risk can be mitigated to a certain extent by diversifying the portfolio across business sectors and asset classes.  The overall disposition of the Company's assets is regularly monitored by the Board. The company had no commitments at 28 February 2017 or 29 February 2016. OT4 Managers Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides investment management services to the Company with effect from 1 July 2015 for a fee of 1% of net assets per annum.  During the year, £76,934 was paid in respect of these fees (2016: £50,871).  No amounts were outstanding at the year end. During March 2017, a further investment of £40,000 was made into ZuvaSyntha and in April 2017 a further investment of £50,000 was made into Plasma Antennas. Company Number: 5038854 Note to the announcement: The financial information set out in this announcement does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in the Companies Act 2006 ("the Act").  The balance sheet as at 28 February 2017, income statement and cash flow statement for the period then ended have been extracted from the Company's 2017 statutory financial statements upon which the auditor's opinion is unqualified and does not include any statement under the section 495 of the Act. The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2017 will be filed with the Registrar of Companies. Copies of the documents will be submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and are available for inspection at: http://www.mornningstar.co.uk/uk/NNSM


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 Plc Unaudited Interim Results for the six month period ending 31 March 2017 * 30 September 2016 financial highlights represent annual results ** Calculated as total expenses (annualised for half yearly results) minus ad hoc legal costs and adjusted for trail commission written off, divided by period end net assets INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE The objective of the VCT is to achieve long term capital growth and to maximise tax free distributions to shareholders by investing in a diversified portfolio of small UK companies primarily traded on AIM. At least 70% of the Company's funds must be invested in qualifying holdings within three years of raising the funds. The balance of the Company's funds will be invested in liquid assets (such as fixed income securities and bank deposits) and non-qualifying equity investments on an opportunistic basis. The Company is managed as a Venture Capital Trust in order that shareholders in the Company may benefit from the tax relief available. INTRODUCTION In the first half of the financial year the Net Asset Value (NAV) per share increased from 75.93 pence to 78.12 pence equivalent to an increase of 5.8% after adding back the 2.25 pence dividend distributed in January 2017. During the same period the FTSE 100 Total Return Index rose 8.1% and the FTSE AIM All Share Total Return Index rose 14.3%. RESULTS The gain per share for the six month period was 3.98 pence per share (comprising revenue losses of 0.14 pence and capital gains of 4.12 pence). At 31 March 2017 the total return since inception of the fund was 122.37 pence. INVESTMENTS The investment manager, Hargreave Hale Limited, invested a further £3.44 million in 9 qualifying companies during the period of which 6 were AIM companies and 3 unquoted. The fair value of qualifying investments at 31 March 2017 was £33.33 million invested in 69 AIM companies and 10 unquoted companies. The balance of the funds was held in a mix of cash and non-qualifying equities. At 31 March 2017 the VCT was 87.30% invested as measured by HMRC. DIVIDEND A final dividend for the year ended 30 September 2016 of 2.25 pence was paid on 17 January 2017. The directors continue to maintain a policy of distributing at least 5% of the year end NAV to shareholders. An interim dividend of 1.75 pence (2016: 1.75p) will be paid on 30 June 2017, with an ex-dividend date of 8 June 2017 and a record date of 9 June 2017. BUYBACKS We have been able to maintain our policy of offering our shareholders an efficient exit route through the buyback scheme. In total, 318,221 shares were repurchased during the six month period ending 31 March 2017 at a weighted average price of 74.59 pence per share. Since the period a further 206,867 shares have been repurchased at a weighted average price of 76.07 pence. The Board continues to target a share price discount of 5% of the NAV per share (as measured against the mid-price) for market purchases. It should be emphasised that this target is non-binding and dependent on circumstances, including the Company's liquidity from time to time and market conditions. JOINT OFFER FOR SUBSCRIPTION - 2015 On 17 November 2016 the joint offer for subscription for new shares in Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc and Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 2 plc (launched in December 2015) was closed with £12.46 million raised for Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc. JOINT OFFER FOR SUBSCRIPTION - 2016 The Directors of the Company announced on 14 December 2016 the launch of a new joint offer for subscription for shares in both Hargreave Hale AIM VCTs to raise up to £10 million in the Company and up to £10 million in Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 2 plc. The offer was approved by shareholders of the Company at a general meeting on 12 January 2017 and was open to both new and existing shareholders. On 9 March 2017 Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc announced that it had received applications in excess of £10 million and, accordingly, the directors of Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc announced that they intended to utilise the £5 million Over-Allotment Facility. On 15 March 2017 the Company announced that the offer was fully subscribed, resulting in gross funds being received of £15 million and the issue of 18.96 million new shares in the Company. I am pleased to report that an immediate effect is that the ongoing expense ratio has dropped from 1.99% in September 2016 to 1.83% as at 31 March 2017. VCT REGULATION In order to comply with EU regulations regarding State Aid, the VCT rules were subject to substantial changes in the budget on 8 July 2015, which came into effect on 18 November 2015. In the round we do not think these rules have greatly affected the Company, although we will no longer be able to make non-qualifying investments in companies listed on AIM or UK government bonds. We are able to continue to invest via the Marlborough Special Situations Fund and we are free to invest in companies listed on the main market. BOARD CHANGES Giles Hargreave resigned as a director of the Company on 13 December 2016. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Giles for all his hard work on the Board. Following the resignation of Giles Hargreave, Oliver Bedford was appointed as a non-executive director of the Company on 13 December 2016. I am pleased to report that Giles still works for the manager and that we still benefit from his expertise and sagacity. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS Following approval at a general meeting on 12 January 2017, the Company has adopted electronic communications. Your Board believes this is beneficial to the Company and its shareholders and will result in substantial cost savings and improved timeliness and transparency of communications. AUDIT TENDER As announced in the annual report and accounts for the year ended 30 September 2016 a mandatory audit tender is required in the current year. I am pleased to confirm the process is underway and a further update will be given in due course. OUTLOOK The outcome of the American elections and Brexit vote does not appear to have had an adverse effect on the stock markets and the drop in the value of sterling seems to have a beneficial effect on exports and the balance of trade.  After the results of recent polls around the world I am reluctant to publish my views on the outcome of the forthcoming election! For the next two years it seems that we will suffer the media's fascination with the Brexit negotiations. Given that the EU has only managed to negotiate one trade deal, Canada, in the last 10 or so years it is hard to believe that the UK will achieve much in two. This will have little effect in the short term but may make the markets more volatile in the longer term. We continue to invest in companies with good management and robust business plans that we hope will weather any storms. Furthermore we are seeing more private equity opportunities in sound companies with future growth and these will not be affected by the vagaries of the market. INTRODUCTION This report covers the first half of the 2016/17 financial year, 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017. The manager's report contains references to movements in the Net Asset Value (NAV) per share and Total Return per share (NAV per share plus distributed earnings per share). Movements in the NAV per share do not necessarily mirror the earnings per share (EPS) reported in the accounts and elsewhere, which convey the profit after tax for the company within the reported period as a function of the weighted average number of shares in issue for the period. INVESTMENT REPORT The period under review was a strong period for equities with markets taking Trump's election as the US President as a substantial positive despite the many political uncertainties that accompanied his victory.  Politics aside, global economic growth was robust, with US GDP growth and low interest rates leading developed markets higher. Although not new news, ongoing weakness in sterling helped UK equities continue their strong run with foreign earnings providing a welcome earnings kicker for export orientated companies. By and large, VCT regulations channel us into small domestically focussed growth stories, so we were unable to fully benefit from the trend that persisted through much of the first quarter of the financial year, although we did derive some benefit through companies such as Abcam and Craneware, as well as parts of our non-qualifying portfolio.  The positive mood within the major indices filtered down the chain and the second quarter saw a beneficial uptick in risk sentiment within smallcap equities, which favoured our qualifying investments. The second half of the financial year has already thrown up a number of risks and surprises, the French and UK elections being the most recent examples.  Doubtless there will be more; however, for now the UK economy feels strong enough and, although we have seen some evidence of weakness within the housing market and elements of the casual dining sub-sector, by and large the macro picture remains workable.  We expect the UK consumer to be more challenged this year as real wage growth turns negative, with some weakness already showing up in consumer confidence data. But in the round, we find most companies to be positive about the outlook and there seems to be reasonable demand for new capital to support their growth and development. PERFORMANCE In the six months to 31 March 2017, the NAV increased from 75.93 pence to 78.12 pence. A total of 2.25 pence per share was paid in dividends, giving investors a total return of 4.44 pence per share, which translates to a gain of 5.8%. During the same period the FTSE AIM All-Share Total Return gained 14.3%, whilst the FTSE 100 Total Return gained 8.1%. The qualifying investments made a net contribution of 2.86 pence per share with 34 out of the 79 making gains, 11 unchanged and 34 losing ground. The balance was the net of non-qualifying portfolio gains, running costs and investment income. Cohort was the top performing qualifying investment (+38.7%, +0.90 pence per share). The company confirmed the outlook for the year ending April 2017 and announced a series of material contract wins.  The company has a significant net cash balance and remains well positioned to benefit from structural growth in defence spending on specific technologies and platforms.  Animalcare also performed well (+55.4%, +0.82 pence per share). The company delivered a very strong trading update in January, prompting analysts to upgrade numbers. Product development and international sales are translating through to growth in revenues and profits. Maxcyte (+219.3%, +0.73 pence per share), Quixant (+40.7%, +0.55 pence per share) and Learning Technologies Group (+29.7%, +0.48 pence per share) were all also significant contributors over the period. The biggest (unrealised) losses within the period came from TrakM8 (-60.0%, -0.88 pence per share) and K3 Business Technology (-29.0%, -0.48 pence per share).  TrakM8 announced a material profit downgrade after contract deferrals left the company exposed to an overhead that was outsized relative to the revised revenue outcome. K3 Business Technology was another company to report softer market conditions and lengthening sales cycles.  Other losses came from Instem Life (-42.0%, -0.34 pence per share) and Tasty (-51.7%, -0.30 pence per share), all of which pared back their profit guidance. We invested £3.44m into 9 qualifying companies over the period, including 3 further investments into existing qualifying companies; 3 IPOs and 3 additional private investments. Within the qualifying portfolio, several investee companies experienced strong runs in the market, which led us to make partial disposals in Abcam, Craneware, Creo, Directa Plus, DP Poland, ECSC, Loop Up, Maxcyte and Surface Transforms. PORTFOLIO STRUCTURE The VCT is comfortably through the HMRC defined investment test and ended the period at 87.30% invested as measured by the HMRC investment test. By market value, the VCT had a 52.4% weighting to qualifying investments. The allocation to non-qualifying equity investments increased marginally from 15.4% to 18.9%.  We continued to make use of the Marlborough Special Situations Fund as a temporary home for proceeds from fundraising, lifting the allocation from 4.7% to 10.2%. The non-qualifying investments contributed +2.03 pence per share to the overall gains. We sold our remaining fixed income investment and kept cash steady at 18.8%. The HMRC investment tests are set out in Chapter 3 of Part 6 Income Tax Act 2007, which should be read in conjunction with this section of the investment manager's report. Funds raised by VCTs are first included in the investment tests from the start of the accounting period containing the third anniversary of the date on which the funds were raised. Therefore, the allocation of qualifying investments as defined by the legislation can be different to the portfolio weighting as measured by market value relative to the net assets of the VCT. POST HALF YEAR UPDATE Deal flow has been good since period end with 4 new qualifying investments made, 1 as a follow-on investment into an existing qualifying holding and 3 into new qualifying companies. We also have several deals in the pipeline which we expect to complete in the coming weeks. NAV performance has also been good post period end, with the net asset per share gaining 4.4% to 81.55 pence. The majority of listed investments held within the portfolio are listed, headquartered and registered in the UK with the exception of the following: TOP TEN INVESTMENTS As at 31 March 2017 (By Market Value) The top 10 equity investments are shown below; each is valued by reference to the bid price, or, in the case of unquoted companies, values are either based on the last arm's length transaction or valuation techniques, such as earnings multiples. Forecasts, where given, are drawn from a combination of broker research and/or Bloomberg consensus forecasts and exclude amortisation, share based payments and exceptional items. Forecasts are in relation to a period end for which the company results are yet to be released. The net cash values are drawn from published accounts in most cases. For further information please contact: STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES in respect of the half-yearly financial report In accordance with Disclosure Transparency Rule (DTR) 4.2.10, Aubrey Brocklebank Bt (Chairman), David Brock and Oliver Bedford, the Directors, confirm that to the best of their knowledge: On behalf of the Board of Directors. CONDENSED INCOME STATEMENT for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) The total column of this statement is the income statement of the Company. All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has no other comprehensive income other than the results for the six month period as set out above. The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. The total column of this statement is the income statement of the Company. All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has no other comprehensive income other than the results for the year as set out above. The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) Reserves available for distribution are capital reserve realised, special reserve and revenue reserve. Total distributable reserves at 31 March 2017 were £13.61 million.  The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY for the six month period to 31 March 2016 (unaudited) Reserves available for distribution are capital reserve realised, special reserve and revenue reserve. Total distributable reserves at 31 March 2016 were £16.89 million.  The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY for the year ended 30 September 2016 (audited) Reserves available for distribution are capital reserve realised, special reserve and revenue reserve. Total distributable reserves at 30 September 2016 were £14.93 million.  The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. EXPLANATORY NOTES for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) A summary of the principal accounting policies, all of which have been applied consistently throughout the period, is set out below: Basis of preparation The Company has prepared its half-yearly financial results for the six month period ending 31 March 2017 in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 (FRS104) and the Statement of Recommended Practice for "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts" (the SORP). The same accounting policies and methods of computation are followed in the half-yearly financial results as compared with the most recent annual financial statements. Investments All investments are classified as fair value through profit or loss. Investments are measured initially and subsequently at fair value which is deemed to be bid market prices for listed investments and investments traded on AIM. Unquoted investments are valued using the most appropriate methodology recommended by the International Private Equity Venture Capital ("IPEV") guidelines. Where the classification of a financial instrument requires it to be stated at fair value, this is determined by reference to the quoted bid price in an active market wherever possible. Where no such active market exists for the particular asset or liability the Company holds the investment at cost for a period where there is considered to be no change in fair value. Valuations of unquoted investments are reviewed on a six monthly basis and more frequently if events occur that could have a material impact on the investment. Where cost is no longer considered appropriate the Company will use a value indicated by a material arms-length transaction by an independent third party in the shares of a company. Where no such transaction exists the Company will use the most appropriate valuation technique including discounted cash flow analysis, earnings multiples, net assets and industry valuation benchmarks. All inputs are market observable with the exception of level C financial instruments. Investments are recognised and derecognised at trade date where a purchase or sale is under a contract whose terms require delivery within the time frame established by the market concerned. Purchases and sales of unlisted investments are recognised when the contract for acquisition or sale becomes unconditional. Transaction costs are included in the initial book cost or deducted from the disposal proceeds as appropriate. These investments will be managed and their performance evaluated on a fair value basis in accordance with a documented investment strategy and information about them is provided internally on that basis to the Board. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value (realised and unrealised) are included in the net profit or loss for the period as a capital item in the income statement and are taken to the unrealised capital reserve or realised capital reserve as appropriate. If an investment has been impaired such that there is no realistic expectation that there will be a full return from the investment, the loss is treated as a permanent impairment and transferred to the capital reserve realised. Financial Instruments - fair value measurement hierarchy FRS 102 requires certain disclosures which require the classification of financial assets and financial liabilities measured at fair value using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of the inputs used in making the fair value measurement.                   The fair value hierarchy has the following levels: Key judgements and estimates The preparation of the financial statements requires the Board to make judgements and estimates that affect the application of policies and reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Key estimation uncertainties mainly relate to the fair valuation of unquoted investments, which are based on historical experience and other factors that are considered reasonable including the transfer price of the most recent transaction on an arm's length basis. The estimates are under continuous review with particular attention paid to the carrying value of the investments. The process of estimation is also affected by the determination of the fair value hierarchy.                   Income         Equity dividends are taken into account on the ex-dividend date, net of any associated tax credit. Fixed returns on non-equity shares and debt securities are recognised on a time apportionment basis so as to reflect the effective yield, provided there is no reasonable doubt that payment will be received in due course. All other income, including deposit interest receivable, is recognised on an accruals basis. All revenue and capital items in the unaudited income statement derive from continuing operations. There are no other items of comprehensive income other than those disclosed in the unaudited income statement.                   Expenditure         All expenditure is accounted for on an accruals basis. 75% of management fees are allocated to the capital reserve realised and 25% to the revenue account in line with the Board's expected long term split of investment returns in the form of capital gains to the capital column of the income statement. All other expenditure is charged to the revenue account.                   Trail commission         Trail commission previously due is held as a creditor until such time as claims are made by the relevant intermediary and supporting documentation provided. If claims are not received these amounts are written off after a period of six years.                   Capital reserves         Realised profits and losses on the disposal of investments, due diligence costs and income in relation to private company investments, losses realised on investments considered to be permanently impaired and 75% of investment management fees are accounted for in the capital reserve realised.                   Increases and decreases in the valuation of investments held at the year end are accounted for in the capital reserve unrealised.                   Operating segments         There is considered to be one operating segment as reported to the chief operating decision maker being investment in equity and debt securities.                   Taxation         Deferred tax is recognised in respect of all timing differences that have originated but not yet reversed at the balance sheet date. Deferred tax assets are only recognised to the extent that recovery is probable in the foreseeable future.                   Current tax is expected tax payable on the taxable revenue for the period using the current tax rate. The tax effect of different items of income and expenditure is allocated between capital and revenue on the same basis as the particular item to which it relates.                   Approved VCTs are exempt from tax on capital gains from the sale of fixed asset investments. The Directors intend that the Company will continue to conduct its affairs to maintain its VCT status, no deferred tax has been provided in respect of any capital gains or losses arising from the revaluation or disposal of investments.                   Dividends         Only dividends recognised during the year are deducted from revenue or capital reserves. Final and interim dividends are recognised in the accounts when the Company's liability to pay them has been established.                   Summary of dividends paid in the six months to 31 March 2017 and the financial year ending 30 September 2016 are detailed below: Functional currency In accordance with FRS 102 s.30, the Company is required to nominate a functional currency, being the currency in which the Company predominantly operates. The Board has determined that sterling is the Company's functional currency. Sterling is also the currency in which these accounts are presented. Repurchase of shares to hold in treasury The cost of repurchasing shares into treasury, including the related stamp duty and transaction costs is charged to special reserve and dealt with in the statement of changes in equity. Share repurchase transactions are accounted for on a trade date basis. Where shares held in treasury are subsequently cancelled, the nominal value of those shares is transferred out of share capital and into capital redemption reserve. Should shares held in treasury be reissued, the sale proceeds will be treated as a realised profit up to the amount of the purchase price of those shares and will be transferred to capital reserves. The excess of the sale proceeds over the purchase price will be transferred to share premium. Contingencies, guarantees and financial commitments  There were no contingencies, guarantees or financial commitments of the Company at 31 March 2017.  Legal form and principal activities The Company was incorporated and registered in England and Wales on 16 August 2004 under the Companies Act 1985, registered number 5206425. The Company has been approved as a Venture Capital Trust by HMRC under section 259 of the Income Taxes Act 2007. The shares of the Company were first admitted to the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and trading on the London Stock Exchange on 29 October 2004 and can be found under the TIDM code "HHV". The Company is premium listed. The Company's principal activity is to invest in a diversified portfolio of qualifying small UK based companies, primarily trading on AIM, with a view to maximising tax free dividend distributions to shareholders. The Company is an externally managed fund with a Board comprising of three non-executive directors. Hargreave Hale Limited acts as investment manager, administrator and custodian to the Company and provide the company secretary. The Board has overall responsibility for the Company's affairs including the determination of its investment policy, however, the Board may exercise these responsibilities through delegation to Hargreave Hale as it considers appropriate. The Directors have managed and continue to manage the Company's affairs in such a manner as to comply with Section 259 of the Income Taxes Act 2007. Share capital Ordinary shares are classed as equity. The ordinary shares in issue have a nominal value of one pence and carry one vote each. Reserves A description of each of the reserves follows: Share premium This reserve represents the difference between the issue price of shares and the nominal value of shares at the date of issue, net of related issue costs. Capital redemption reserve This reserve is used for the cancellation of shares bought back under the buyback facility. Special reserve Distributable reserve used to pay dividends and re-purchase shares under the buyback facility. Capital reserve realised Gains/losses on disposal of investments, due diligence costs and income from private company investments, permanent impairment of financial assets and 75% of the investment management fee are accounted for in the capital reserve realised. Capital reserve unrealised Unrealised gains and losses on investments held at the year-end arising from movements in fair value are taken to the capital reserve unrealised. Revenue reserve Net revenue returns and losses of the Company. The gain per ordinary share of 3.98 pence at 31 March 2017 (31 March 2016: 1.52 pence and 30 September 2016: gain 5.58 pence) is based on a net gain for the period of £2,942,172 (31 March 2016:  gain £810,996 and 30 September 2016: gain £3,115,012) and the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue over the period of 73,942,080 (31 March 2016: 53,331,291 and 30 September 2016: 55,810,087). The results should not be taken as a guide to the results for the financial period ending 30 September 2017. This report may contain forward looking statements with regards to the financial condition and results of the Company, which are made in the light of current economic and business circumstances. Nothing in this report should be considered as a profit forecast. The net asset value per ordinary share at 31 March 2017 of 78.12 pence (31 March 2016: 73.91 pence and 30 September 2016: 75.93 pence) after deducting the 2.25 pence dividend paid in January 2017 is based on net assets of £63,562,650 (31 March 2016: £41,422,656 and 30 September 2016: £47,071,964) and on 81,370,569 shares (31 March 2016: 56,044,604 shares and 30 September 2016: 61,995,274 shares), being the number of ordinary shares in issue as at 31 March 2017. The financial information contained in the 31 March 2017 income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and statement of changes in equity does not constitute full financial statements and has not been audited. The principal risks facing the Company relate to the Company's investment activities and include venture capital trust approval, investment, discount volatility, compliance, economic, fraud, operational, reputational, liquidity and outsourcing risk. Other risks faced by the Company include market risk, currency risk, interest rate risk and credit risk. These risks and the way in which they are managed are described in more detail in the Company's annual report and accounts for the year ended 30 September 2016. The Company's principal risks and uncertainties have not changed materially since the date of that report. Buybacks In total, the Company repurchased 318,221 shares during the six month period ending 31 March 2017 at a total cost of £236,079. The repurchased shares represent 0.51% of ordinary shares in issue on 1 October 2016. The acquired shares have been cancelled. Share issues In total, the Company issued 19,693,516 new shares (nominal value £196,935) during the six month period ending 31 March 2017 raising net proceeds of £15,214,886. Hargreave Hale Limited is considered to be a related party to the Company.  Oliver Bedford, a non-executive director of the Company and a member of its key management personnel, is an employee of Hargreave Hale Limited. In addition Hargreave Hale Limited acts as investment manager, administrator and custodian to the Company and it provides the company secretary. All of the support functions performed by Hargreave Hale Limited are segregated by department and location and are independent of each other. Hargreave Hale Limited in its capacity as investment manager of the fund receives annual fees of 1.5% per annum of the net assets of the Company, calculated and payable quarterly in arrears. Fees for the half-year are £376,830 (2016: £281,241). In relation to the other support functions described above, Hargreave Hale Limited also provides administration services, custody services, company secretarial services and one non-executive director and received fees of £50,000 in the period (2016: £40,000) in relation to these services. Of those fees, £90,032 (2016: £48,972) was still owed at the half-year end.                   Hargreave Hale Limited has agreed to indemnify the Company against annual running costs (such costs excluding VAT, any performance incentive fee and any trail commissions the payment of which is the responsibility of the Company) exceeding 3.5% of its net assets. No fees were waved by Hargreave Hale in the first half of the financial year under the indemnity.                   During the half year, the Company issued 19,693,516 ordinary shares (nominal value £196,935) in a joint offer for subscription which resulted in gross funds being received of £15,545,734. As marketing adviser and receiving agent to the Company, and in return for covering the costs of the joint offer, Hargreave Hale Limited was entitled to 3.5% of the gross proceeds (£544,101), often referred to as the 'premium'. From this, Hargreave Hale Limited paid for the allotment of additional shares to investors with a value of £213,253 and introducer commission of £740, resulting in net fees payable to Hargreave Hale of £330,108. After making enquires, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. Issue of equity Following the period end, the offer for subscription resulted in an additional 844,468 ordinary shares being issued, raising gross proceeds of £671,931. Buybacks Since the period end, a further 206,867 ordinary shares have been repurchased at a total value of £158,516. New investments The Company has invested in the following new companies since the period end: Qualifying companies An investment of £618k has been made in Dorcaster plc, £501k in Zoo Digital Group plc and £332k in Velocity Composites plc. The Company's ordinary shares (Code: HHV) are listed on the London Stock Exchange. Shareholders can visit the London Stock Exchange website, www.londonstockexchange.com, for the latest news and share prices of the Company. Further information for the Company can be found on its website at www.hargreaveaimvcts.co.uk. NET ASSET VALUE PER SHARE The Company's NAV per share as at 19 May 2017 was 81.55 pence per share. The Company publishes its unaudited NAV per share on a weekly basis. DIVIDENDS The board has approved the payment of an interim dividend of 1.75 pence in respect of the six months ended 31 March 2017. Shareholders who wish to have future dividends paid directly into their bank account rather than sent by cheque to their registered address can complete a mandate for this purpose. Mandates can be obtained by contacting the Company's Registrar, Equiniti. SELLING YOUR SHARES Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc operates a share buy-back policy to improve the liquidity in its ordinary shares for cancellation. Share buy-back policies are subject to the Act, the Listing Rules and tax legislation, which may restrict the VCTs' ability to buy shares back in. The policy is non-binding and is at the discretion of the Board. The buy-back policy targets a 5% discount to the last published NAV per share as announced on the London Stock Exchange through a regulatory news service provider. The discount is measured against the mid-price per share as listed on the London Stock Exchange and reflects the price at which the Company buys its shares off the market makers. The Company publishes its unaudited NAV per share on a weekly basis. VCT share disposals settle two business days post trade if the shares are already dematerialised or placed into CREST ahead of the trade, or ten days post trade if the stock is held in certificated form. VCT share disposals are exempt of capital gains tax when the disposal is made at arms' length, which means a shareholder must sell their shares to a market maker through a stockbroker or another share dealing service. Hargreave Hale has particular expertise in the sale of VCT shares and is able to act for VCT shareholders who wish to sell their shares. However, you are free to nominate any stockbroker or share dealing service to act for you. If you would like Hargreave Hale to act for you as their client (as opposed to a shareholder in the Company) then please contact Andrew Pang for further information (020 7009 4900, andrew.pang@hargreave.com). Please note that Hargreave Hale will need to be in possession of the share certificate and a completed CREST transfer form before executing the sale. If you have lost your share certificate, then you can request a replacement certificate from the Company's registrar Equiniti. The registrar will send out an indemnity form, which you will need to sign. The indemnity form will also need to be countersigned by a UK insurance company or bank that is a member of the Association of British Insurers. Since indemnification is a form of insurance, the indemnifying body will ask for a payment to reflect their risk. Fees will reflect the value of the potential liability. SHAREHOLDER ENQUIRIES: For general Shareholder enquiries, please contact Hargreave Hale Limited on 01253 754700 or by e-mail to aimvct@hargreave.com. For enquiries concerning the performance of the Company, please contact the investment manager on 0207 009 4937 or by e-mail to aimvct@hargreave.com. Electronic copies of this report and other published information can be found on the Company's website at www.hargreaveaimvcts.co.uk. CHANGE OF ADDRESS To notify the Company of a change of address please contact the Company's Registrar.


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 Plc Unaudited Interim Results for the six month period ending 31 March 2017 * 30 September 2016 financial highlights represent annual results ** Calculated as total expenses (annualised for half yearly results) minus ad hoc legal costs and adjusted for trail commission written off, divided by period end net assets INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE The objective of the VCT is to achieve long term capital growth and to maximise tax free distributions to shareholders by investing in a diversified portfolio of small UK companies primarily traded on AIM. At least 70% of the Company's funds must be invested in qualifying holdings within three years of raising the funds. The balance of the Company's funds will be invested in liquid assets (such as fixed income securities and bank deposits) and non-qualifying equity investments on an opportunistic basis. The Company is managed as a Venture Capital Trust in order that shareholders in the Company may benefit from the tax relief available. INTRODUCTION In the first half of the financial year the Net Asset Value (NAV) per share increased from 75.93 pence to 78.12 pence equivalent to an increase of 5.8% after adding back the 2.25 pence dividend distributed in January 2017. During the same period the FTSE 100 Total Return Index rose 8.1% and the FTSE AIM All Share Total Return Index rose 14.3%. RESULTS The gain per share for the six month period was 3.98 pence per share (comprising revenue losses of 0.14 pence and capital gains of 4.12 pence). At 31 March 2017 the total return since inception of the fund was 122.37 pence. INVESTMENTS The investment manager, Hargreave Hale Limited, invested a further £3.44 million in 9 qualifying companies during the period of which 6 were AIM companies and 3 unquoted. The fair value of qualifying investments at 31 March 2017 was £33.33 million invested in 69 AIM companies and 10 unquoted companies. The balance of the funds was held in a mix of cash and non-qualifying equities. At 31 March 2017 the VCT was 87.30% invested as measured by HMRC. DIVIDEND A final dividend for the year ended 30 September 2016 of 2.25 pence was paid on 17 January 2017. The directors continue to maintain a policy of distributing at least 5% of the year end NAV to shareholders. An interim dividend of 1.75 pence (2016: 1.75p) will be paid on 30 June 2017, with an ex-dividend date of 8 June 2017 and a record date of 9 June 2017. BUYBACKS We have been able to maintain our policy of offering our shareholders an efficient exit route through the buyback scheme. In total, 318,221 shares were repurchased during the six month period ending 31 March 2017 at a weighted average price of 74.59 pence per share. Since the period a further 206,867 shares have been repurchased at a weighted average price of 76.07 pence. The Board continues to target a share price discount of 5% of the NAV per share (as measured against the mid-price) for market purchases. It should be emphasised that this target is non-binding and dependent on circumstances, including the Company's liquidity from time to time and market conditions. JOINT OFFER FOR SUBSCRIPTION - 2015 On 17 November 2016 the joint offer for subscription for new shares in Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc and Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 2 plc (launched in December 2015) was closed with £12.46 million raised for Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc. JOINT OFFER FOR SUBSCRIPTION - 2016 The Directors of the Company announced on 14 December 2016 the launch of a new joint offer for subscription for shares in both Hargreave Hale AIM VCTs to raise up to £10 million in the Company and up to £10 million in Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 2 plc. The offer was approved by shareholders of the Company at a general meeting on 12 January 2017 and was open to both new and existing shareholders. On 9 March 2017 Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc announced that it had received applications in excess of £10 million and, accordingly, the directors of Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc announced that they intended to utilise the £5 million Over-Allotment Facility. On 15 March 2017 the Company announced that the offer was fully subscribed, resulting in gross funds being received of £15 million and the issue of 18.96 million new shares in the Company. I am pleased to report that an immediate effect is that the ongoing expense ratio has dropped from 1.99% in September 2016 to 1.83% as at 31 March 2017. VCT REGULATION In order to comply with EU regulations regarding State Aid, the VCT rules were subject to substantial changes in the budget on 8 July 2015, which came into effect on 18 November 2015. In the round we do not think these rules have greatly affected the Company, although we will no longer be able to make non-qualifying investments in companies listed on AIM or UK government bonds. We are able to continue to invest via the Marlborough Special Situations Fund and we are free to invest in companies listed on the main market. BOARD CHANGES Giles Hargreave resigned as a director of the Company on 13 December 2016. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Giles for all his hard work on the Board. Following the resignation of Giles Hargreave, Oliver Bedford was appointed as a non-executive director of the Company on 13 December 2016. I am pleased to report that Giles still works for the manager and that we still benefit from his expertise and sagacity. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS Following approval at a general meeting on 12 January 2017, the Company has adopted electronic communications. Your Board believes this is beneficial to the Company and its shareholders and will result in substantial cost savings and improved timeliness and transparency of communications. AUDIT TENDER As announced in the annual report and accounts for the year ended 30 September 2016 a mandatory audit tender is required in the current year. I am pleased to confirm the process is underway and a further update will be given in due course. OUTLOOK The outcome of the American elections and Brexit vote does not appear to have had an adverse effect on the stock markets and the drop in the value of sterling seems to have a beneficial effect on exports and the balance of trade.  After the results of recent polls around the world I am reluctant to publish my views on the outcome of the forthcoming election! For the next two years it seems that we will suffer the media's fascination with the Brexit negotiations. Given that the EU has only managed to negotiate one trade deal, Canada, in the last 10 or so years it is hard to believe that the UK will achieve much in two. This will have little effect in the short term but may make the markets more volatile in the longer term. We continue to invest in companies with good management and robust business plans that we hope will weather any storms. Furthermore we are seeing more private equity opportunities in sound companies with future growth and these will not be affected by the vagaries of the market. INTRODUCTION This report covers the first half of the 2016/17 financial year, 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017. The manager's report contains references to movements in the Net Asset Value (NAV) per share and Total Return per share (NAV per share plus distributed earnings per share). Movements in the NAV per share do not necessarily mirror the earnings per share (EPS) reported in the accounts and elsewhere, which convey the profit after tax for the company within the reported period as a function of the weighted average number of shares in issue for the period. INVESTMENT REPORT The period under review was a strong period for equities with markets taking Trump's election as the US President as a substantial positive despite the many political uncertainties that accompanied his victory.  Politics aside, global economic growth was robust, with US GDP growth and low interest rates leading developed markets higher. Although not new news, ongoing weakness in sterling helped UK equities continue their strong run with foreign earnings providing a welcome earnings kicker for export orientated companies. By and large, VCT regulations channel us into small domestically focussed growth stories, so we were unable to fully benefit from the trend that persisted through much of the first quarter of the financial year, although we did derive some benefit through companies such as Abcam and Craneware, as well as parts of our non-qualifying portfolio.  The positive mood within the major indices filtered down the chain and the second quarter saw a beneficial uptick in risk sentiment within smallcap equities, which favoured our qualifying investments. The second half of the financial year has already thrown up a number of risks and surprises, the French and UK elections being the most recent examples.  Doubtless there will be more; however, for now the UK economy feels strong enough and, although we have seen some evidence of weakness within the housing market and elements of the casual dining sub-sector, by and large the macro picture remains workable.  We expect the UK consumer to be more challenged this year as real wage growth turns negative, with some weakness already showing up in consumer confidence data. But in the round, we find most companies to be positive about the outlook and there seems to be reasonable demand for new capital to support their growth and development. PERFORMANCE In the six months to 31 March 2017, the NAV increased from 75.93 pence to 78.12 pence. A total of 2.25 pence per share was paid in dividends, giving investors a total return of 4.44 pence per share, which translates to a gain of 5.8%. During the same period the FTSE AIM All-Share Total Return gained 14.3%, whilst the FTSE 100 Total Return gained 8.1%. The qualifying investments made a net contribution of 2.86 pence per share with 34 out of the 79 making gains, 11 unchanged and 34 losing ground. The balance was the net of non-qualifying portfolio gains, running costs and investment income. Cohort was the top performing qualifying investment (+38.7%, +0.90 pence per share). The company confirmed the outlook for the year ending April 2017 and announced a series of material contract wins.  The company has a significant net cash balance and remains well positioned to benefit from structural growth in defence spending on specific technologies and platforms.  Animalcare also performed well (+55.4%, +0.82 pence per share). The company delivered a very strong trading update in January, prompting analysts to upgrade numbers. Product development and international sales are translating through to growth in revenues and profits. Maxcyte (+219.3%, +0.73 pence per share), Quixant (+40.7%, +0.55 pence per share) and Learning Technologies Group (+29.7%, +0.48 pence per share) were all also significant contributors over the period. The biggest (unrealised) losses within the period came from TrakM8 (-60.0%, -0.88 pence per share) and K3 Business Technology (-29.0%, -0.48 pence per share).  TrakM8 announced a material profit downgrade after contract deferrals left the company exposed to an overhead that was outsized relative to the revised revenue outcome. K3 Business Technology was another company to report softer market conditions and lengthening sales cycles.  Other losses came from Instem Life (-42.0%, -0.34 pence per share) and Tasty (-51.7%, -0.30 pence per share), all of which pared back their profit guidance. We invested £3.44m into 9 qualifying companies over the period, including 3 further investments into existing qualifying companies; 3 IPOs and 3 additional private investments. Within the qualifying portfolio, several investee companies experienced strong runs in the market, which led us to make partial disposals in Abcam, Craneware, Creo, Directa Plus, DP Poland, ECSC, Loop Up, Maxcyte and Surface Transforms. PORTFOLIO STRUCTURE The VCT is comfortably through the HMRC defined investment test and ended the period at 87.30% invested as measured by the HMRC investment test. By market value, the VCT had a 52.4% weighting to qualifying investments. The allocation to non-qualifying equity investments increased marginally from 15.4% to 18.9%.  We continued to make use of the Marlborough Special Situations Fund as a temporary home for proceeds from fundraising, lifting the allocation from 4.7% to 10.2%. The non-qualifying investments contributed +2.03 pence per share to the overall gains. We sold our remaining fixed income investment and kept cash steady at 18.8%. The HMRC investment tests are set out in Chapter 3 of Part 6 Income Tax Act 2007, which should be read in conjunction with this section of the investment manager's report. Funds raised by VCTs are first included in the investment tests from the start of the accounting period containing the third anniversary of the date on which the funds were raised. Therefore, the allocation of qualifying investments as defined by the legislation can be different to the portfolio weighting as measured by market value relative to the net assets of the VCT. POST HALF YEAR UPDATE Deal flow has been good since period end with 4 new qualifying investments made, 1 as a follow-on investment into an existing qualifying holding and 3 into new qualifying companies. We also have several deals in the pipeline which we expect to complete in the coming weeks. NAV performance has also been good post period end, with the net asset per share gaining 4.4% to 81.55 pence. The majority of listed investments held within the portfolio are listed, headquartered and registered in the UK with the exception of the following: TOP TEN INVESTMENTS As at 31 March 2017 (By Market Value) The top 10 equity investments are shown below; each is valued by reference to the bid price, or, in the case of unquoted companies, values are either based on the last arm's length transaction or valuation techniques, such as earnings multiples. Forecasts, where given, are drawn from a combination of broker research and/or Bloomberg consensus forecasts and exclude amortisation, share based payments and exceptional items. Forecasts are in relation to a period end for which the company results are yet to be released. The net cash values are drawn from published accounts in most cases. For further information please contact: STATEMENT OF DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITIES in respect of the half-yearly financial report In accordance with Disclosure Transparency Rule (DTR) 4.2.10, Aubrey Brocklebank Bt (Chairman), David Brock and Oliver Bedford, the Directors, confirm that to the best of their knowledge: On behalf of the Board of Directors. CONDENSED INCOME STATEMENT for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) The total column of this statement is the income statement of the Company. All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has no other comprehensive income other than the results for the six month period as set out above. The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. The total column of this statement is the income statement of the Company. All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The Company has no other comprehensive income other than the results for the year as set out above. The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) Reserves available for distribution are capital reserve realised, special reserve and revenue reserve. Total distributable reserves at 31 March 2017 were £13.61 million.  The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY for the six month period to 31 March 2016 (unaudited) Reserves available for distribution are capital reserve realised, special reserve and revenue reserve. Total distributable reserves at 31 March 2016 were £16.89 million.  The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY for the year ended 30 September 2016 (audited) Reserves available for distribution are capital reserve realised, special reserve and revenue reserve. Total distributable reserves at 30 September 2016 were £14.93 million.  The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements. EXPLANATORY NOTES for the six month period to 31 March 2017 (unaudited) A summary of the principal accounting policies, all of which have been applied consistently throughout the period, is set out below: Basis of preparation The Company has prepared its half-yearly financial results for the six month period ending 31 March 2017 in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 (FRS104) and the Statement of Recommended Practice for "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts" (the SORP). The same accounting policies and methods of computation are followed in the half-yearly financial results as compared with the most recent annual financial statements. Investments All investments are classified as fair value through profit or loss. Investments are measured initially and subsequently at fair value which is deemed to be bid market prices for listed investments and investments traded on AIM. Unquoted investments are valued using the most appropriate methodology recommended by the International Private Equity Venture Capital ("IPEV") guidelines. Where the classification of a financial instrument requires it to be stated at fair value, this is determined by reference to the quoted bid price in an active market wherever possible. Where no such active market exists for the particular asset or liability the Company holds the investment at cost for a period where there is considered to be no change in fair value. Valuations of unquoted investments are reviewed on a six monthly basis and more frequently if events occur that could have a material impact on the investment. Where cost is no longer considered appropriate the Company will use a value indicated by a material arms-length transaction by an independent third party in the shares of a company. Where no such transaction exists the Company will use the most appropriate valuation technique including discounted cash flow analysis, earnings multiples, net assets and industry valuation benchmarks. All inputs are market observable with the exception of level C financial instruments. Investments are recognised and derecognised at trade date where a purchase or sale is under a contract whose terms require delivery within the time frame established by the market concerned. Purchases and sales of unlisted investments are recognised when the contract for acquisition or sale becomes unconditional. Transaction costs are included in the initial book cost or deducted from the disposal proceeds as appropriate. These investments will be managed and their performance evaluated on a fair value basis in accordance with a documented investment strategy and information about them is provided internally on that basis to the Board. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value (realised and unrealised) are included in the net profit or loss for the period as a capital item in the income statement and are taken to the unrealised capital reserve or realised capital reserve as appropriate. If an investment has been impaired such that there is no realistic expectation that there will be a full return from the investment, the loss is treated as a permanent impairment and transferred to the capital reserve realised. Financial Instruments - fair value measurement hierarchy FRS 102 requires certain disclosures which require the classification of financial assets and financial liabilities measured at fair value using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of the inputs used in making the fair value measurement.                   The fair value hierarchy has the following levels: Key judgements and estimates The preparation of the financial statements requires the Board to make judgements and estimates that affect the application of policies and reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses. Key estimation uncertainties mainly relate to the fair valuation of unquoted investments, which are based on historical experience and other factors that are considered reasonable including the transfer price of the most recent transaction on an arm's length basis. The estimates are under continuous review with particular attention paid to the carrying value of the investments. The process of estimation is also affected by the determination of the fair value hierarchy.                   Income         Equity dividends are taken into account on the ex-dividend date, net of any associated tax credit. Fixed returns on non-equity shares and debt securities are recognised on a time apportionment basis so as to reflect the effective yield, provided there is no reasonable doubt that payment will be received in due course. All other income, including deposit interest receivable, is recognised on an accruals basis. All revenue and capital items in the unaudited income statement derive from continuing operations. There are no other items of comprehensive income other than those disclosed in the unaudited income statement.                   Expenditure         All expenditure is accounted for on an accruals basis. 75% of management fees are allocated to the capital reserve realised and 25% to the revenue account in line with the Board's expected long term split of investment returns in the form of capital gains to the capital column of the income statement. All other expenditure is charged to the revenue account.                   Trail commission         Trail commission previously due is held as a creditor until such time as claims are made by the relevant intermediary and supporting documentation provided. If claims are not received these amounts are written off after a period of six years.                   Capital reserves         Realised profits and losses on the disposal of investments, due diligence costs and income in relation to private company investments, losses realised on investments considered to be permanently impaired and 75% of investment management fees are accounted for in the capital reserve realised.                   Increases and decreases in the valuation of investments held at the year end are accounted for in the capital reserve unrealised.                   Operating segments         There is considered to be one operating segment as reported to the chief operating decision maker being investment in equity and debt securities.                   Taxation         Deferred tax is recognised in respect of all timing differences that have originated but not yet reversed at the balance sheet date. Deferred tax assets are only recognised to the extent that recovery is probable in the foreseeable future.                   Current tax is expected tax payable on the taxable revenue for the period using the current tax rate. The tax effect of different items of income and expenditure is allocated between capital and revenue on the same basis as the particular item to which it relates.                   Approved VCTs are exempt from tax on capital gains from the sale of fixed asset investments. The Directors intend that the Company will continue to conduct its affairs to maintain its VCT status, no deferred tax has been provided in respect of any capital gains or losses arising from the revaluation or disposal of investments.                   Dividends         Only dividends recognised during the year are deducted from revenue or capital reserves. Final and interim dividends are recognised in the accounts when the Company's liability to pay them has been established.                   Summary of dividends paid in the six months to 31 March 2017 and the financial year ending 30 September 2016 are detailed below: Functional currency In accordance with FRS 102 s.30, the Company is required to nominate a functional currency, being the currency in which the Company predominantly operates. The Board has determined that sterling is the Company's functional currency. Sterling is also the currency in which these accounts are presented. Repurchase of shares to hold in treasury The cost of repurchasing shares into treasury, including the related stamp duty and transaction costs is charged to special reserve and dealt with in the statement of changes in equity. Share repurchase transactions are accounted for on a trade date basis. Where shares held in treasury are subsequently cancelled, the nominal value of those shares is transferred out of share capital and into capital redemption reserve. Should shares held in treasury be reissued, the sale proceeds will be treated as a realised profit up to the amount of the purchase price of those shares and will be transferred to capital reserves. The excess of the sale proceeds over the purchase price will be transferred to share premium. Contingencies, guarantees and financial commitments  There were no contingencies, guarantees or financial commitments of the Company at 31 March 2017.  Legal form and principal activities The Company was incorporated and registered in England and Wales on 16 August 2004 under the Companies Act 1985, registered number 5206425. The Company has been approved as a Venture Capital Trust by HMRC under section 259 of the Income Taxes Act 2007. The shares of the Company were first admitted to the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and trading on the London Stock Exchange on 29 October 2004 and can be found under the TIDM code "HHV". The Company is premium listed. The Company's principal activity is to invest in a diversified portfolio of qualifying small UK based companies, primarily trading on AIM, with a view to maximising tax free dividend distributions to shareholders. The Company is an externally managed fund with a Board comprising of three non-executive directors. Hargreave Hale Limited acts as investment manager, administrator and custodian to the Company and provide the company secretary. The Board has overall responsibility for the Company's affairs including the determination of its investment policy, however, the Board may exercise these responsibilities through delegation to Hargreave Hale as it considers appropriate. The Directors have managed and continue to manage the Company's affairs in such a manner as to comply with Section 259 of the Income Taxes Act 2007. Share capital Ordinary shares are classed as equity. The ordinary shares in issue have a nominal value of one pence and carry one vote each. Reserves A description of each of the reserves follows: Share premium This reserve represents the difference between the issue price of shares and the nominal value of shares at the date of issue, net of related issue costs. Capital redemption reserve This reserve is used for the cancellation of shares bought back under the buyback facility. Special reserve Distributable reserve used to pay dividends and re-purchase shares under the buyback facility. Capital reserve realised Gains/losses on disposal of investments, due diligence costs and income from private company investments, permanent impairment of financial assets and 75% of the investment management fee are accounted for in the capital reserve realised. Capital reserve unrealised Unrealised gains and losses on investments held at the year-end arising from movements in fair value are taken to the capital reserve unrealised. Revenue reserve Net revenue returns and losses of the Company. The gain per ordinary share of 3.98 pence at 31 March 2017 (31 March 2016: 1.52 pence and 30 September 2016: gain 5.58 pence) is based on a net gain for the period of £2,942,172 (31 March 2016:  gain £810,996 and 30 September 2016: gain £3,115,012) and the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue over the period of 73,942,080 (31 March 2016: 53,331,291 and 30 September 2016: 55,810,087). The results should not be taken as a guide to the results for the financial period ending 30 September 2017. This report may contain forward looking statements with regards to the financial condition and results of the Company, which are made in the light of current economic and business circumstances. Nothing in this report should be considered as a profit forecast. The net asset value per ordinary share at 31 March 2017 of 78.12 pence (31 March 2016: 73.91 pence and 30 September 2016: 75.93 pence) after deducting the 2.25 pence dividend paid in January 2017 is based on net assets of £63,562,650 (31 March 2016: £41,422,656 and 30 September 2016: £47,071,964) and on 81,370,569 shares (31 March 2016: 56,044,604 shares and 30 September 2016: 61,995,274 shares), being the number of ordinary shares in issue as at 31 March 2017. The financial information contained in the 31 March 2017 income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and statement of changes in equity does not constitute full financial statements and has not been audited. The principal risks facing the Company relate to the Company's investment activities and include venture capital trust approval, investment, discount volatility, compliance, economic, fraud, operational, reputational, liquidity and outsourcing risk. Other risks faced by the Company include market risk, currency risk, interest rate risk and credit risk. These risks and the way in which they are managed are described in more detail in the Company's annual report and accounts for the year ended 30 September 2016. The Company's principal risks and uncertainties have not changed materially since the date of that report. Buybacks In total, the Company repurchased 318,221 shares during the six month period ending 31 March 2017 at a total cost of £236,079. The repurchased shares represent 0.51% of ordinary shares in issue on 1 October 2016. The acquired shares have been cancelled. Share issues In total, the Company issued 19,693,516 new shares (nominal value £196,935) during the six month period ending 31 March 2017 raising net proceeds of £15,214,886. Hargreave Hale Limited is considered to be a related party to the Company.  Oliver Bedford, a non-executive director of the Company and a member of its key management personnel, is an employee of Hargreave Hale Limited. In addition Hargreave Hale Limited acts as investment manager, administrator and custodian to the Company and it provides the company secretary. All of the support functions performed by Hargreave Hale Limited are segregated by department and location and are independent of each other. Hargreave Hale Limited in its capacity as investment manager of the fund receives annual fees of 1.5% per annum of the net assets of the Company, calculated and payable quarterly in arrears. Fees for the half-year are £376,830 (2016: £281,241). In relation to the other support functions described above, Hargreave Hale Limited also provides administration services, custody services, company secretarial services and one non-executive director and received fees of £50,000 in the period (2016: £40,000) in relation to these services. Of those fees, £90,032 (2016: £48,972) was still owed at the half-year end.                   Hargreave Hale Limited has agreed to indemnify the Company against annual running costs (such costs excluding VAT, any performance incentive fee and any trail commissions the payment of which is the responsibility of the Company) exceeding 3.5% of its net assets. No fees were waved by Hargreave Hale in the first half of the financial year under the indemnity.                   During the half year, the Company issued 19,693,516 ordinary shares (nominal value £196,935) in a joint offer for subscription which resulted in gross funds being received of £15,545,734. As marketing adviser and receiving agent to the Company, and in return for covering the costs of the joint offer, Hargreave Hale Limited was entitled to 3.5% of the gross proceeds (£544,101), often referred to as the 'premium'. From this, Hargreave Hale Limited paid for the allotment of additional shares to investors with a value of £213,253 and introducer commission of £740, resulting in net fees payable to Hargreave Hale of £330,108. After making enquires, the Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. For this reason, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements. Issue of equity Following the period end, the offer for subscription resulted in an additional 844,468 ordinary shares being issued, raising gross proceeds of £671,931. Buybacks Since the period end, a further 206,867 ordinary shares have been repurchased at a total value of £158,516. New investments The Company has invested in the following new companies since the period end: Qualifying companies An investment of £618k has been made in Dorcaster plc, £501k in Zoo Digital Group plc and £332k in Velocity Composites plc. The Company's ordinary shares (Code: HHV) are listed on the London Stock Exchange. Shareholders can visit the London Stock Exchange website, www.londonstockexchange.com, for the latest news and share prices of the Company. Further information for the Company can be found on its website at www.hargreaveaimvcts.co.uk. NET ASSET VALUE PER SHARE The Company's NAV per share as at 19 May 2017 was 81.55 pence per share. The Company publishes its unaudited NAV per share on a weekly basis. DIVIDENDS The board has approved the payment of an interim dividend of 1.75 pence in respect of the six months ended 31 March 2017. Shareholders who wish to have future dividends paid directly into their bank account rather than sent by cheque to their registered address can complete a mandate for this purpose. Mandates can be obtained by contacting the Company's Registrar, Equiniti. SELLING YOUR SHARES Hargreave Hale AIM VCT 1 plc operates a share buy-back policy to improve the liquidity in its ordinary shares for cancellation. Share buy-back policies are subject to the Act, the Listing Rules and tax legislation, which may restrict the VCTs' ability to buy shares back in. The policy is non-binding and is at the discretion of the Board. The buy-back policy targets a 5% discount to the last published NAV per share as announced on the London Stock Exchange through a regulatory news service provider. The discount is measured against the mid-price per share as listed on the London Stock Exchange and reflects the price at which the Company buys its shares off the market makers. The Company publishes its unaudited NAV per share on a weekly basis. VCT share disposals settle two business days post trade if the shares are already dematerialised or placed into CREST ahead of the trade, or ten days post trade if the stock is held in certificated form. VCT share disposals are exempt of capital gains tax when the disposal is made at arms' length, which means a shareholder must sell their shares to a market maker through a stockbroker or another share dealing service. Hargreave Hale has particular expertise in the sale of VCT shares and is able to act for VCT shareholders who wish to sell their shares. However, you are free to nominate any stockbroker or share dealing service to act for you. If you would like Hargreave Hale to act for you as their client (as opposed to a shareholder in the Company) then please contact Andrew Pang for further information (020 7009 4900, andrew.pang@hargreave.com). Please note that Hargreave Hale will need to be in possession of the share certificate and a completed CREST transfer form before executing the sale. If you have lost your share certificate, then you can request a replacement certificate from the Company's registrar Equiniti. The registrar will send out an indemnity form, which you will need to sign. The indemnity form will also need to be countersigned by a UK insurance company or bank that is a member of the Association of British Insurers. Since indemnification is a form of insurance, the indemnifying body will ask for a payment to reflect their risk. Fees will reflect the value of the potential liability. SHAREHOLDER ENQUIRIES: For general Shareholder enquiries, please contact Hargreave Hale Limited on 01253 754700 or by e-mail to aimvct@hargreave.com. For enquiries concerning the performance of the Company, please contact the investment manager on 0207 009 4937 or by e-mail to aimvct@hargreave.com. Electronic copies of this report and other published information can be found on the Company's website at www.hargreaveaimvcts.co.uk. CHANGE OF ADDRESS To notify the Company of a change of address please contact the Company's Registrar.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Yamzho Yumco (Sacred Swan) Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is highly crenellated with many bays and inlets. The lake is home to the Samding monastery which is headed by a female reincarnation, Samding Dorje Phagmo. The image covers an area of 49.8km by 60km. Aster images map and monitor the changing surface of our planet, such as glacial advances and retreats; potentially active volcanoes; crop stress; cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance. This distinctive checkerboard pattern lies alongside the Priest river in northern Idaho. The photograph was taken just before sunset, so some mountainsides glow while others are covered in long shadows because of the low sun angle. The squares appear to be the result of forest management. The land here is now managed for wildlife and for timber harvesting. The white patches reflect areas with younger, smaller trees, where winter snow cover shows up brightly to the astronauts. Dark green-brown squares are parcels of denser, intact forest. The checkerboard is used as a method of maintaining the sustainability of forested tracts while still enabling a harvest of trees. The Priest river, winding through the scene, is bordered on both sides by a forest buffer that can serve as a natural filtration system to protect water quality. For nearly a century, the river was used to transport logs. Its function changed in 1968 when the river’s main stem was added to a list of “wild and scenic rivers” in order to preserve its “outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations”. According to weather forecasts, Denmark was in line to be hit with strong winds, sub-zero temperatures, and precipitation from 4-7 January. Heavy flooding was expected in parts of the west coast, while Jutland and Bornholm were in line for sleet and snow. In this image, a layer of white lies over northern Jutland in the north-west, and additional streaks of snow can be seen as far south as Germany. A bank of cloud, likely part of the storm system, hangs over the blue waters of Skagerrak – a strait that lies between the south-east coast of Norway, the south-west coast of Sweden, and Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. How do you deliver supplies to one of the most remote research stations on Earth? Put the equipment and food on skis and pull them by tractor across the ice and snow in a long caravan. The convoy of supplies can be seen on the 1,000km trek from Dumont d’Urville on the Antarctic coast to Concordia research station. The traverse across Antarctica takes 10 days, climbing more than 3,000 metres to reach Concordia’s plateau. Pulled by heavy-duty tractors, the caravans carry up to 300 tonnes of fuel, food and heavy equipment in 300 metre-long convoys organised by France’s IPEV polar institute. Once at Concordia, three days are spent unpacking and preparing for the return trip to the coast, which generally takes two days less because it is downhill most of the way. Concordia sits on a plateau 3,200 metres above sea level. Temperatures can drop to –80C in winter when the sun does not rise above the horizon, forcing the crew to live in isolation without sunlight for four months of the year. For ESA, the isolation and extreme weather offer interesting parallels with spaceflight. Each year an ESA-sponsored medical doctor joins the crew of the Italian–French station to monitor and run experiments. Snow-covered St Petersburg on the Neva bay may appear to be in black and white, but it is in fact in true colour – the snow and lack of vegetation during winter lend very little colour to the scene. One of the most prominent features is the large area of ice and snow covering the water. Looking closer to the lower-central part of the image, we can see where icebreakers have created a straight route to and from St Petersburg’s port. The boats leaving the port continue west following a channel through the St Petersburg dam south of Kotlin Island and into the Gulf of Finland. There are five other breaks along the northern stretch of the dam without ice because the flowing water prevented freezing. The 25km-long dam complex protects the city from storm surges and also acts as a bridge from the mainland to Kotlin Island. On the right, the Neva flows through the centre of St Petersburg – Russia’s second largest city. Sometimes dubbed the Venice of the North for its numerous canals and more than 400 bridges, the city dates back to 1703 and was built by Tsar Peter the Great. Today, St Petersburg is a Unesco world heritage site. Milky, grey smog shrouds many of the valleys and lowlands of eastern China. The brightest, whiter areas (left, top, and bottom edges) are likely clouds or fog. Outbreaks of smog and haze, like this, tend to occur during the winter because of temperature inversions. Air naturally cools as it rises in altitude; but during an inversion, warm air masses settle over a layer of cool air near the surface. The warm air acts like a lid and traps gases and pollutants near the surface, especially in basins and valleys. Many of the particles in the haze are sulphate aerosols produced by burning coal. Coal supplies a majority of China’s energy, and the northern half of the country uses coal widely to heat buildings in the winter. In addition to emitting carbon dioxide, coal fires release sulphur dioxide, a gas that combines with water vapour to make small droplets and crystals of sulphuric acid and other sulphates, which can be detrimental to health. Several days of heavy rainfall swamped much of southern Thailand in January. While monsoon-related floods are common in the region, the wet season usually ends in November. Much of the tan and yellow colour on the landscape is sediment-laden flood water near the Pra river. For comparison, the second image shows the same area on 2 February 2014, when waters were lower. The rainfall was some of the most severe to hit Thailand in three decades, according to Thai authorities. More than 300,000 homes were affected, and damage to infrastructure was widespread. At least 36 people died. A photograph of a variety of agricultural patterns near an oasis in eastern Libya, one of the most remote places in Africa, more than 900km (560 miles) from the nearest major city. The cluster of buildings, roads, and small farming operations near the top of the photo is the town of Al Jawf. Each farming pattern in the image is related to different irrigation methods. The honeycombs in the centre are what remain of the first planned farming method in the Libyan desert, implemented about 1970. The large circles (about 1km wide) of centre-pivot irrigation systems (lower left) replaced the honeycombs in order to conserve water. The grid system (upper left) is perhaps one of the oldest known to planned agriculture, but it is still used alongside the more modern patterns. Near Al Jawf, the oasis is covered in lush green gardens and palm trees that survive due to pumping from the largest known fossil water aquifer in the world: the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer. More than 20,000 years ago, the Saharan landscape was wet and heavy rainfall continuously refilled the aquifer. Today the region receives less than 0.1in of rain a year, making this aquifer a non-renewable resource. An agreement was recently hashed out between Libya and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to improve food security in the region by developing the country’s agriculture industry. This means the use of fossil water will continue, and the agricultural patterns we see today are likely to survive for years to come. The winter landscape in Brussels complements the red clay roofs of the historic Quartier des Squares (centre) and the white tops of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces (centre right). An area over the western end of the state of Texas is rather devoid of colour owing to the landscape’s sparse vegetation cover. Some colour appears along the rivers and streams where plants thrive more easily. In the upper left, large circles of agriculture from central-pivot irrigation systems appear green. Centre left, one area appears orange where the land may have a different mineral content. On the upper-right side, we can see a cluster of hills of the Sierra Madera crater, formed less than 100m years ago when a meteorite hit Earth. In the lower-right corner, we can see a network of oil wells connected via a spiderweb-like structure of supply roads. Underground oil reservoirs usually stretch across large areas, and multiple wells are positioned over the reservoirs to best exploit the natural resource. Texas is the top crude oil-producing state in the US, accounting for about a third of the country’s output. A crack in the Larsen-C ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula first appeared several years ago, but recently it has been lengthening faster than before. The satellites show that the fissure has opened about 60km since January last year. And, since the beginning of this January, it has split a further 20km so that the 350 metre-thick shelf is held only by a thread. The crack now extends around 175km. When the ice shelf calves, this iceberg will be one of the largest ever recorded. Exactly how long this will take is difficult to predict. The neighbouring Larsen-A and Larsen-B ice shelves suffered a similar fate with dramatic calving events in 1995 and 2002, respectively. These ice shelves are important because they act as buttresses, holding back the ice that flows towards the sea. This panorama shows nearly the full length of Lake Powell, the reservoir on the Colorado river in southern Utah and northern Arizona. At full capacity, the reservoir impounds 24,322,000 acre-feet of water, a vast amount that is used to generate and supply water to several western states, while also aiding in flood control for the region. It is the second largest reservoir by maximum water capacity in the US (behind Lake Mead). Green forests indicate two high places in the image that are cooler and receive more rain than the dry, low country surrounding the lake. The isolated Navajo mountain is a sacred mountain of the Native American Navajo tribe and rises to 3,154 metres (10,348ft). The long, narrow Kaiparowits Plateau rises nearly 1,200 metres from Lake Powell to an elevation of more than 2,300 metres. More than 80km (50 miles) long, the plateau gives a sense of horizontal scale. The region draws nearly 2 million people every year, even though it is remote and has few roads. Most of the area in view is protected as part of the Glen Canyon national recreation area and the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument – the largest area of protected land in a US national monument. The Moroccan city of Nador is sheltered from the Mediterranean by Mar Chica, a sandy saltwater lagoon. Mar Chica has a shallow maximum depth – only 8 metres – allowing us to see the ebb and flow of tides clearly from space. In Africa’s Danakil depression (or Afar triangle) three tectonic plates are tearing themselves apart in spectacular fashion. As the plates separate, several active volcanoes have emerged along the seams. One of the most active is Erta Ale, a shield volcano near the Ethiopian and Eritrean border. It is known as the “smoking mountain” and the “gateway to hell” in the Afar language. Erta Ale has a long-lived lava lake that has gurgled and spattered in its caldera for decades, but the most recent bout of activity involves the south-east flank of the gently sloping mountain. According to reports posted by Volcano Discovery, new fissures opened up on 21 January, about 7km (4 miles) from the summit caldera, spilling large amounts of lava. Meanwhile, at least one of the lava lakes has experienced large changes in the level of its lava that have led to overflows and intense spattering. Infrared hotspots representing two distinct lava flows are visible. Plumes of volcanic gases and steam drift from the lava lakes. Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico gather oil and natural gas from beneath the seafloor of the Bahía de Campeche, located along the southern margin of the gulf, just west of the Yucatán Peninsula. In the early 1970s, oil exploration turned up vast reservoirs of oil and gas in the region and offshore oil drilling continues today, with signs of the activity visible from space. Crude oil often contains natural gas. When buried deep underground, the natural gas stays dissolved in the oil due to high pressure. But as the oil nears the surface and pressure decreases, flammable gas (mostly methane) bubbles out. Many oil rig operators try to preserve the gas for use by customers, but depending on the situation, some operators may instead choose to burn it. Sometimes the gas is burned because it is contaminated with mud or other substances. In other cases, there may be no other way to dispose of it quickly and safely. Wildfires ravaged hundreds of thousands of acres in southern and central Chile during the first month of 2017. According to a CNN report, President Michelle Bachelet said: “We have never seen anything on this scale, never in the history of Chile.” The wildfires killed at least 11 people, destroyed thousands of homes and consumed an area about three times the size of New York City, according to several media accounts. The flames destroyed a town called Santa Olga, displacing about 6,000 people, burning about 1,000 homes and destroying the town’s kindergarten. The red hotspots, accompanied by thick and billowing smoke, show the heat from actively burning fires. The town of Santa Olga was near the southern end of the chain of fires. Cambodia has one of the fastest rates of forest loss in the world. In broad swaths of the country, densely forested landscapes – even those in protected areas – have been clear-cut over the past decade, mostly for rubber plantations and timber. Scientists from the University of Maryland and the World Resources Institute’s global forest watch have been using Landsat satellite data to track the rate of forest loss on a global scale. Though other countries have lost more acres in recent years, Cambodia stands out for how rapidly its forests are being cleared. Between 2001 and 2014, the annual forest loss rate in Cambodia increased by 14.4%. Put another way, the country lost a total of 5,560 square miles of forest. Other countries with accelerating rates of forest loss include Sierra Leone (12.6%), Madagascar (8.3%), Uruguay (8.1%), and Paraguay (7.7%). The transformation of Cambodia’s landscape has been profound. The first image, taken on 31 December 2000, shows intact forest near the border of the Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham provinces. On 30 October 2015, the second image shows much of the forest has been replaced by a grid-like pattern of roads and fields and by large-scale rubber plantations. Clear-cutting has also chewed away at the edges of densely forested areas (dark green) and replaced them with exposed soil, croplands, and mixed forests (brown and light green). Researchers working with Landsat data have demonstrated that changes in global rubber prices and a surge of land-concession deals have played key roles in accelerating Cambodia’s rate of deforestation. Concession lands are leased by the Cambodian government to domestic and foreign investors for agriculture, timber production, and other uses. Researchers found that the rate of forest loss within concession lands was anywhere from 29% to 105% higher than in comparable lands outside the concessions. If you ever fly over the High Atlas range in Morocco, look down. You will be treated to a visual spectacle of massive layers of colourful rock crumpled up like pieces of paper. Sharp ridges bobbing and weaving their way across the desert. The High Atlas Mountains extend in a north-easterly direction from Morocco’s Atlantic coast (near Agadir) for hundreds of miles inland toward the Algerian border. The western portion of the range is home to its tallest mountains, with peaks that stand above 4,000 metres. The Atlas Mountains were shaped by geological processes at work over hundreds of millions of years. One key step occurred in the early Jurassic period (201m to 174m years ago), when many of the world’s continents were still bunched closely together after the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea. This part of Morocco fell within the African plate, near a boundary with the Eurasian and North American plates. As the three plates separated, the crust thinned so much that a tear opened up and formed a rift valley that eventually filled with ocean water. As the crust thinned and the rift opened up, large blocks of Earth’s crust dropped downward, creating broad valleys known as grabens. Grabens have elevated blocks at their edges called horsts that became fault-block mountains. These mountains were pushed up even higher during a later phase of intense mountain building in the Cenozoic (66m years to present), spurred by the collision of African and Eurasian tectonic plates. A display of hole-punch clouds over eastern China. This strange phenomenon results from a combination of cold temperatures, air traffic, and atmospheric instability. If you were to look from below, it would appear as if part of the cloud were falling out of the sky, which is actually what’s happening. The mid-level clouds are initially composed of liquid drops at a super-cooled temperature below 0C. As an airplane passes through the cloud, it creates a disturbance that triggers freezing. Ice particles then quickly grow in the place of the water droplets. Eventually the ice crystals in these patches of clouds grow large enough that they literally fall out of the sky – earning hole-punch clouds their alternate name: fallstreak holes. Falling crystals are often visible in the centre of the voids. The formations in this image are less like holes and more linear, like long canals. Whether the void takes on a circular or linear shape depends on differences such as cloud thickness, wind shear, and air temperature. Hole-punch and canal clouds often occur in the vicinity of an airport. In the Nevada desert, the pioneering artist Michael Heizer completes his colossal life’s work.


Ricaud P.,CNRS Laboratory for Aerology | Ricaud P.,Meteo - France | Genthon C.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Durand P.,CNRS Laboratory for Aerology | And 10 more authors.
Boundary-Layer Meteorology | Year: 2012

The HAMSTRAD (H 2O Antarctica Microwave Stratospheric and Tropospheric Radiometers) microwave radiometer operating at 60 GHz (oxygen line, thus temperature) and 183 GHz (water vapour line) has been permanently deployed at the Dome C station, Concordia, Antarctica [75°06′S, 123°21′E, 3,233 m above mean sea level] in January 2010 to study long-term trends in tropospheric absolute humidity and temperature. The great sensitivity of the instrument in the lowermost troposphere helped to characterize the diurnal cycle of temperature and H 2O from the austral summer (January 2010) to the winter (June 2010) seasons from heights of 10 to 200 m in the planetary boundary layer (PBL). The study has characterized the vertical resolution of the HAMSTRAD measurements: 10-20 m for temperature and 25-50 m for H 2O. A strong diurnal cycle in temperature and H 2O (although noisier) has been measured in summertime at 10 m, decreasing in amplitude with height, and phase-shifted by about 4 h above 50 m with a strong H 2O-temperature correlation (>0.8) throughout the entire PBL. In autumn, whilst the diurnal cycle in temperature and H 2O is less intense, a 12-h phase shift is observed above 30 m. In wintertime, a weak diurnal signal measured between 10 to 200 m is attributed to the methodology employed, which consists of monthly averaged data, and that combines air masses from different origins (sampling effect) and not to the imprint of the null solar irradiation. In situ sensors scanning the entire 24-h period, radiosondes launched at 2000 local solar time (LST) and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses at 0200, 0800, 1400 and 2000 LST agree very well with the HAMSTRAD diurnal cycles for temperature and relatively well for absolute humidity. For temperature, HAMSTRAD tends to be consistent with all the other datasets but shows a smoother vertical profile from 10 to 100 m compared to radiosondes and in-situ data, with ECMWF profiles even smoother than HAMSTRAD profiles, and particularly obvious when moving from summer to winter. For H 2O, HAMSTRAD measures a much moister atmosphere compared to all the other datasets with a much weaker diurnal cycle at 10 m. Our study has helped characterize the time variation of the PBL at Dome C with a top around 200 m in summertime decreasing to 30 m in wintertime. In summer, from 2000 to 0600 LST a stable layer is observed, followed by a well-mixed layer the remaining time, while only a nocturnal stable layer remains in winter. In autumn, a daytime convective layer shallower than the nocturnal stable layer develops. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Rabier F.,Meteo - France | Bouchard A.,Meteo - France | Brun E.,Meteo - France | Doerenbecher A.,Meteo - France | And 33 more authors.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | Year: 2010

The Concordiasi project was undertaken in Antarctica to reduce uncertainties in diverse and complementary fields in Antarctica science. Some of the objectives of the project involved investigations of precipitation to constrain the mass budget over Antarctica and stratospheric ozone depletion. The project was a joint French-United States initiative that started during the International Polar Year (IPY). The project was undertaken over Antarctica during September-November, 2008, December, 2009, and was expected to continue between September-December, 2010. It was undertaken as part of the IPY-The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment. Participants in the project included scientists from France, the US, Italy, and Australia, along with international organizations such as the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

NORVESTIA’S NET ASSET VALUE INCREASED BY 2.6% IN OCTOBER-NOVEMBER Norvestia regularly publishes its Net Asset Value in interim reports. Taking into account the ongoing voluntary exchange offer for all Norvestia’s shares and securities made by CapMan Plc, Norvestia has decided to exceptionally release its Net Asset Value per 30 November 2016 due to changes in value of Growth Equity investments. The Board of Directors of Norvestia has considered the release of the updated Net Asset Value necessary in order for all Norvestia’s shareholders to have as accurate information as possible when assessing the exchange offer. All investments of the Group are classified as financial assets at fair value through profit or loss. Listed shares and derivative contracts are measured at fair value by the last trade price on active markets on the balance sheet date. The fair value of investments in funds is determined as the funds’ net asset value at the balance sheet date.  The fair value of investments in interest-bearing securities is based on the last trade price on the balance sheet date or, in an illiquid market, on values determined by the counterparty. Growth Equity investments, private equity fund investments and loan receivables from Growth Equity investments are measured at fair value. If the investments have no active market then the fair value is determined quarterly by using valuation methods according to the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Guidelines (IPEV). The valuations are based on forecasted cash flows or peer group multiples. In estimating fair value of an investment, a method that is the most appropriate in light of the facts, nature and circumstances of the investment is applied. External valuations are made at least once a year to verify the fair values of Growth Equity investments. Norvestia’s audit committee approves the valuations quarterly. Private equity fund investments are valued according to the practice generally used in the sector, i.e. the fair value of the private equity fund investment is the latest fund value announced by the private equity fund management company. The value is calculated according to the IPEV Valuation Guidelines. Loan receivables from Growth Equity investments are valued at fair value based on acquisition price. Norvestia has published stock exchange releases related to the voluntary exchange offer made by CapMan Plc 3 November 2016 and 18 November 2016.


News Article | December 22, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT *Total return of 8.0% for the year *Total return on original 80p investment now at 148.25p *Total dividends of 7.0p for the year I am pleased to present the Annual Report for Chrysalis VCT plc for the year ended 31 October 2016. The year has been an eventful one with significant changes to the VCT regulations starting to take effect. The Company has, however, continued to perform well and maintained its dividends at a high level, with a total of 7p per share being paid during the year. Portfolio At the year end, the Company held a portfolio of 29 venture capital investments, valued at £17.8 million. During the year, two new companies joined the portfolio and two follow-on investments were also completed at a total of cost of £0.8 million. There were a number of loan stock redemptions, which generated proceeds of £1.3 million, as well as the more deferred consideration from WASP, from which we exited in 2014, which added a further £440,000 to the total proceeds. As usual, the Board has reviewed the investment valuations at the year end and made a number of adjustments. 11 investments increased in value, seven investments fell in value and 11 were unchanged. The largest movers have been MyTime Media Holdings Limited, the publisher of niche hobby magazines, Internet Fusion Limited, the online retailer, Precision Dental Laboratories Group Limited, the dental laboratory group, and Driver Require Group Limited, the driver recruitment agency, which have increased by £599,000, £484,000, £440,000 and £429,000 respectively. On the negative side, we have had to make a full provision of £1 million against Electrobase RP (Holdings) Limited, a precision engineering business, which has failed to recover after a number of changes at management level. Total unrealised movements for the year on the venture capital portfolio resulted in a net gain of £1.5 million, equivalent to approximately 5.0p per share. The Investment Management Report gives a detailed overview of the portfolio activity during the year and of the main valuation movements. Cash and fixed income securities The Company held £6.3 million in cash and fixed income securities at the year-end; split between cash of £4.2 million and fixed income securities of £2.1 million. Net asset value, results and dividends The Company's NAV fell by a small margin from 81.3p to 80.8p over the year as dividends slightly exceeded net earnings for the period. After adding back the dividends of 7.0p paid, the total return for the year was equivalent to 8.0% based on the opening NAV. The return on activities after taxation for the year was £1.9 million (2014: £2.0 million), comprising a revenue return of £154,000 and a capital return of £1.8 million. The Company paid a final 2015 dividend of 3.25p per share on 26 February 2016. An interim 2015 dividend of 1.75p per share was combined with a special dividend of 2.00p per share making a total of 3.75p per share paid on 29 July 2016. Subject to Shareholder approval at the forthcoming AGM, your Board is proposing to pay a final 2016 dividend of 3.25p per share on 28 February 2017 to Shareholders on the register at 3 February 2017. Share buybacks The Board regularly reviews the Company's share buyback policy to ensure that it remains appropriate and, in the opinion of the Directors, in the best interests of Shareholders as a whole. In the Directors' opinion, the Company's liquid resources are generally best utilised in paying tax free dividends to all Shareholders and therefore the Company does not have a fixed policy to buy in its own shares, but may do so, on an ad hoc basis, from time to time, and a resolution will be proposed accordingly. There were no share buybacks undertaken during the year. We recommend that any Shareholders wishing to either acquire more shares, or to sell existing holdings, contact the Company's broker, Nplus1 Singer Capital Markets, who are often aware of other parties looking to buy or sell. Management and Board The Board believes that the untypical management structure of the Company as a self-managed VCT continues to serve Shareholders well.  Chris Kay heads a team at the wholly-owned management subsidiary, Chrysalis Management VCT Limited, who continue to do a good job in what is, on occasion, a challenging environment. Chris and his team have adapted well to the new conditions and I thank them on your behalf for their continued contribution in managing the Company's portfolio and believe that this structure will continue to serve Shareholders well in the future. Chrysalis VCT plc has for some years had a stable Board comprising just three non-executives; Julie Baddeley, Martin Knight and myself. We remain satisfied that this format works well for your company has continued to operate efficiently and, I believe, once again, has added value for Shareholders. I would like thank both Julie and Martin for another year of support and the significant part they have played in the ongoing success of Chrysalis VCT. Annual General Meeting The forthcoming AGM will be held at Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AL at 2:30pm on 23 February 2017. Outlook The challenges presented by the new VCT regulations are expected to be an ongoing theme over the next year as both the VCT industry and HMRC develop a clearer understanding of their implications and how VCTs can operate in this new era. Perhaps it is a vain hope, but as Britain will inevitably begin to take more control of its economic and Governmental affairs than was possible before the Brexit vote, it would seem to me that a further review of the VCT system would be a worthwhile project. There is indisputable evidence that the VCT movement has been a positive influence within "UK plc" providing capital to sectors which were previously all but ignored by banks and large private equity players. The current regulations represent, in my personal view, a retrograde step and they have certainly impacted on Chrysalis to the extent that we have had to decline opportunities which we would otherwise have been keen to support. Of course, Chrysalis VCT is already heavily invested and we are therefore under little pressure to make new investments. Any negative impact on the portfolio is therefore expected to be relatively limited. Generally existing portfolio companies are continuing to perform well and we believe the portfolio contains several candidates that may be able to deliver profitable exits in due course. As always I look forward to meeting some Shareholders at the AGM on 23 February 2017 and providing an update on developments in my statement with the Half Yearly Report to 30 April 2017 which is expected to be published in July. INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT REPORT This has been a relatively quiet year for Chrysalis VCT plc, although with one exception, the portfolio has continued to make good progress and produced another profitable year for Shareholders.  A total return of over £1.9 million for the year takes total profits in the last 12 and a half years, since the Company was reorganised and merged, to over £25.9 million. After a number of sizeable exits in 2014, it is no surprise that there have been very few exits recently, especially as a lot of decisions appear to have been put on hold following the Brexit vote on 23 June 2016. However, with the portfolio becoming more mature, it is likely that there will be some realisations in the next few years. Even though no investments have been sold, Chrysalis VCT plc has benefited from an inflow of cash as investee companies redeem loan stock.  This year £1.3 million has been repaid with a couple of the portfolio companies, MyTime Media Holdings Limited and Precision Dental Laboratories Group Limited, now becoming completely debt free. In addition, we again received nearly £600,000 in deferred payments from previous sales, principally another £440,000 from the sale of Wessex Advanced Switching Productions Limited ("WASP").  We are hopeful that the payment condition will continue to be met and that we will receive the final payment of a further £440,000 in the next year. This cash inflow helped fund the £2.1 million paid out to Shareholders in dividends during the year. The one major disappointment of the year was the collapse of Electrobase RP (Holdings) Limited necessitating a full provision against our £1 million investment.  The major factor that caused the extremely poor outcome was too much managerial change.  For various reasons the company went through a whole series of changes at the top, none of which arrested its decline.  Whereas large companies have their own momentum and are more equipped to survive management changes, the smaller companies that VCTs invest in are typically highly dependent on the people at their head and too much change can often, as has happened in this case, prove disastrous. We are pleased to report, however, that the overwhelming majority of the portfolio has continued to trade well and generate cash (hence the loan stock redemptions).  Therefore, there have been a number of upward valuation movements. In particular, our investment in Driver Require Group Limited has seen its valuation nearly double to £949,000.  This was an MBO we backed in January 2015 and it appears that the buy-out price was a pretty favourable one.  Unfortunately, under the new VCT rules this is not a type of investment that we can make in the future. Probably the most significant economic event of the year was the vote to leave the EU but so far the most tangible actual of "Brexit" has been the devaluation of the pound.  This has, however, mainly had a positive impact on our portfolio. For instance, a good proportion of Coolabi Group Limited's revenue is priced in dollars and euros but virtually all its costs are priced in pounds.  So, our largest investment has seen a boost in its margins. Equally our second largest investment, Locale Enterprises Limited, has benefitted from the increased number of tourists using its restaurants who now regard the offering as extremely good value. The portfolio has also enjoyed some non-trading achievements. Coolabi Group Limited was nominated for two more BAFTA's for its Clangers production and K10 (London) Limited won an award for "The world's most innovative small restaurant chain" from an American organisation. Eagle-eyed shareholders may also have noticed the latest Vodafone post, internet and newspaper advert campaign which features "Nick & Dave" the co-founders of Life's Kitchen Limited. As mentioned last year, new draconian rules regarding what investments a VCT can make have now come into force and, to make matters worse, there is some confusion as to the interpretation of those rules.  Since breaking a rule can lead to the removal of VCT status, the whole industry has been proceeding with extreme caution and the total volume of investments is significantly down on previous years. Chrysalis VCT plc is no exception and we have only made one small investment since the new rules came into force in April 2016. That was a £150,000 investment into an early-stage software company, Inaspect Technology Limited, whose product is specifically aimed at the Care Home industry. Prior to the rule change we did make further investments in Coolabi Group Limited (£500,000) and Cambridge Mechatronics Limited (£30,000) and one other new investment, £75,000 into Fusion Catering Solutions Limited.  Although currently small, this dessert manufacturer does have an impressive list of clients including Wembley Stadium and The British Open. As well as making new investments more difficult, the new rules have dramatically reduced the pool of potential investee companies, however, there remains substantial cash in VCTs looking for a home.  Consequently, competition for deals is fiercer and investment terms are inevitably less attractive.  Although the new rules emulated from Brussels, it is unlikely that they will be substantially changed in the medium term despite Brexit. Chrysalis VCT plc remains fortunate that we are fairly fully invested and is therefore not under pressure to make new investments.  We do, of course, continue to look for new opportunities and to work with the portfolio in order to finance their growth where it is allowed. At the time of writing, the majority of the portfolio continues to trade well and we are hopeful of another profitable year for Chrysalis VCT plc with maybe a couple of realisations. Portfolio of investments The following investments, all of which are incorporated in England and Wales, were held at 31 October 2016: All investments are unquoted unless otherwise stated. *Quoted on AIM Directors' responsibilities statement The Directors are responsible for preparing the Report of the Directors, the Strategic Report and the Directors' Remuneration Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations. They are also responsible for ensuring that the Annual Report includes information required by the Listing Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. Company law requires the Directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law, the Directors have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards and applicable law). Under company law the Directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Company and of the profit or loss of the Company for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the Directors are required to: *select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently; *make judgments and accounting estimates that are reasonable and prudent; *state whether applicable UK Accounting Standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and *prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Company will continue in business. The Directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Company's transactions, to disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company and to enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. In addition, each of the Directors considers that the Annual Report, taken as a whole, is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for Shareholders to assess the Company's position, performance, business model and strategy. The Directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Company's website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of the financial statements and other information included in annual reports may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions. By order of the Board All Revenue and Capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. No operations were acquired or discontinued during the year. The total column within the Income Statement represents the Statement of Total Comprehensive Income of the Company prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standards ("FRS102"). There are no other items of comprehensive income. The supplementary revenue and capital return columns are prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice issued in November 2014 by the Association of Investment Companies ("AIC SORP"). Other than revaluation movements arising on investments held at fair value through the profit or loss account, there were no differences between the return as stated above and historical cost. NOTES TO THE ACCOUNTS for the year ended 31 October 2016 Basis of accounting The Company has prepared its financial statements in accordance with the Companies Act 2006, Financial Reporting Standard 102 ("FRS102") and in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies" revised November 2014 ("SORP"). This is the first period in which the financial statements have been prepared under FRS102, however, it has not been necessary to restate comparatives as the treatment previously applied is consistent with the requirements of FRS102. As a result, there are no reconciling differences between the previous financial reporting framework and the current financial reporting framework and the comparative figures represent the position under both current and previous financial reporting frameworks. The Company implements new Financial Reporting Standards issued by the Accounting Standards Board when required. Presentation of Income Statement In order to better reflect the activities of a Venture Capital Trust and in accordance with the SORP, supplementary information which analyses the Income Statement between items of a revenue and capital nature has been presented alongside the Income Statement. Net revenue is the measure the Directors believe appropriate in assessing the Company's compliance with certain requirements set out in Part 6 of the Income Tax Act 2007. Fixed asset investments Investments are designated as "fair value through profit or loss" assets, upon acquisition, due to investments being managed and performance evaluated on a fair value basis. A financial asset is designated within this category if it is both acquired and managed, with a view to selling after a period of time, in accordance with the Company's documented investment policy. Judgements in applying accounting policies and key sources of estimation uncertainty Of the Company's assets measured at fair value, it is possible to determine their fair value within a reasonable range of estimates. The fair value of an investment upon acquisition is deemed to be cost. Thereafter, investments are measured at fair value in accordance with FRS 102 sections 11 and 12 together with the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines ("IPEV"). Fixed income investments and investments quoted on AIM are measured using bid prices in accordance with the IPEV. For unquoted investments, fair value is established using the IPEV. The valuation methodologies for unquoted entities used by the IPEV to ascertain the fair value of an investment are as follows: *Price of recent investment; *Multiples; *Net assets; *Discounted cash flows or earnings (of underlying business); *Discounted cash flows (from the investment); and *Industry valuation benchmarks. The methodology applied takes account of the nature, facts and circumstances of the individual investment and uses reasonable data, market inputs, assumptions and estimates in order to ascertain fair value. Where an investee company has gone into receivership, liquidation, or administration (where there is little likelihood of recovery), the loss on the investment, although not physically disposed of, is treated as being realised. Permanent impairments in the value of investments are deemed to be realised losses and held within the Capital Reserve - Realised. Gains and losses arising from changes in fair value are included in the Income Statement for the year as a capital item and transaction costs on acquisition or disposal of the investment expensed. Judgements in applying accounting policies and key sources of estimation uncertainty (continued) It is not the Company's policy to exercise controlling influence over investee companies. Therefore, the results of these companies are not incorporated into the Income Statement except to the extent of any income accrued. This is in accordance with the SORP and FRS102 sections 14 and 15 that do not require portfolio investments to be accounted for using the equity method of accounting. Income Dividend income from investments is recognised when the Shareholders' rights to receive payment have been established, normally the ex-dividend date. Interest income is accrued on a timely basis, by reference to the principal outstanding and at the effective interest rate applicable and only where there is reasonable certainty of collection. Expenses All expenses are accounted for on an accruals basis. In respect of the analysis between revenue and capital items presented within the Income Statement, all expenses have been presented as revenue items except as follows: *Expenses which are incidental to the acquisition of an investment are deducted as a capital item. *Expenses which are incidental to the disposal of an investment are deducted from the disposal proceeds of the investment. *Expenses are split and presented partly as capital items where a connection with the maintenance or enhancement of the value of the investments held can be demonstrated. The Company has adopted the policy of allocating investment management fees, 75% to capital and 25% to revenue as permitted by the SORP. The allocation is in line with the Board's expectation of long term returns from the Company's investments in the form of capital gains and income respectively. *Performance incentive fees arising from the disposal of investments are deducted as a capital item. Taxation The tax effects on different items in the Income Statement are allocated between capital and revenue on the same basis as the particular item to which they relate using the Company's effective rate of tax for the accounting period. Due to the Company's status as a Venture Capital Trust and the continued intention to meet the conditions required to comply with Part 6 of the Income Tax Act 2007, no provision for taxation is required in respect of any realised or unrealised appreciation of the Company's investments which arises. Deferred taxation is not discounted and is provided in full on timing differences that result in an obligation at the balance sheet date to pay more tax, or a right to pay less tax, at a future date, at rates expected to apply when they crystallise based on current tax rates and law. Timing differences arise from the inclusion of items of income and expenditure in taxation computations in periods different from those in which they are included in the accounts. Other debtors and other creditors Other debtors (including accrued income) and other creditors are included within the accounts at amortised cost. As the Company has not issued any convertible securities or share options, there is no dilutive effect on return per share. The return per share disclosed therefore represents both basic and diluted return per share. 3. Basic and diluted net asset value per Ordinary Share As the Company has not issued any convertible securities or share options, there is no dilutive effect on net asset value per share. The net asset value per share disclosed therefore represents both basic and diluted return per share. Principal risks The Company's investment activities expose the Company to a number of risks associated with financial instruments and the sectors in which the Company invests. The principal financial risks arising from the Company's operations are: The Board regularly reviews these risks and the policies in place for managing them. There have been no significant changes to the nature of the risks that the Company is exposed to over the year and there have also been no significant changes to the policies for managing those risks during the year. The risk management policies used by the Company in respect of the principal financial risks and a review of the financial instruments held at the year-end are provided below. Markets risks As a VCT, the Company is exposed to investment risks in the form of potential losses and gains that may arise on the investments it holds in accordance with its investment policy. The management of these investment risks is a fundamental part of investment activities undertaken by Chrysalis VCT Management Limited and overseen by the Board. The Investment Manager monitors investments through regular contact with management of investee companies, regular review of management accounts and other financial information and attendance at investee company board meetings. This enables the Investment Manager to manage the investment risk in respect of individual investments. Investment risk is also mitigated by holding a diversified portfolio spread across various business sectors and asset classes. The key investment risks to which the Company is exposed are: The Company has undertaken sensitivity analysis on its financial instruments, split into the relevant component parts, taking into consideration the economic climate at the time of review in order to ascertain the appropriate risk allocation. Investment price risk Market price risk arises from uncertainty about the future prices and valuations of financial instruments held in accordance with the Company's investment objectives. It represents the potential loss that the Company might suffer through market price movements in respect of quoted investments and also changes in the fair value of unquoted investments that it holds. Interest rate risk The Company accepts exposure to interest rate risk on floating-rate financial assets through the effect of changes in prevailing interest rates. The Company receives interest on its cash deposits at a rate agreed with its bankers and on liquidity funds at rates based on the underlying investments. Investments in loan stock and fixed interest investments attract interest predominantly at fixed rates. A summary of the interest rate profile of the Company's investments is shown below. Interest rate risk profile of financial assets and financial liabilities There are three levels of interest which are attributable to the financial instruments as follows: *"Fixed rate" assets represent investments with predetermined yield targets and comprise fixed interest and loan note investments. *"Floating rate" assets predominantly bear interest at rates linked to Bank of England base rate and comprise cash at bank. *"No interest rate" assets do not attract interest and comprise equity investments, loans and receivables (excluding cash at bank) and other financial liabilities. Credit risk Credit risk is the risk that a counterparty to a financial instrument is unable to discharge a commitment to the Company made under that instrument. The Company is exposed to credit risk through its holdings of loan stock in investee companies, investments in liquidity funds, cash deposits and debtors. The Company's financial assets that are exposed to credit risk are summarised as follows: The Manager manages credit risk in respect of loan stock with a similar approach as described under Investment risks above. In addition the credit risk is partially mitigated by registering floating charges over the assets of certain investee companies. The strength of this security in each case is dependent on the nature of the investee company's business and its identifiable assets. The level of security is a key means of managing credit risk. Similarly, the management of credit risk associated with interest, dividends and other receivables is covered within the investment management procedures. Cash is mainly held at Royal Bank of Scotland plc with a balance also maintained at Bank of Scotland plc, both of which are A minus rated financial institutions and ultimately part-owned by the UK Government. Consequently, the Directors consider that the risk profile associated with cash deposits is low. There have been no changes in fair value during the year that can be directly attributable to changes in credit risk. Liquidity risk Liquidity risk is the risk that the Company encounters difficulties in meeting obligations associated with its financial liabilities. Liquidity risk may also arise from either the inability to sell financial instruments when required at their fair values or from the inability to generate cash inflows as required. The Company usually has a relatively low level of creditors (2016: £54,000, 2015: £67,000) and has no borrowings. The Company always holds sufficient levels of funds as cash and readily realisable investments in order to meet expenses and other cash outflows as they arise. For these reasons, the Board believes that the Company's exposure to liquidity risk is minimal. The Company's liquidity risk is managed by Chrysalis VCT Management Limited in line with guidance agreed with the Board and is reviewed by the Board at regular intervals. Related party transactions Chrysalis VCT Management Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary, provides investment management services to the Company for a fee of 1.65% of net assets per annum. During the year, £407,000 (2015: £412,000) was paid to Chrysalis VCT Management Limited in respect of these fees. No amounts were outstanding at the year-end (2015: none). A performance incentive fee is payable to Chrysalis VCT Management Limited based on realisations from all investments excluding quoted loan notes, redemptions of loan notes in the normal course of business and other treasury functions. The performance incentive fee is the greater of 1% of the cash proceeds of any exit or 5% of the gain to the Company after all exit costs for investments made after 30 April 2004 reduced to 2.5% of investments made prior to 30 April 2004. During the year performance incentive fees of £41,000 (2015: £35,000) were due to Chrysalis VCT Management Limited. At the year-end, £1,000 was outstanding and payable (2015: £9,000). Peter Harkness holds positions of significant influence in MyTime Media Holdings Limited and Hoop Holdings Limited, both investments held by the Company, and therefore abstains from discussions surrounding the valuation or investment decisions regarding the investments. Details of the investments, including cost and valuation are shown within the Aannual Report Martin Knight holds a position of significant influence within Cambridge Mechatronics Limited, an investment held by the Company, and therefore abstains from discussions surrounding the valuation or investment decisions regarding the company. Details of the investment, including cost and valuation are shown within the Annual Report. ANNOUNCEMENT BASED ON AUDITED ACCOUNTS The financial information set out in this announcement does not constitute the Company's statutory financial statements in accordance with section 434 Companies Act 2006 for the year ended 31 October 2016, but has been extracted from the statutory financial statements for the year ended 31 October 2016, which were approved by the Board of Directors on 22 December 2016 and will be delivered to the Registrar of Companies following the Company's Annual General Meeting. The Independent Auditor's Report on those financial statements was unqualified and did not contain any emphasis of matter nor statements under s498(2) and (3) of the Companies Act 2006. The statutory accounts for the year ended 31 October 2015 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and received an Independent Auditors report which was unqualified and did not contain any emphasis of matter nor statements under s498(2) and (3) of the Companies Act 2006. A copy of the full annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 October 2016 will be printed and posted to shareholders shortly. Copies will also be available to the public at the registered office of the Company at Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AL and will be available for download from www.downing.co.uk/cys and www.chrysalisvct.co.uk.


News Article | March 21, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

One thousand kilometres from the Antarctic coast, a 12-strong crew is overwintering at one of the most remote places on Earth. The Concordia Station, a French-Italian research base on the Antarctic Ice Sheet, is truly in the middle of nowhere; the next nearest station is 560km away, and all the crew can see if they look around is flat whiteness. The last plane left for the winter in February, leaving the base completely isolated. It won’t see the Sun for four months and temperatures will drop to below -60 Celsius. Oh, and because it’s 3,200 metres above sea level, inhabitants have to make do with about a third less oxygen than at sea level. It’s not a normal environment for humans, which is exactly why Floris van den Berg is there. A medical doctor sponsored by the European Space Agency, Van den Berg is running a series of research projects at Concordia to explore the physical and psychological effects of living in such surroundings—and the results could give an insight into how we’ll cope with long-distance space travel. “ESA is interested in this place because it’s one of the only places that you have, like, true isolation,” Van den Berg said in an interview over Skype. We spoke after his colleagues were asleep, as he conceded that the 512kbps satellite connection at the base was “quite shitty” if multiple people tried to Skype at the same time. A family doctor from the Netherlands, Van den Berg said it was the remote location that attracted him to the unusual job posting in the first place. Having served as a doctor on expeditions around the world, deepest Antarctica seemed like an impressive location to add to the list. “Working for the European Space Agency is also quite cool in my opinion,” he added. Concordia has several rather unique parallels with space, which makes it ideal for ESA’s research. As we venture further afield—to Mars, for example—astronauts will be spending more time in close quarters and completely isolated from the rest of the world. With current technology, it takes around eight months to send a robotic mission to the Red Planet. Given its total isolation for months at a time, Concordia is sometimes nicknamed “White Mars.” Van den Berg is responsible for collecting a varied slate of samples and data to help give insight into how this environment could affect humans’ physical and psychological wellbeing. One particularly interesting study involves teaching his crewmates to drive a flight simulator of the Soyuz spacecraft, which is currently used to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. It’s a stripped-down simulator with one seat and two joysticks, which users can practice piloting and docking. Van den Berg explained that it’s installed in the Concordia laundry room because it wouldn’t fit in his lab. After initial instruction, he will split his team into two groups; one will receive training on the simulator every month and the other every three months, and he’ll monitor their performance to see how quickly their abilities fade in the environment. “The idea is, if you send people to Mars and they’re going to be in a spaceship for six to nine months they’ll probably get a bit bored, but when they arrive at Mars they have to be quite focused on how to land the Mars lander,” he explained. The 'Simskill' Soyuz simulator. Image: Institute of Space Systems, University of Stuttgart–Andreas Fink Another Antarctic base, British Halley VI, is also conducting the simulator training. As Halley is at a lower altitude, this should help distinguish the impact of the isolation factor from that of the hypoxic conditions. A control is also being run in Stuttgart, Germany. Unsurprisingly, the flight simulator is the most popular of Van den Berg’s experiments, and he admitted he sometimes does it in his free time too. Aside from the simulator, Van den Berg runs regular tests on himself and the rest of the team, which consists of technical staff and researchers working in fields such as climate and astronomy. Using a CT scanner (the first one in Antarctica, installed in the video room) he looks at people’s bone density, which is a major health issue in space travel. He also takes blood samples and analyses them using flow cytometry—which sorts the different cells in the sample—to see how the conditions affect the immune system; NASA astronauts on the ISS are also doing this, which will offer an interesting comparison. “You see a lot of changes, especially in the beginning when people arrive,” Van den Berg said. “Because of the lack of oxygen, you see stress hormones go up quite a bit, which sort of suppresses the immunological response.” Psychological factors are naturally as pressing as physiological ones when it comes to being cooped up for so long, and Van den Berg regularly asks people to fill in questionnaires about their mood and sleep habits. Participants also wear watches that track their activity (especially useful for tracking sleep, which people are often bad at accurately reporting) and interact with beacons on the base to record their movements. “I was quite surprised that everyone was OK with participating with this study, because it’s really like ‘Big Brother is watching,’” said Van den Berg. Participation in all of the research is voluntary. The current Concordia crew on their arrival. Image: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-B. Healey “What’s known from previous years is that in the winter everyone gets a little bit down, so people isolate themselves a bit more [and] spend more time in their bedroom and less in the living room,” he added. “This is something you can measure in detail, to see what the group dynamics are, who is visiting which areas, and how much time people spend alone or with each other.” This is all correlated with people’s questionnaire responses. Of course, Van den Berg is not immune to the psychological effects that he’s collecting data on, and he said that part of his attraction to the job was the “personal experiment” of living at the base. He said the biggest challenges, after adapting to the low oxygen, were coping with the isolation and also having to constantly bug his cohabitants to take part in his studies on top of their own work. There is another doctor at the research base to act as a clinician if people get sick or injured (the base is equipped for surgery as it’s impossible to get people to a hospital for a large chunk of the year, though the team is naturally as careful as possible not to need it). Van den Berg heads up the rescue team if there’s an incident outside the base—“with the cold here it’s really just what we call ‘scoop and run’: get them on a plank and get them inside,” he said. There is the occasional unexpected setback. When his CT machine arrived at the base in a shipping box, it had a hole in the side that looked suspiciously like a forklift had run into it. Without a repair service for thousands of kilometres, Van den Berg had to figure out how to fix it himself, with help over email and Skype. “Luckily there wasn’t too much structural damage and with tape and common sense I could fix it,” he said. With most of a year left to go, Van den Berg sounded enthusiastic about his mission but a little apprehensive. “I’m always ending up with these things where you think, ‘Oh it’s really nice!’ and then you end up in the middle of nowhere and you think, ‘Why did I do this?’ This is, I think, the story of my life,” he said. “But I’m happy because it’s a really interesting place to be.” So far, he hasn’t lost his travel bug, and working for ESA has given him a taste for venturing even further afield. Now 32, he said that if ESA were to put out a call for astronauts soon, he’d apply. With the White Mars experience under his belt, he has more of an idea than most about what he’d be letting himself in for. Correction: This story originally put the base's altitude at 2,300 m above sea level; it's actually 3,200 m. We've corrected the typo.


D'Ortenzio F.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Lavigne H.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Besson F.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | Claustre H.,CNRS Oceanography Laboratory of Villefranche | And 14 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2014

Two profiling floats, equipped with nitrate concentration sensors were deployed in the northwestern Mediterranean from summer 2012 to summer 2013. Satellite ocean color data were extracted to evaluate surface chlorophyll concentration at float locations. Time series of mixed layer depths and nitrate and chlorophyll concentrations were analyzed to characterize the interplay between the physical-chemical and biological dynamics in the area. Deep convection (mixed layer depth > 1000 m) was observed in January-February, although high-nitrate surface concentrations could be already observed in December. Chlorophyll increase is observed since December, although high values were observed only in March. The early nitrate availability in subsurface layers, which is likely due to the permanent cyclonic circulation of the area, appears to drive the bloom onset. The additional nitrate supply associated to the deep convection events, although strengthening the overall nitrate uptake, seems decoupled of the December increase of chlorophyll. Key Points Nitrate profiling floats observed deep convection and bloom in the MediterraneanCyclonic basin circulation appears critical for bloom onset ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Loading IPEV collaborators
Loading IPEV collaborators