The trust’s final results show a fall in NAV of 14 per cent to 77p over the year to January, or six per cent to 90.5p when dividends are taken into account.
The trust, formerly known as Sitka Health Fund VCT, has roughly 14 per cent of its funds invested in AIM-listed companies. These include York Pharma, a pre-revenue dermatology specialist whose shares fell almost one-third to 76p in the year to January, and Immunodiagnostic Systems, a profitable manufacturer of diagnostic products whose shares were virtually flat over the period.
The VCT’s worst performing investment was fertility testing business Genosis, whose shares lost almost nine-tenths of their value over the period ‘as a result of poor market penetration’, according to Noble. Genosis shares, which peaked at 120p in January 2006, are now worth just 1.75p.
Noble says some of the the unquoted companies in its portfolio, which are still held at cost, have made ‘considerable progress’. Eye product developer Altacor, for example, has launched its first treatments for dry eye, and claims to have received ‘several unsolicited positive endorsements from patients’.
Meanwhile, software developer Inforsense, which makes up almost ten per cent of the VCT’s portfolio, has seen sales growth of 25 per cent in the year to March after securing an order from global healthcare giant Roche.
The VCT’s goals for the coming year will be to make roughly three new investments and generate profitable exits from some of the unquoted companies in its portfolio, according to chairman Gill Nott.