Though the company’s net asset value per share fell 6.2 per cent to 121.6p in the year to February, dividends of 13p lifted total returns to 2.5 per cent.
Chairman Andrew John Davison says that the spread in the impact of the ‘credit crunch’ had a negative effect on the valuations of some companies that remain in the VCT’s portfolio.
One investment seeing such a decline was iLG Digital, the parent company of digital marketing agency i-level. ProVen VCT’s stake in iLG was valued at some £1.3 million in February, a fall of 17.6 per cent on a year earlier.
An even sharper downturn was suffered by vending machine supplier The Vending Corporation, which now ‘faces an uncertain future’. ProVen VCT has written down more than four-fifths of the value of its investment in the company.
On the other hand, Espresso Group, which provides multimedia content to UK schools, saw a rise of 12.2 per cent in its valuation over the year. The company acquired the assets of Channel 4 Learning in March 2007 and is the largest holding in ProVen VCT’s portfolio.
Five investments were exited during the year, including Gyro and dental group Oasis Healthcare.
ProVen VCT is managed by venture capitalist Beringea and is the best-performing VCT launched in the 2000/01 tax year, according to research.