Three concerns keep Mark Payton, boss of Mercia Technologies (MERC), up at night: growth stalling among the technology investor's direct holdings; its managed funds failing to generate enough cash to cover investment costs; and staff, whose industry expertise and ties to start-ups and universities help the company find exciting prospects, losing interest and leaving. Shareholders can sleep soundly, as his fears didn't materialise in the reported period. Indeed, £5.7m in further investments and a valuation uplift of £2.8m boosted the fair value of Mercia's investment portfolio by 22 per cent to £46.6m.
Mercia made nine direct investments, expanding its portfolio to 26 companies at the year-end and raising investment to £30m since its listing in December 2014. Its managed funds raised £8.6m and invested £11.5m in 58 companies, strengthening the pipeline of future investment prospects.