On the day the UK went into lockdown, Draper Esprit (GROW) told investors it had enough cash to support its portfolio companies, 80 per cent of which were deemed to possess sufficiently robust balance sheets and cost controls to trade until the end of 2020.
Since then, the tech-focused venture capital firm has been encouraged by the resilience of its investments. “We’ve not seen anywhere near the demand we thought we might see,” chief executive Martin Davis told us. “There’s not been the need to bail people out, which is very encouraging.”
Given the sectors Draper is oriented towards – cloud infrastructure, online gaming, digital healthcare and digital payments among them – that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Nonetheless, the financial impact on companies that are more directly affected by Covid-19 and lockdown led to lower growth estimates for 2020 and 2021, and a dip in net asset value (NAV) to 555p per share at the end of March. Last September, this was 574p.
Initiating coverage with these results, Berenberg analysts forecast NAV will rise to 624p per share by March 2021, and to 742p by the end of FY2022.
|Draper Esprit (GROW)|
|ORD PRICE:||448p||MARKET VALUE:||£518m|
|DIVIDEND YIELD:||NIL||PE RATIO:||13|
|NET ASSET VALUE:||570p||NET DEBT:||2.1%*|
|Year to 31 Mar||Turnover (£m)||Pre-tax profit (£m)||Earnings per share (p)||Dividend per share (p)|
|*Includes lease liabilies of £1.3m|