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UKHotViews©

 

Wednesday 06 December 2017

Concepta marrs Mercia’s emerging stars

logoI’ve always admired Mercia Technologies’ business model and the way it has expanded from being an essentially Midlands University-focused tech investor to a broader based UK-wide tech investor, though still keeping strong regional and university ties. Its ‘business-of-two-halves’ model comprises the AIM-listed PLC, which makes direct investments from the balance sheet in ‘emerging stars’, and a slew of funds under the Mercia Fund Management (MFM) brand, which provide a breeding ground for ‘emerging stars’ and of course fee revenue to run the PLC business.

This model works well and mitigates the occasional hiccup in the performance of Mercia’s direct investments, such as AIM-listed Concepta, which targets the personalised mobile health market with a primary focus on unexplained women’s infertility (see Investors back Concepta in £2m equity fundraising). Mercia wrote down Concepta’s fair value by £1.3m in first half (to 30th September) which, even with £0.4m impairment in some smaller direct investments, still saw Mercia’s aggregate direct portfolio valuation increase by £3m. This now tallies £64.7m, including £9.7m additional investment in the period.

Mercia’s P&L also told a good story, with MFM fees mostly accounting for the near-70% uplift in revenues to £4.8m. Net profit rose by 26% to £1.4m, though EPS declined by 9% to 48p on an increased issued share count. However, the key measure of NAV per share grew by 8% to 41.1p.

Mercia is a prolific investor in UK tech, recently supporting MindTrace, Smartgate, and nDreams (its largest direct investment) among others. Long may this last!

Posted by Anthony Miller at '08:32' - Tagged: resullts  

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