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Finsbury Growth & Income Trust to broaden remit

The Finsbury Growth & Income Trust saw its net asset value (Nav) rise 24 per cent over the year to September 30, 2009, according to its annual results, released today, and the trust’s board is proposing a change to its investment policy.

The company’s share price total return was up 22.9 per cent over the reporting period, against a 10.8 per cent return from its benchmark, the FTSE All Share, over the same period.

The trust paid two interim dividends for the year totalling 9.5p per share,at a total of £4.826m.

Anthony Townsend, the chairman of the board, says in a statement that a European Union ruling barring Lloyds Banking Group from paying preference
share dividends before 2012 will impact the trust’s income.

“The result will be an income shortfall from the current rate of dividend payment which may exceed the availability of the company’s distributable
reserves,” he says. “However, the extent and duration of the shortfall is not possible to ascertain today. The board will review the position at the
time of the interim dividend declaration in March 2010,” he adds.

Townsend says major holdings A.G. Barr, Cadbury, Fidessa, Pearson, and Unilever contributed strongly to the trust’s performance over the year.

In a change to the company’s investment policy, the board is proposing to allow the manager to invest up to 20 per cent in securities outside Britain. At
present international holdings include Dr Pepper Snapple and Thomson Reuters, which make up 5 per cent of the portfolio. The change will mean the trust
will remain in the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) UK Growth & Income sector.

“After a challenging first half of the year to 31 March, 2009, markets rallied strongly in the second half and I am delighted to be able to report
that overall the Company’s net asset value total return for the year was 24 per cent. Overall the more buoyant market conditions have provided a welcome
contrast to those experienced in 2008,” Townsend says.


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