GIMV profits up 20 per cent

The Investment Company for Flanders has announced net group profit of E96m for 2001, benefiting from a focus on life science investments.

The Investment Company for Flanders (GIMV), one of Belgium’s leading providers of venture capital, has reported a 20 per cent increase in its net profit for 2001. The company said that profits reached E96m, attributing the improved performance to a combination of sector specialisation and geographic spread.

GIMV’s performance was boosted by the sale of stakes in companies including Telenet, BarcoNet and Groep H. Essers. The sale of its interest in Telenet alone netted a capital gain of E152m. The company wrote down E175m in the same period. GIMV intends to pay shareholders a dividend of E1.4 per share, an increase of 4.5 per cent on 2000.

GIMV invested E210m in 2001, of which E63m was invested in Belgium. The net asset value of the portfolio was E1,199m, or E51.75 per share on 18 February 2002. GIMV shares are currently trading at a discount of 32.3 per cent.

According to the GIMV website, “sector specialisation and geographic spread have allowed GIMV to take maximum benefit of market opportunities. In 2001, the emphasis was more on investments in life sciences, a sector in which GIMV, unlike many other risk capital funds has considerable expertise and years of experience.”

In 2001, GIMV's consolidated equity capital amounted to E919.4m. GIMV has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1997.