Quester VCTs in “robust shape”

The UK venture capital manager expects to make good progress in spite of market conditions.

Quester, the UK venture capital firm that manages a number of institutional venture capital funds as well as running quoted venture capital trusts Quester VCT 1, 2, 3 and 4, says its performance is robust, despite reduced valuations for its quoted venture capital holdings.

The firm said yesterday that Quester VCT 2 Plc generated cash profits of £8.5m from five successful exits completed in the year to end February 2001. A total tax-free dividend of 21.7p per share will paid to share holders, who have already received an interim payment of 19.7p.

Quester said that the results were helped by the rise in technology markets early on in the year, which provided good opportunities to exit.

The climate has since changed, but Quester says its outlook remains good. “The current uncertainty in the quoted markets and the consequent impact on the value of our quoted venture capital holdings means that some of the gloss has been knocked off last year’s performance,” said Andrew Holmes, managing director of Quester.

“But the company’s portfolio is still in robust shape. We expect Quester VCT 2 to continue to make good progress”, he added.

Quester VCT 2 has sold holdings in seven companies since inception in 1998, generating over £16m in cash.

The company also said that Quester VCT 3 had ended its first year with 26 completed investments worth a total of £20.6m, or 45 per cent of the capital raised. The firm says the majority of investments have performed in line with expectations and continue to be valued at cost.

Two investments have been written off, and another has been marked up, following investment by a third party.

Quester said it expected VCT 3’s deal tally to rise to about 35 investments in the current year.