b'10 Mercia asset Management PLc Annual Report and Accounts 2021Non-executive Chairs statementThe execution of Mercias strategyhas materially grown shareholder valueian r. Metcalfe notwithstanding the coVid-19five-year investment period, generated cash Non-executive Chair pandemic backdrop, with all ofproceeds of 30.7million against an the ensuing social and economicinvestment cost of 6.1million.challenges, the year to 31 MarchThe Groups investment experience in Life 2021 has been one of positive andSciences, Software and Digital Gaming-profitable progress for Mercia. related technologies came to the fore during the year, with most of the Groups #oneMercia investees in these sectors making Throughout the year, the Groups senioraccelerated commercial progress, reflected leadership team demonstrated itsin their upward fair value movements. business experience, investment expertiseWhilst our advanced manufacturing and compassion. No staff were furloughedbusinesses bore the brunt of the sudden or made redundant, no direct Governmentglobal economic paralysis in the early days support was utilised and no payments of the pandemic, they have now largely were delayed. The excellent reaction andstabilised and many are now showing commitment of all staff to the suddenrenewed commercial traction.switch to remote working in March 2020,Portfolio liquidity and access to additional which has largely continued to the presentcapital, when needed, are imperative to day, has spoken volumes about ourpreserve shareholder value during economic #OneMercia culture. Our people define usshocks. I am pleased to say that Mercia has and it has been a source of huge pride tobeen able to fully support its direct portfolio see them all doing everything they can towith additional capital, as required, during support our portfolio companies, and justthis period. In addition, the Group has as importantly, each other. provided non-executive director/executive direct investment portfolio director resource, digital marketing support It has been an excellent year for our directand a series of webinars on subjects relevant investment portfolio, with four cash exitsto managing a young business through a generating 20.3million in realised gainssharp economic downturn. (2020: nil) and net fair value uplifts The remaining portfolio is showing excellent across the remaining direct portfoliopromise and we expect to add several new totalling 10.1million (2020: 15.8millioncompanies during the new financial year. unrealised loss). With the direct portfolio companies The highlight was the exit from our secondwell-funded and in good shape overall, the largest direct investment (by fair value),investment team is fully focused on Oxford Genetics t/a OXGENE, which over adelivering another year of successful realisations and fair value progress.'