Net Asset Value(s)
Athelney Trust PLC
Legal Entity Identifier:
The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 235.4p at 31 August 2020.
Fund Manager's comment for August 2020
In last month's commentary we noted that besides the fact that global GDP had contracted in the second quarter as a result of COVID-19, the worst appeared to be over. This was confirmed in recent data releases which indicated that while Europe's August PMI surveys were mixed, those for the U.K. had firmed, including being the strongest reading for the Services PMI since 2013. However, in an economy responding to targeted stimuli by the Government, this can be misleading and mask underlying structural issues and competitive pressures on the profitability of some businesses.
We continued to realign the portfolio by selling out of our position in Costain, having recently added YouGov and Clinigen into the portfolio. YouGov is an international research and data analytics group headquartered in London which collects and stores data from a proprietary global panel of over 8 million people on consumer opinions, attitudes and behaviour every day. This data is then analysed and used to provide insights that enable intelligent decision-making and improves a wide spectrum of marketing activities for a customer-base which includes media owners, brands and media agencies.
Clinigen Group plc is a global business with supply and distribution hubs in key long-term growth regions on five continents and in 14 countries. It is focused on providing ethical access to medicines in the three areas of; global medicine supply; clinical trial, unlicensed and licensed medicines.
During the past month the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 were up by 6.5% and 7.1% in US$ respectively, driven by the continued rise in the large tech stocks and the FAANGS in particular. The UK market under-performed the global indices with those UK indices associated with smaller companies faring much better as has been the case in recent months. The FTSE 100 was up by 0.5%, the Small Cap Index was up by 3.4%, while the Fledgling Index was up by 3.7% for the month and the AIM All Share Index produced an amazing performance, increasing by 8.9%.
While our overall performance was dragged down by our 29% exposure to property, we are nevertheless pleased with the overall performance of our portfolio which was up by 2.8% during the month. After providing for the company expenses the net performance as reflected in the NAV was an increase of 2.7%.
Cash was conserved to pay the dividend, comprising 4.6% of the portfolio at month end.
An accompanying fact sheet which includes the information above as well as wider details on the portfolio can be found on the Fund's website www.athelneytrust.co.uk under "About">"Latest Monthly Fact Sheet"
Dr. Emmanuel (Manny) Pohl AM
Manny is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of E C Pohl & Co ("ECP"), an investment management company and has been a major shareholder in Athelney trust for many years.
E C Pohl & co is licensed by the Australian Financial services (licence no.421704).
Manny Pohl and the ECP group has over AU$1500m under its management including four listed investment companies, three listed in Australia and one in the UK:
· Flagship Investments (ASX code:FSI)
· Barrack St Investments (ASX code: BST)
· Global Masters Fund Limited (ASX code: GFL)
· Athelney Trust plc (LSE code: ATY)
Athelney Trust plc Investment Policy
The investment objective of the Trust is to provide shareholders with prospects of long-term capital growth with the risks inherent in small cap investment minimised through a spread of holdings in quality small cap companies that operate in various industries and sectors. The Fund Manager also considers that it is important to maintain a progressive dividend record.
The assets of the Trust are allocated predominantly to companies with either a full listing on the London Stock Exchange or a trading facility on AIM or ISDX. The assets of the Trust have been allocated in two main ways: first, to the shares of those companies which have grown steadily over the years in terms of profits and dividends but, despite this progress, the market rating is favourable when compared to future earnings and dividends; second, to those companies whose shares are standing at a favourable level compared with the value of land, buildings or cash in the balance sheet.
Athelney Trust was founded in 1994. In 1996 it was one of the ten pioneer members of the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM"). In 2008 the shares became fully listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Athelney Trust has a successful progressive dividend growth record and the dividend has grown every year since 2004. According to the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Athelney Trust is one of only "22 investment companies that have increased their dividend every year between 10 and 20 years - the next generation of dividend heroes" (as at 23/03/20). See link