Net Asset Value(s)
Athelney Trust PLC
Legal Entity Identifier:
The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 229.4p at 31 January 2023.
Fund Manager's comment for January 2023
On the economic front, the US economy recorded better than expected growth in the final quarter of 2022, expanding by 2.9% on an annualised basis between September and December. This was a decline from the 3.2% growth reported in the third quarter, reflecting that the steps taken by the US central bank were starting to dampen demand. US exports fell 1.3% reflecting deteriorating world demand, while imports into the US declined by 4.6% amid the ongoing deterioration in domestic demand for overseas goods. Government outlays registered another solid performance in Q4, up by 3.7%, with gains in both federal and local spending and it is likely that the Federal Reserve will deliver a modest 0.25% interest rate rise at its meeting next week now that inflation appears to have peaked.
UK public sector borrowing more than doubled last month to hit the highest December figure on record, driven up by higher debt interest payments and the government's measures to help households and businesses with soaring energy prices. However, a mild European winter has led to declining energy prices and an improvement in household incomes which supported consumer spending in October as well as November. Nevertheless, the risk of the UK slipping into a recession continues to weigh on sentiment after the latest PMI survey showed that UK business economic activity in January fell at its fastest rate in two years amid rising interest rates, strikes and a rising cost of living. However, as in the US, inflation has shown signs of waning. Another positive sign for the UK is the continued improvement in the pound, increasing at 1.8% against the US dollar over the month.
Stock markets commenced the year on a positive note with the Nasdaq Composite up by 10.7%, the S&P500 posting an increase of 6.2% and the MSCI up by 7.0%. In the UK, the broad market did not perform as well as its counterparts with the FTSE 250 Index increasing by 5.3%, the large cap FTSE 100 Index up by 4.3%, the AIM All-Share Index up by 4.4% and the Small Cap Index performing similarly, up by 4.5%. The Fledgling Index was up by only 3.3%. By comparison, the Athelney portfolio increased by 4.8% over the month and, after providing for expenses, the NAV was up by 4.6%.
We added to our holding in Treatt which reduced our cash holding to 10.3% 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" then select "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 AUD2.7bn (£1.5 billion) 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 20/03/2018). See link