Net Asset Value(s)
Athelney Trust PLC
Legal Entity Identifier:
The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 226.4p at 28 February 2023.
Fund Manager's comment for February 2023
February is a quite month for international data but the stats that were released indicated that growth in the US is expected to slow. The new orders component of both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing ISM indices, generally recognised as leading indicators, continuing to decline as they have for the past ten months. In the UK the PMI surveys have been mixed, with manufacturing showing a slight uptick after declining for several months. The services PMI was a bright spot in February, increasing more than consensus expectations to 53.3 and is back into expansion range as the sector experienced an increase in business activity and stronger demand. However, in spite of these green shoots, most economists still expect the UK economy to fall into recession and contract in 2023.
By comparison, the Eurozone is likely to perform slightly better, as the region managed to avoid contraction in the last quarter of 2022, and, in February business activity accelerated much faster than expected to a nine-month high. Much of this strength also came from the services sector, where the Eurozone services PMI rose for the second month in a row. All this points to a marginal improvement in Eurozone GDP this year.
After a positive start to the year, the stock markets were under pressure in February with the Nasdaq Composite down by 1.1%, the S&P500 posting a 2.1% decline and the MSCI a 2.5% decline. In the UK, the large cap segment of the market bucked the trend with the FTSE 100 up by 1.35% over the month while the broader FTSE 250 Index did not perform as well, up by only 0.25%. Smaller company valuations were under pressure with the AIM All-Share Index declining by 0.97%, the Small Cap Index performing similarly, down by 0.93%. By comparison, the Athelney portfolio declined by 0.11% during the month and, after providing for expenses, the NAV was down by 1.32%. On a positive note, dividend receipts for the year to date are double that received for the same period last year as well as for 2020 and almost double that received in 2021.
We added to our holding in Smart Metering Systems which reduced our cash holding to 9.3% 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