Coronavirus Update

Alliance Trust Plc - Half-year Report

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Results for six months ended 30 June 2020

Financial highlights

 

 

As at 6 months to 30 June 2020

As at 12 months to 31 Dec 2019

As at 6 months to 30 June 2019

Share price

783.0p

840.0p

796.0p

NAV per share1

837.2p

875.9.6p

836.8p

Total shareholder return2

 -5.8%

 24.3%

  16.8%

Total dividend1

 7.190p

13.96p

6.980p

 

Performance Highlights

 

· Interim dividend of 3.595p, an increase of 3% year on year. Unless market volatility is greater than anticipated in the second half of the year, the Company expects to use its strong revenue reserves to maintain that level of increase for the remaining interim dividends for 2020 resulting in the 54th year of dividend increases

· For the six months to 30 June 2020, the Company's Net Asset Value (NAV) Total Return1 was -3.5% and Total Shareholder Return2 (TSR) was -5.8% versus 0.5% for its benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index (MSCI ACWI) and -0.8% for the peer group median*

· Since the appointment of Willis Towers Watson (WTW) as the Company's Investment Manager on 1 April 2017, the Company's Equity Portfolio Total Return, before fees, was 25.9%, broadly in line with the MSCI ACWI, which returned 26.2%. This is an approximation of what the Company's NAV Total Return would have been between the appointment of WTW and 30 June 2020 without the negative impact of non-core investments and subsidiaries that have all been sold

· The period began with the Company's shares trading at a discount of 4.1% and ended the period at a discount of 6.5%. The Company's discount to NAV averaged 5.8% over the period (H1 2019: 5.1%)

 

Gregor Stewart, Chairman of Alliance Trust PLC, commented:

 

"After falling sharply in March as the pandemic spread rapidly across the globe, the value of the Company's assets recovered in subsequent months. However, against a particularly challenging market backdrop and during a period when our benchmark's performance was skewed by very strong returns from the largest cap stocks, we lagged the market at the end of June.

 

At this time, possibly more than any other, investors need a well-diversified portfolio that relies on individual company performance rather than gambling on macroeconomic bets. Our Investment Manager remains confident that our diversified, high conviction approach to stock picking across a broad range of countries, sectors and investment styles can deliver significant outperformance in the long run.

 

In the meantime, we are pleased to declare a 3% increase in our second interim dividend. Unless we suffer greater market uncertainty than expected in the second half of the year, we expect to maintain that same rate of dividend growth for the whole year and to extend our current record of year-on-year dividend growth to 54 years and beyond. Although income from the portfolio will be reduced this year as a result of company dividend cuts and cancellations, our own distributable reserves remain strong. Our revenue reserve currently stands at £109.1m, more than twice last year's dividend payment of £45.7m and our distributable reserves could be bolstered further if we gain approval from shareholders at next year's AGM to convert our £645.3m merger reserve into distributable reserves."