Alliance Trust Plc - Half-year Report

Alliance Trust PLC

 

Results for six months ended 30 June 2019

 

 

Fully focussed global equity investment trust

 

Financial highlights

 

 

As at / 6 months to 30 June 2019

As at / 12 months to 31 Dec 2018

As at / 6 months to 30 June 2018

Share price

796.0p

688.0p

748.0p

NAV per share

836.8p

723.6p

793.2p

Total shareholder return

 16.8%

 -6.1%

  1.1%

Total dividend

 6.980p

13.55p

6.778p

 

Encouraging performance in H1 2019

 

·      Total Shareholder Return (TSR) of 16.8%, Net Asset Value (NAV) Total Return of 16.7% and Equity Portfolio Total Return of 16.3%* compared with the MSCI ACWI Total Return of 16.7%

 

·      Since Willis Towers Watson's (WTW) appointment as investment manager in April 2017, TSR has been 21.1%, NAV Total Return 20.5% and the Equity Portfolio Total Return 22.2%* compared to the MSCI ACWI's 21.5% and 18.6% for the peer group median** over the same period

 

·      Interim dividend of 3.490p, an increase of 3% year on year and over 50 years of successive dividend growth

 

·      Discount to NAV averaged 5.1% over the period (H1 2018: 5.8%)

 

·      Investment portfolio now comprises 99.5% global equities following completion of the sale of Alliance Trust Savings

 

*before fees

    ** Morningstar universe of 306 UK retail global equity funds (open-ended and closed-ended)

 

 

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Alliance Trust PLC, commented:

 

"I am pleased to report an encouraging period of strong absolute returns to shareholders. Global equity markets rebounded strongly in the first half and we delivered a Total Shareholder Return of 16.8% against the 16.7% return of our benchmark index. Since we appointed WTW, our Equity Portfolio Total Return has been 22.2%*, outperforming the benchmark, which returned 21.5%. We have also outperformed many of our peers in a challenging period for active managers.

 

With the sale of Alliance Trust Savings having closed in June, we have completed the simplification of the Trust as approved by our shareholders just over two years ago following the strategic review. We now have less than £14m invested outside of global equities and we expect this to be realised by the end of the year.

 

I am also pleased that we have declared a 3% year-on-year increase in our interim dividend, continuing our long record of rising dividends.

 

We started 2019 expecting there to be increasingly difficult global economic conditions and continued political uncertainty, and this has proved to be the case. The first half brought significant volatility in the equity market which may well continue. We believe that our diversified, best ideas investment approach means that the Trust is well positioned to take advantage of volatile markets, as all our stock pickers have extensive experience of a wide variety of market environments over many years, including both bull and bear markets. We are confident in their abilities to identify the winners and we believe they will deliver attractive investment performance over the long-term."