RNS Number : 0687V

Athelney Trust PLC

04 August 2020

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:


The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 229.3p at 31 July 2020.

Fund Manager's comment for July 2020

In spite of the fact that global GDP contracted in the second quarter as a result of COVID-19, the decline was as forecast and, in spite of a resurgence of infections in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia, the worst does appear to be over. During the past month, we have updated our forecasts for a number of companies to include information obtained from their recent updates on their operations. As a result of these updates we sold our holdings in Randall & Quilter, Vianet and Greencore.

As a high-conviction manager of concentrated portfolios, understanding the competitiveness and sustainability of a business is paramount, combined with a healthy dose of trust in a proven management team. To be sustainable, a business should encompass three characteristics: firstly, the business must operate in an industry with a low risk of macro-environmental factors affecting future performance; secondly, the business has demonstrated strong ESG performance to date and holds a capacity to mitigate ESG issues; and lastly, the business has dynamic capabilities that sustainably renews its competitive advantage. ESG is a topic that is frequently discussed and within our framework, recent disclosures pertaining to Boohoo have brought the long-term sustainability of the business model into question which has subsequently resulted in us exiting this position.

In so far as our other investments are concerned, the management teams are trusted through their behaviour, competency, and attitudes to ensure that their businesses prosper and we remain confident that our portfolio as a result of this will produce above average returns for our shareholders.

During the past month the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 were up by 4.61% and 5.51% in US$ respectively while the UK markets under-performed the global indices by some margin with the FTSE 100 down by 4.41%. The US market was largely driven by the large tech stocks and the FAANGS in particular while the UK indices associated with smaller companies fared much better as has been the case in recent months. The Small Cap Index declined by only 1.38% while the AIM All Share produced a positive performance, increasing by 0.14% while the Fledgling Index was up by 2.05% for the month.

We are once again very pleased with the performance of our portfolio which was up by 1.05% during the month. After providing for the company expenses the net performance as reflected in the NAV was an increase of 0.97%.

Cash has been conserved, remaining at 5.9% of the portfolio at month end.

Fact Sheet

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 "Portfolio Details".

Background Information

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) 

AUD50m https://flagshipinvestments.com.au

   --    Barrack St Investments (ASX code: BST) 

AUD25m www.barrackst.com

   --    Global Masters Fund Limited (ASX code: GFL) 

AUD25m www.globalmastersfund.com.au

   --    Athelney Trust plc (LSE code: ATY) 

GBP5m www.athelneytrust.co.uk

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




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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2020 04:25 ET (08:25 GMT)