TIDMATY

RNS Number : 9636A

Athelney Trust PLC

02 October 2020

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:

213800ON67TJC7F4DL05

The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 230.2p at 30 September 2020.

Fund Manager's comment for September 2020

While the UK PMIs have continued to firm in recent months, the August manufacturing PMI reflected the strongest reading since early 2018 while the services PMI reading was the highest since 2015. However, in an economy responding to targeted stimuli by the Government, this can be misleading and masks underlying structural issues and competitive pressures on the profitability of some businesses. In fact, the gains in the PMI surveys have not been matched by a similar strength in hard activity data, such as GDP, retail sales and industrial output, prompting the Bank of England (BoE) to hold its Bank Rate at 0.1% and its asset purchase target unchanged at GBP745B.

During the past month global stock markets were under pressure with the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 down (in US$) by 3.6% and 3.9% respectively, largely driven by the decline in the large technology stocks from their highs in August. The 3.5% decline in the pound resulted in the UK market under-performing the global indices in US$. The FTSE 100 was down by 0.1% as was the AIM All Share Index, the FTSE 250 was down by 2%, the Small Cap Index declined by 1.4%, while the Fledgling Index was up by 1% for the month.

While our overall performance was once again dragged down by our 29% exposure to the property trusts, we are nevertheless pleased with the overall result with the portfolio declining by 1.1% during the month. After providing for the interim dividend and company expenses the net performance as reflected in the NAV was a decline of 2.2%.

Until the direction of the Brexit negotiations and the potential success of a Covid-19 vaccine is a little clearer we have chosen to do very little, using some of our cash to acquire additional shares in Smart Metering and Churchill China and to pay the interim dividend. Cash comprised 2.6% 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).

www.ecpohl.com

www.ecpam.com

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

www.theaic.co.uk/aic/news/press-releases/next-generation-of-dividend-heroes

Website

www.athelneytrust.co.uk

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 02, 2020 06:05 ET (10:05 GMT)