TIDMATY

RNS Number : 6253K

Athelney Trust PLC

05 January 2021

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:

213800ON67TJC7F4DL05

The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 255.3p at 31 December 2020.

Fund Manager's comment for December 2020

While everyone was pleased to see the end of 2020, the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic is clearly not yet over. Neighbouring European countries have closed their borders to U.K. travellers with trucking and freight into the U.K. in some cases also temporarily suspended. A new variant is spreading throughout London and the City is once again in total lockdown, all of which will reduce economic output from an already fragile economy. On a more positive note, early indications from major pharmaceutical companies suggest that the existing treatments might be effective against these new strains.

Global monetary policy has clearly helped fuel the stock market rally as evidenced by the Fed's commitment to leave the federal funds rate near zero until it sees evidence that inflation has risen above its 2% target. This has further flattened the yield curve and supported asset prices with the S&P500 Index increasing by 3.7% during the month. The other major markets performed similarly with the MSCI World Index up by 4.1%, the CAC up 0.6% and the DAX up 3.2%.

The positive announcement that a no-deal Brexit had been averted at the eleventh hour gave further impetus to the UK market with the FTSE 250 Index closing up by 5.96% for the month. The small cap stocks again performed better than large cap stocks with the Small Cap Index increasing by 6.2% as compared to the FTSE 100 Index which only increased by only 3.1%. The AIM All Share Index was the best performer, increased by 10.1%, while the Fledgling Index increased by 7.4% during the month.

In spite of a continuing sector rotation between growth and value, our growth-oriented portfolio increased by 6.74% during the month producing an overall return of 3.53% for the year as compared to the FTSE 100 which declined by 14.34%. Allowing for expenses, the NAV increased by 6.51% over the month. On the other hand, dividends amounting to approximately 15% of total receipts for the year have been cancelled or reversed as companies focused on conserving cash. We remained fully invested and made no changes to our existing positions during December with cash comprising 3.4% 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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January 05, 2021 07:01 ET (12:01 GMT)