TIDMATY

RNS Number : 4885U

Athelney Trust PLC

06 April 2021

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:

213800ON67TJC7F4DL05

The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 253.3p at 31 March 2021.

Fund Manager's comment for March 2021

The UK vaccine rollout continues unabated with new COVID cases currently the lowest since early last fall and it is expected that phase two will be completed by the end of July with all adults offered the vaccination. As far as the economy is concerned, when the COVID-related restrictions were near their most stringent month-on-month GDP fell 2.9% in January, much less than the expected decline of almost 5%. Further data released this month showed that the UK consumer continued to face significant headwinds amid elevated COVID cases and government restrictions. Retail sales declined by 8.2% in January and the contraction was even higher at 8.8% when gasoline sales were excluded.

The yields on US 10-year treasuries have increased sharply since the beginning of February, peaking at 1.74% in the middle of March before declining to its current level of 1.6%. This selloff in the US bond market prompted by renewed inflationary fears flowed through to the UK and elsewhere, affecting the high PE and growth sectors of the equities markets while cyclicals remained in favour. The result was that while the S&P 500 was up by 2.6%, the tech heavy NASDAQ was only up 0.9%. The MSCI increased by 3.7% during the month, driven up by other markets including France where the CAC was up by 5.9% and Germany where the DAX up by 2.6%

Our portfolio performed well during the month, increasing by 3.36% in spite of the continued weakness in global growth stocks caused by the rise in long-term bond yields. This compares with an increase of 4.67% in the Small Cap Index, a 1.23% increase in the AIM All Share Index, a 3.55% increase in the FTSE100 Index and a 2.91% increase in the FTSE 250 Index. After allowing for expenses, the NAV increased by 3.08% and after providing for the payment of a 7.7p dividend the NAV was up by 0.04%.

During the month we top sliced our position in National Grid, using cash from the sale as well as some of our excess cash to increase our exposure to Adcam, Clinigen and Rightmove. In addition, we took up our rights in LXI REIT and declared a 7.7p dividend which resulted in our overall cash position declining from 7.8% of the portfolio at the end of February to 2.1% at the end of March.

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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April 06, 2021 05:01 ET (09:01 GMT)