TIDMATY

RNS Number : 4943X

Athelney Trust PLC

05 January 2022

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:

213800ON67TJC7F4DL05

The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 310.3p at 31 December 2021.

Fund Manager's comment for December 2021

Over the past month the US Federal Reserve has signalled a less accommodating policy due to US Inflation increasing to levels last seen in the 1980s. In addition to being reflected in the statistics, rising prices were also a material factor in the disappointing retail sales figures with industrial activity beset by supply issues as well.

In the U.K., GDP data for the third quarter was revised down to 1.1% from 1.3% confirming that the economic recovery is still struggling to gain momentum. Consumer spending was in fact adjusted up to 2.7% while government spending, business investment and fixed capital formation were revised downwards. Economic data for the final quarter will reflect the impact of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant which is likely to delay further the economic recovery and which could in turn delay the raising of interest rates by the Bank of England (BoE).

The stock markets on the other hand were far more positive with the MSCI increasing by 4.2% during the month, largely due to a strong performance by the US market where the S&P500 index reported an overall increase of 4.4%. This is a reflection of positive investor sentiment in the U.S. also evident in the four-point increase in the consumer confidence index in December which shows that consumers remain upbeat about the economy and appear to be somewhat desensitized to each new wave or variant of COVID.

The UK markets also responded positively with the broad indicator, the FTSE 250 Index closing up by 4.3% over the month. This month was the complete opposite of last month in that the large cap stocks out-performed the small cap stocks. The Small Cap Index only increased by 2.7% as compared to the FTSE 100 Index which increased by 4.6% while the AIM All Share Index was up by 2.5%. The Fledgling Index increased by a mere 0.4% during the month.

Our portfolio increased by 5.0% during December, reflecting the positive sentiment in the stock market over the period and we are proud to report that the portfolio increased by 29.1% for the twelve months to December 2021 as compared to the FTSE100 which increased by 14.3%. The 4.8% increase in the NAV over the month reflects that the expenses continue to be contained. We have remained fully invested, making no changes to our existing positions during December with cash comprising 3.6% 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 "About" then select "Latest Monthly Fact Sheet".

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 AUD2.7bn (GBP1.5 billion) under its management including four listed investment companies, three listed in Australia and one in the UK:

   --    Flagship Investments (ASX code:FSI) 

AUD95m https://flagshipinvestments.com.au

   --    Barrack St Investments (ASX code: BST) 

AUD37m www.barrackst.com

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

AUD33m www.globalmastersfund.com.au

   --    Athelney Trust plc (LSE code: ATY) 

GBP6m 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

https://www.theaic.co.uk/aic/news/press-releases/seven-investment-companies-join-the-next-generation-of-dividend-heroes

Website

www.athelneytrust.co.uk

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