RNS Number : 6430U

Athelney Trust PLC

02 August 2022

Athelney Trust PLC

Legal Entity Identifier:


The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 244.3p at 31 July 2022.

Fund Manager's comment for July 2022

Predications of a global recession have become more widespread as central banks raise interest rates to curb rising inflation. While most economists are downgrading their estimates for global GDP growth, the eurozone economy expanded by 0.7% in the quarter to June 2022, beating most market forecasts. This represents the strongest growth in three quarters, prompted by the easing of Covid restrictions and the commencement of the summer tourism season. The energy crisis in Europe is far from over with Russia threatening to cut gas supplies in the winter which could result in an overall decline in economic output. Global inflation continues to rise with Eurozone CPI data for July showing that inflation accelerated to yet another all-time high, and now sits at 8.9% year-on-year.

In the U.K. inflation is currently at a 40-year high with price pressure weighing on real incomes, consumer spending and overall growth, with the BoE likely to continue hiking rates to tame inflation. Furthermore, i n a recent survey it was reported that a total of 113,700 businesses closed in the UK in the most recent quarter (April to June 2022), with the most significant increases in closures among retail businesses where closures rose by 40%. This total figure was 8% higher than in the same period in 2021 and this figure is the fifth quarter in a row where there have been more business closures than creations.

However, the recent 7.9% improvement in the MSCI Index in July indicates that the equity markets, which usually are a leading economic indicator, are suggest that in 2023 the central banks are likely to begin lowering their policy rates as inflation comes down and economic growth falters. In the US, t he S&P 500 Index was up by 9.1%, reversing the massive decline in June. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was only up by 6.7% with the major reversal occurring in the technology stocks with the Nasdaq Composite up by a mammoth 12.4%.

The UK markets reflected this global trend with the FTSE 250 up by 8.03% while at the other end of the spectrum, the Fledging Index was up by only 0.79%. Our NAV was up by 4.54% which compares favourably with the Small Cap Index which was up by 4.05%, the FTSE 100 which was up by 3.54% and the AIM All Share Index which increased by 5.20%.

During the month we sold our position in LXI REIT following their merger with Secure Income REIT which accords with our investment policy as it pertains to major mergers and acquisitions. We added to our positions in Tritax BigBox and AEW UK Reit. Cash comprised 11.9% 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 "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).



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




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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2022 06:57 ET (10:57 GMT)

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