Regulatory Story
Go to market news section View chart   Print
RNS

Final Results

Released 07:00 25-May-2017

RNS Number : 1652G
TR Property Investment Trust PLC
25 May 2017
 

This announcement and the information contained herein is not for publication, distribution or release in, or into, directly or indirectly, the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan.

 

TR PROPERTY INVESTMENT TRUST PLC

Unaudited preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

25 May 2017

 

 

TR Property Investment Trust plc, announces its full year results for the year ended 31 March 2017.

 

 

Hugh Seaborn, Chairman, commented:

 

"I'm pleased to report another solid year of performance from the Trust. The Board are particularly pleased to announce  a final dividend of 6.4p which brings the full year dividend to 10.5p, a 25.7% increase on the previous year. This also brings the 10 year compound annual dividend growth rate to an impressive 9.9 %."

 

 

 

 

Financial Highlights and Performance

 

Year ended

31 March

2017

Year ended 31 March

2016

 

%

Change

Balance Sheet

352.42p 

 

335.56p 

+5.0%

Net asset value per share

Shareholders' funds (£'000)

1,118,424   

1,065,419   

+5.0%

Shares in issue at the end of the period (m)

317.4   

317.5   

-0.0%

Net debt

13.3%

11.9%

 

 

 

 

 

Share Price

 

 

 

Share price

314.50   

297.50p  

+5.7%

Market capitalisation

£998m

£945m

+5.7%

 

 

 

Year ended 31 March

2017

Year ended 31 March

2016

%

Change

Revenue

11.38p 

 

8.36p

+36.1%

Revenue earnings per share

 

 

 

 

Dividends

 

 

 

Net Interim dividend per share

4.10p 

3.15p

+30.2%

Net Final dividend per share

6.40p 

5.20p

+23.1%

Net Total dividend per share

10.50p 

8.35p

+25.7%

 

 

 

 

Total Return Assets and Benchmark

 

 

 

Net Asset Value total return

8.0%

8.2%

 

Benchmark performance (total return)

6.5%

5.4%

 

Share price total return

9.1%

-1.6%

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing Charges

 

 

 

Excluding performance fee

0.69%

0.72%

 

Including performance fee

0.80%

1.06%

 

Excluding performance fee and direct property costs

0.64%

0.67%

 

 

 

Net dividends per share are the dividends in respect of the financial year ended 31 March 2017. An interim dividend of 4.10p was paid in January 2017. A final dividend of 6.40p (2016: 5.20p) will be paid on 1 August 2017 to shareholders on the register on 23 June 2017. The shares will be quoted ex-dividend on 22 June 2017.

 

Chairman's Statement

 

Introduction

The Trust's net asset value total return for the year of 8.0% is pleasingly ahead of the benchmark as you will see below, and similar to that of the previous 12 months at 8.2%. The other similarity with the previous year is the positive impact of currency movements on the Fund's total return. When viewed in local currency terms, the total returns from pan European property equities were broadly flat over the year. The weakening of Sterling really began in June 2015, a year ahead of the Referendum last June. By our year end on 31 March, the Euro had appreciated 18% over the preceding nineteen months and this resulted in a significant appreciation of our European assets when measured in Sterling.

 

The last 12 months have been quite clearly dominated by geopolitical risks and their unpredicted outcomes have left markets off balance. However there has been a positive response to the most recent results in the Dutch and French elections where centrist politics have prevailed resulting in a collective reduction in the risk premium.

 

Physical property pricing remained remarkably robust over the period across all regions. Given the uncertainties resulting from the Brexit Referendum result, the stability in UK commercial property pricing, after an initial modest correction, has been encouraging. Indeed the MSCI/IPD Monthly index has produced a positive capital return in each of the last six months. Our own physical portfolio which is heavily exposed to London retail and distribution in London and the South, fell just 0.7% over the year due primarily to a pending planning appeal affecting values at our largest asset, the Colonnades in Bayswater.

 

Income remains the dominant requirement from investors seeking exposure to this asset class and it is encouraging that the vast majority of the businesses that the Manager has invested in have continued to grow their earnings. Some sectors, notably German residential companies, have been seen as 'bond proxies' and have therefore suffered from concerns that rising yields would curtail capital growth. Our Manager has remained resolutely of the view that businesses with solid cash flows and the opportunity for earnings growth, even where modest, are appealing. At the time of writing the 10 year Bund yield to redemption was 0.4% per annum, even though this figure is higher than the 0.06% available a year earlier it remains paltry and investors continue to seek income outside of traditional bond markets.

 

The aim of reducing the fund's exposure to Central London, which commenced in mid-2015 and increased ahead of the Referendum, remains in place. However exposure to the rest of the UK particularly industrial and distribution has materially increased and the overweight to this asset class across Europe has been a significant contributor to performance. In general, retail property in the UK remains a challenging environment and the Manager has continued with his longstanding under exposure to the pure prime shopping centre landlords. A surprise performer was the Swiss property companies, particularly the residential development businesses which prior to 2016 had offered investors modest returns over many years. These stocks were outperformers and their absence from the portfolio negatively impacted relative performance.

 

NAV and Share Price Performance

As mentioned earlier, the NAV total return was 8.0% which was ahead of the benchmark at 6.5%. Encouragingly the share price total return was 9.1% as the discount between the share price and the asset value narrowed over the year. The discount at the year-end at 10.8% was ahead of the 10 year year end average of 11.6%.

 

More detail and commentary on performance is set out in the Manager's Report.

 

Revenue Results and Dividend

Revenue for the year increased by over 36%. By far the most influential factor in this growth has been the impact of weakening Sterling on our income from Continental European stocks. This together with solid income growth from many of our investments has driven the income account to much higher levels than anticipated. Timing changes of dividends paid around our year end have also benefited the revenue account.

 

A final dividend of 6.40p per share results in a total dividend for the year of 10.50p, some 26% ahead of the 2016 full year dividend of 8.35p per share.

 

The Board has taken a cautious position on the final dividend in that whilst the increase for the full year is material, it is not fully reflective of the increase in earnings. The Board is mindful of the potential negative impact of a reversal of the sterling weakness experienced in the last financial year. 

 

Revenue Outlook

The results announced by some of our investee companies in the first few months of the financial year have largely been positive with growth in most, but not all, the dividends paid early in the year. As in the prior year, the most significant influence will be currency changes, any strengthening in Sterling from its current position will have a negative impact on the revenue account. Whilst the timing of dividend payments around our year end had a modest positive effect in the period just reported, it is possible that the reverse may occur in the current period.

 

Debt

Gearing has increased from 11.9% to 13.3% over the year, although the amounts drawn on our loan facilities are marginally lower, a higher level of gearing has been accessed through the use of CFDs, still a very cost effective means of gearing.

 

Currencies

As reported earlier, currency movements have been significant over the period. We continue to use FX forward contracts to maintain the currency exposure of our Balance Sheet broadly in line with that of the benchmark. The resulting exposures are set out in Note 11 to the Financial Statements.

 

Discount and Share Repurchases

As commented above, the discount narrowed during the year to a level slightly ahead of the 10 year average although wider than that seen through 2014/15. This is a trend which has been seen across the Investment Trust sector in many specialist and generalist funds.

 

A small number of shares (150,000) were repurchased during the year at an average discount to net asset value of 15.8%.

 

Awards

The Trust was a joint winner in the Property category in the Investment Week Investment Company of the Year Awards.

 

Board Changes

John Glen is not standing for re-election at the forthcoming AGM. I would like to thank John for his considerable contribution to the board over the past 3 years and wish him well for the future. 

 

Outlook

The UK has performed better than many commentators expected but there are clear risks due to the uncertainty of the outcome of negotiations for the UK's exit from the European Union. Our concern is that businesses will be potentially less able to commit to longer term investment (such as new leases) without clarity on key aspects such as potential trade barriers and cross border supply chains. For similar reasons it is possible that there will be a deferral of the development cycle resulting in reduced speculative construction starts.

 

Expectations of global growth continue to improve. Although bond yields have risen as a result and there have been some inflationary response, they remain at historically low levels. In this context the income characteristics of real estate coupled to the emergence of economic growth which provides an environment for rental growth, will remain attractive to investors. The Manager continues to seek to invest in businesses with strong cash flows and the potential for earnings growth and this combined with the mitigation of risk through a diverse portfolio invested across numerous submarkets and geographies, is reflected in their decision to maintain gearing levels.

 

Hugh Seaborn

Chairman

25 May 2017

 

 

Manager's Report

 

Performance

The Net Asset Value total return for the year of 8.0% was ahead of the benchmark total return of 6.5%. The share price total return (assuming dividend reinvestment) was 9.1% and reflects a slight reduction in the discount relative to the net asset value.

 

The  year under review was one in which geopolitical risk and unexpected outcomes abounded. In local currencies, the collective performance of pan European property stocks over the period was virtually flat. The first half, which included the UK Referendum, saw European stocks (in Euros) rise 3.8% whilst the UK companies (in Sterling) fell -4.1% and all of this weakness was in the aftermath of the Referendum. The second half saw this reverse with Europe falling -3.8% and the UK rising 2.3% as investors began to sense that the UK economy was not about to enter a marked slowdown. Part of this optimism was caused by the positive economic effect of weakened Sterling (which was a boost to exports). Sterling fell by 7.1% against the Euro over the twelve months with all of that movement was post 24 June 2016. This currency movement was a key driver behind the growth of the Trust's Sterling denominated asset value.

 

We remind shareholders of the Trust's longstanding currency positioning strategy which is to maintain exposure in line with that of the benchmark. The Manager's underlying geographical exposure may of course be (and invariably is) very different and therefore we use currency forward contracts to maintain exposure broadly in line with that of the benchmark. The relative performance of the Manager versus the benchmark is, therefore, neither aided nor diluted by such currency movements.

 

As always, blanket annual statistics hide a wide range of performance both intra period and at the individual stock level. The large number of national elections across Continental Europe in 2017 led to increased volatility given the collective difficulty in predicting results with any certainty. Dutch and French property companies were amongst the worst performers in the second half of the financial year as investors fretted about their respective elections and the risk of political gains by nationalistic parties. At the same time the traditional safe haven of domestic Swiss stocks performed well, particularly the residential businesses of Allreal and Mobimo both returning over 20% in the year.

 

German property companies have again proved robust; collectively delivering over 5% total return over the period but the valuation movements were not smooth. The Trust has considerable exposure to both residential and commercial property in Germany and performance suffered last Autumn as investors moved aggressively away from defensives and into cyclicals as the 'reflation' tidal wave of the Trump election washed through European as well as US markets. German residential businesses with partially regulated rents and little exposure to the development cycle were viewed as 'bond proxies' and sold off heavily between June and December as the 10 year Bund redemption yield moved from -0.1% to +0.3%. Even after this rise in yields (which was painful for existing holders), the yield on offer still guarantees a negative real return to maturity if there is inflation over the decade. Such small returns remind us of the ongoing distortions created by the central banks' determination to assist in keeping borrowing costs at a minimum. We remain firmly committed to the view that these large, liquid listed German residential businesses offering both earnings growth and income stability with dividend yields over 3.5% are attractive.

 

Income remains a crucial consideration and as investors' appetite for risk has waned so has the appetite for stocks or sectors which are seen as being ex growth or where the cycle has peaked. Having reduced our exposure to Central London offices and prime UK retail during 2015 and early 2016 we maintained that underweight position throughout the year generating positive performance. Likewise our overweight to industrial/logistics across Europe has continued to expand and exposure to this asset class was the largest driver of performance. As both Continental Europe and the UK experienced improving economic conditions we continued to add to our most cyclical sectors, hotels and self storage. Hispania which owns a €1.3bn portfolio of hotels situated on mainland Spain, the Balearics and Canaries returned 17% over the year whilst Safestore, the UK and French self storage operator, returned 16.3%.

 

Alongside the reduced exposure to London offices there has been an increased exposure to a small number of Continental cities, Paris, Stockholm, Madrid and Berlin. The positioning in Paris is a useful illustration of the divergence of returns across stocks even when they are focused on (broadly) similar markets. Terreis, our favoured Paris small cap focuses entirely on prime Central Paris locations, the stock returned 28.1% whilst the much larger competitors, Gecina and Icade who both own more diverse office portfolios rose 9.3% and 7.5% respectively.

 

Property Investment Markets

UK commercial property transaction volumes were, unsurprisingly, considerably lower in 2016 at £46.5bn than the record year of 2015 (£66.3bn). What was encouraging was the pace of recovery post the summer. In fact Q4 2016 volumes were 31% ahead of Q3 and the highest quarterly figure of 2016. Investors had clearly been reluctant to engage prior to June but even with the uncertainty created by the outcome they have subsequently committed. The weakness of Sterling has played its part, particularly in Central London where transaction volumes doubled between Q3 and Q4 and international  investors accounted for more than 80% of volume. However the slowdown ahead of June did drag overall London transaction volumes down to 16% below the five year average.

 

UK institutions have been net sellers, particularly the open-ended funds whose combined portfolios are significant at c.£35bn (this compares to the entire UK listed sector's value of c£65bn). The post Referendum redemption 'debacle' resulted in forced sales in the immediate aftermath. Collectively these funds have continued to be net sellers, building substantial cash positions to cope with their structural liquidity concerns. Such high cash positions are a drag on performance but it is encouraging that the FCA have recently published a paper with recommendations on potential investor safeguards within these structures.

 

Regional markets were encouragingly busy with volumes ahead of the five year average. We also saw international investment in regional markets at an all time high with £5.3bn of single asset deals. Another significant cohort of buyers has been the UK local authorities. Fuelled by access to cheap finance from HM Treasury through the Public Works Loan Board they have been attracted by the high margins providing them with a valuable income stream. Investment by English public sector bodies reached £1.2bn in 2016 alone.

 

The capital movement of the IPD All Property Monthly Index saw a fall of -3.7% in the six months to the end of September. However this correction reversed with a gain of +2% in the six months to March 2017. The initial yield has moved modestly from 4.9% in March 2016 to 5.3% in March 2017 and this reflects the ongoing demand for the asset class. Although transaction volumes are lower overall than last year, the pick up post the Referendum is crucial evidence as to the health of the market.

 

Although we don't have the same depth of transaction data for much of Europe, we do see clear evidence of yields tightening in core city centre office markets, prime shopping centres and logistics. Funding remains liquid and at attractive rates ensuring that acquisitions are highly cash flow generative. With rents recovering in so many of these markets the ability to buy rental growth coupled with a cushion of initial income is an attractive proposition. Bond yields are rising but from extremely low levels and remain historically subdued. The ECB has reduced its bond buying programme and will undoubtedly reduce it further in the coming months but stable bank margins and bond spreads illustrate the appetite to lend to high quality real estate even in these politically charged times.

 

Offices

Take up of space in Central London was, as expected, lower than in 2015. The City saw total take up of 5.8m sq ft which was 21% below the previous year but still 6% ahead of the ten year average. The West End was more positive at 4.0m sq ft, just 9% below 2015 but 7% ahead of the ten year average. Tech and Media firms continue to dominate and this is set to continue as the financial services sector grapples with its post Brexit location requirements. Our concerns remain focused on the City as opposed to the West End or Midtown. It should be noted that the largest single acquirer of space in the City in both 2015 and 2016 was WeWork, a new entrant to the UK serviced office market with a successful track record in the US. In 2016, they acquired 345,000 sq ft (6% of all take up) on top of 550,000 sq ft in 2015. Serviced office occupiers have always been a key part of any core office market providing flexibility but when they are the single largest driver of demand we see that as a risk. The better news remains the lack of supply and the pre-let status of the development pipeline. This theme of benign supply runs through most markets and the City is no exception. The good news is that over 30% of the 2017-2020 pipeline is already pre-let with new build completions of c2.5m sq ft for the next three years. We maintain our position of reduced exposure to the City market because of risk to demand rather than over expansion of supply.

 

The dynamics in the West End remain stronger, both in the context of a broader tenant base which is less exposed to the regulatory difficulties of doing business outside of the European Union but also from a net supply perspective. Although supply rose in Q4 2016 with some high profile completions and vacancy reaching 3.9%, (its highest since 2013) over 50% of all completions set for 2017/18 are pre-let. The recent commitments by global tech giants, such as Facebook and Apple as well as newly listed Snapchat, continues to reinforce London's dominance for Tech and Media who accounted for 35% of all take up.

 

Most commentary on UK office markets is directed towards Central London but the health of both London's hinterland and the big 6 key regional cities are crucial national indicators. For the fourth year in a row office take up, ex Central London, has surpassed the long term average. An impressive statistic given the political uncertainties. Importantly, supply levels have continued to fall with speculative development unable to match take up particularly when combined with the impact of Permitted Development Rights (PDR). PDR allows owners of commercial property (principally offices) to convert their buildings into residential regardless of the local planning authority's stance. The continuing demand for new, state of the art office space has driven pre-lets to an all time high across the regions, 44% of the 3.6m sq ft is pre-let and rents are responding with Cardiff now over £25 per sq ft and Birmingham exceeding £32 per sq ft.

 

Investors have also taken note and 28% of the UK's total office investment turnover was regional, well ahead of the 10 year average of 23%. International investors are not confining their interest to London and high profile purchases such as Green Park in Reading acquired by Mapletree (Singaporean based) for £560m and HSBC buying parts of Brindley Place, Birmingham's premier city centre office location for £260m are testament to this.

 

It is fair to point out that access to regional office markets through the listed sector is difficult as so few companies have exposure. Where we do get exposure is the western quadrants of the M25 and the London suburban markets through Mckay Securities and CLS Holdings. Take up has remained in line with the ten year average and encouragingly Q1 2017 has seen an upturn when compared with a year earlier. Vacancy has risen slightly to 6.1% (M25) and supply is up 8% on the previous year but crucially still well below long run averages. Both these companies have reported new lettings and renewals comfortably ahead of ERV which reinforces our commitment to these markets.

 

Paris continues to see robust activity with the 2016 Ile-de-France lettings reaching 25m sq ft, 7% ahead of 2015. Within such a large geographical area as Paris there are always huge variations in performance and 2016 was no exception. The core central market (Paris Centre West) where we are invested through Terreis (total return 28.1% year to March 2017) performed very well with vacancy now at record low levels (3.1%). The most encouraging statistics were from Southern Paris and La Defense where a number of large transactions (defined as over 50,000 sq ft) were crucial. Although vacancy remains over 9% in La Defense the amount of new build space is much smaller and we are confident that this will support rents near term. Madrid is a good example of a recovering market. Take up was slightly lower in 2016 than 2015 but the political environment must shoulder at least partial responsibility and therefore we are positive that 2017 will see an improvement given greater political stability. Whilst we are confident about the improving Spanish economic outlook which will directly impact the Madrid office market, our concern is supply. The city has an overall vacancy rate of 12.5%, there is over 10m sq ft of space available for immediate occupation. A significant amount is in tertiary locations but even in the core we need to see strong take up to reduce availability. The worry is growth in supply with five high quality refurbished buildings amounting to another 330,000 sq ft. coming onto the market in Q4 2016 alone.

 

Stockholm continues to astonish with MSCI data showing capital growth of over 13% for the central markets driven by both rental growth and yield compression. Vacancy remains below 7% with new build a tiny proportion of that, hence our ongoing overweight to this market through Fabege and Kungsladen.

 

Retail

The retail sector continues to be buffeted by the structural headwinds of multi channel retailing, a subject which has been aired many times in previous reports and will, no doubt, continue to feature for many years to come. Quite simply the way we all shop is now constantly evolving as technology and fulfilment offers increasing ways of satisfying our retail demand without venturing to a shop - unless we want to. Increasing those visits is the sole aim of shopping centre landlords as they seek to persuade retailers that a physical presence in multiple locations is an economically sound strategy.

 

The UK continues to have the highest penetration of online sales as a percentage of total sales (ex food and fuel) at 15%, it is also growing at 15% per annum when total sales are growing at 2%. Online is, therefore, continuing to take overall market share from physical stores. As identified in the interim report the rest of Europe's online market share is much lower than the UK. That is not to say they won't catch up, we think that is inevitable but that landlords appear to have more time to develop strategies with tenants. The other safety net for European landlords is that overall costs for tenants (the occupancy cost ratio) is lower across much of Europe than the UK.

 

Another rapidly pressing issue which is impacting UK retailers (and therefore shopping centre landlords) is the burden of consumer credit which has been growing at over 10% over the last year (BoE) and stands at a record £196bn. With interest rates at historically low levels and the resumption of real wage growth such amounts, whilst huge, are sustainable. However, inflation caused by rising food prices and the rising costs of imports due to weakened Sterling will mean that real as opposed to nominal wage growth will be negative over the near term. In addition, house prices (ex Central London) have risen consistently since 2011 and the UK house price to income ratio is almost back to the 2007 peak of 4.5x. None of this is good news for retailing.

 

Across Continental Europe the average level of personal indebtness is much lower and whilst real wages are not rising fast, we have seen dramatic reductions (albeit from a poor starting point) in levels of unemployment particularly in Southern Europe which is clearly helping consumption. Germany and Sweden have both experienced consistent real wage inflation as their economies continue to improve.

 

The focus has not changed from that reported at the interim, our UK exposure remains concentrated on higher yielding local shopping where, crucially, rents are affordable for tenants and where incremental asset management improvements add value. We continue to hold Capital & Regional (12 month total return -9.3%) and New River Retail (12 month total return 8.2%). We remain concerned that whilst the larger UK companies own the best and dominant centres, the affordability for retailers is an ongoing issue and the lack of overall deal transparency is also an issue. We therefore view Hammerson (12 month return 2.8%) expanding their outlet centres and Intu's (12 month return -6.7%) buying Spanish centres as positive initiatives. However we think that this diversification is recognition that further large scale investment in their existing core portfolios has become increasingly unattractive.

 

The exception in the UK has been Central London where the mix of leisure, retailing and dining has proved highly resilient. The weakness of Sterling has turbocharged tourism. London hotels, retailers and restaurants have all been beneficiaries.

 

One strong positive for retail landlords has been the dramatic reduction in supply of additional shopping centre space. The market is always eventually self correcting and speculative development dries up in response to weak demand. This year the only two new centres to open are Oxford and Bracknell. Both have large wealthy catchments in need of good quality in town retail offerings. Land Securities is developing Oxford and we are confident it will let up quickly, even so their estimated yield on cost of 5.9% reflects the low returns even when there is demand from retailers to open new stores.

 

Distribution and Industrial

MSCI's UK Monthly index recorded capital growth of 3.3% in the Industrial/Logistics sector for 2016 compared to -3.2% for offices. We fully expect this performance gap to continue as rental growth accelerates for distribution assets. Investors are chasing the asset class and yields are falling particularly where there is perceived shortage of sites as well as snapping up large sheds on the principal distribution networks/hubs. Drilling into the data in more detail reveals that capital growth for London industrial/distribution rose 8% and for the South East was 6.2%.

 

As I wrote last year, the growth in online retailing continues to drive a reorganisation of the distribution landscape. Amazon alone has been responsible for 23% of the entire take up in UK distribution space in 2016 helping to drive a surge which reached 34.6m sq ft. Online retailers directly accounted for 29% of this as we witness the transformation of retailing from 'shops to sheds'. Supply continues to struggle with the pace of demand and it reached its lowest ever level of 22.7m sq ft in Q4 2016. Although new speculative supply has pushed this figure back up to 27.6m sq ft in Q1 2017 we still see a market where rents continue to rise particularly for units offering proximity to larger conurbations. Segro was the outstanding performer amongst the Big Five UK property companies, returning 20.5% in the year to March 2017. In hindsight no real surprise given its portfolio of 22.3m sq ft in the UK and 27.3m sq ft in Europe of high quality logistics and industrial space.

 

The picture across Continental Europe is much the same.  Our preferred French logistics developer Argan, returned 32.7% on the back of their portfolio of 25m sq ft of Class A logistics property. Elsewhere, our exposure to Southern German logistics and industrial space is through VIB Vermogen which returned 26.9% again on the back of strong rental and capital growth.

 

Residential

The performance of the residential sector in the UK needs to be separated into Central London and remainder. The change in stamp duty thresholds combined with Osborne's efforts to remove the tax shield for higher rate payers owning 'buy to lets' has impacted growth particularly in higher value markets. The Referendum result compounded concerns about demand from EU nationals employed in financial services just as the new build Central London market experiences a spike in supply. Whilst we continue to have no exposure to luxury apartments (£1,000 per sq ft and above) we do remain confident about the ability of house builders to sell in more affordable locations. Our investment in Telford Homes, a South East London focused developer who's average lot size is less than £600,000 has been profitable with a 12 month total return of 12.5%. Through our holdings in St Modwen and CLS we did retain exposure to the regeneration of Nine Elms. However, CLS announced (just post our year end) the sale of their entire Nine Elms site for £148m, 40% premium to the December 2016 valuation. The purchaser was a Hong Kong listed developer and the deal provides a useful reminder that, particularly when viewed from afar, the break from Europe may not be viewed quite so negatively.

 

Outside of London residential markets continue to be robust but with real wages stagnating and the elevated level of consumer indebtness we remain cautious and have very little exposure. The private rented sector (PRS) remains a market which will grow but we prefer to own those firms creating the product such as Telford Homes (who recently sold two blocks to an institutional PRS operator) rather than the underlying asset which by its nature is very low yielding.

 

German residential has been a firm favourite for many years and at the underlying asset level performance remains robust with occupational demand remaining firm, continuing to be buoyed by both domestic household growth and net migration (1.2 million people in 2015). Investor demand has also remained strong and prime Berlin has set a new record price level of 30x the gross rent (a year ago the level was closer to 26x). The average capital value per sq ft has risen 35% in the last year but it still remains relatively affordable when compared with other major European cities.

 

Elsewhere in Europe we see continuing growth in residential values. Sweden has shown impressive capital growth, particularly in the metropolitan areas in spite of the introduction of macro-prudential tools by the central bank (aiming to restrict borrowing availability).

 

Hotels and Self Storage

With the ongoing recovery in many European economies we have focused our attention on the more cyclical sectors particularly hotels and self-storage. In the hotel sector we are not seeking exposure to pure operators but businesses which blend ownership and management. Focusing on where they have the ability to manage and improve a hotel but also where the bulk of the income is from leased assets. Our largest exposure is Hispania, which has 65% of its assets in hotels and we expect that to increase further following non core disposals and further acquisitions. This business is focused on tourist destinations in both mainland coastal markets and the islands. A consequence of the rise in terrorist atrocities has been the collapse of tourism in North Africa and Turkey. Foreign visitors to Turkey are down 30% in the twelve months to February and the statistics for Egypt are even worse. Northern Europeans are not abandoning their summer sun but instead 'safecationing' with bookings massively ahead of last year in Greece, France, and Spain. Hispania's 12 month total return was 18.4%.

 

Our self storage focus remains very UK centric due to a lack of opportunity in Continental Europe. Our preferred stock, Safestore have comfortably beaten the broader benchmark this year with total return of 16.6% and its mix of UK and Paris assets remains attractive. Our positive view is driven by an expectation of a steady increase in business usage of short term storage space for 'last mile' distribution purposes. The irreplaceable network of urban and suburban locations for both Safestore and Big Yellow bodes well for demand as online fulfilment delivery times shorten further.

 

Debt and Equity Capital Markets

The era of unorthodox stimulus by all European central banks continued throughout the period. Whilst markets have anticipated a continuing reduction in the amount of asset purchases by the ECB through 2017 the current level of support has allowed many companies to continue to issue debt at record low cost. Not surprisingly the period saw record debt issuance in our sector. However much of this was debt restructuring as companies, particularly European ones, took the opportunity to retire existing bonds and fix for longer periods at these historic low levels. A strategy we applaud wholeheartedly and one which some of the larger UK companies should heed before it becomes more expensive. In total pan European property companies raised €19.3bn in the twelve months to March 2017 compared to €13.7bn in the previous period. The average LTV, as calculated by EPRA, the industry trade body, has continued to fall over the period which is reassuring.

 

In previous reports we have sought to provide one clear example of how the cost of debt was still falling in the period. In November last year, Unibail Rodamco, the largest property company in Europe announced a €500m 8 year bond with a fixed coupon of 0.85%, the lowest ever achieved by a listed property company. Convertibles have also proved popular particularly amongst the residential businesses. Buwog issued a €300m 5 year convertible bond with a zero coupon whilst Deutsche Wohnen placed convertible bonds totalling €800m with an aggregate coupon of 0.325%.

 

Unsurprisingly given the geopolitical risks of multiple elections across Europe and the Referendum in the UK, equity capital markets were more subdued with £5.7bn raised through rights issues and placings but without a single new IPO into the benchmark index. Germany dominated with raisings from ADO and Deutsche Wohnen in the residential space. We also saw issuance from Deutsche Euroshop, Hamborner and TLG. In the UK the raisings were dominated by companies focused on either industrial/logistics, student housing or healthcare. Tritax Bigbox were once again on the roster raising £250m in October bringing their total raised since IPO to £1.3bn. Post the year end they have announced a further raising of up to £350m.

 

Property Shares

As highlighted in the Interim, the first half of the year saw a very sharp divergence in the performance of the UK and Continental Europe. The 6.5% return from UK property companies between the beginning of the financial year and 23 June sums up the optimism and expectation of a Remain vote. Over that period, Continental Europe returned just 2.2% in EUR terms. From 23rd June to the end of the first half, 30 September, UK stocks fell -8.2% whilst the Continental names rose 3.9% in EUR terms. These summary figures mask a period of extraordinary volatility in the aftermath of the Referendum result.

 

The second half of the year saw property shares experiencing an autumnal sell off as investors rotated from defensives and companies seen as 'bond proxies' into cyclicals offering greater exposure to an improving global recovery. This rotation gathered pace post the US presidential election as markets priced in a tailwind of fiscal support. Bond yields across all developed markets rose and sub sectors such as German residential which are perceived as stable income streams with restricted growth due to regulated rents fared very poorly in the last quarter of the year. The German element of the benchmark fell over 15% between September and November.

 

The last quarter of the financial year saw a stabilising of share prices after a strong recovery in December. Investors began to realise that the US had not only embarked on an interest rate normalisation phase but may well now receive an injection of fiscal largesse with the potential lowering of tax rates. However, Europe is not travelling at the same speed and there is no expectation that the ECB is going to lift the base rate soon. Longer dated bond yields have continued to rise modestly, the 10 year Bund rose from -10 bps to +34 bps in the second half of the financial year, but they remain at historic low levels. Investors continue to seek alternative sources of (higher) income than the miserable returns from fixed income. The last quarter of the financial year coincides with the reporting season for companies with a December year end and share prices responded to a steady stream of results which matched or exceeded earnings expectations. The message from companies was one of continued focus on revenue and a broad expectation that the improvements in the underlying economic environment would translate into tenant demand and rental growth. One important distinction between the UK and Continental Europe was the direction of capitalisation rates. The UK listed sector, dominated by exposure to London and large shopping centres is now experiencing rising capitalisation rates as rental growth prospects recede, whilst much of the Continent is still reporting yield compression particularly in prime office markets reflecting the prospect of rental growth.

 

Investment Activity

Investment turnover (purchases and sales divided by two) equated to 31.6% of the average assets over the period. Whilst investment activity reflected a heightened level of tactical repositioning due to a range of macro factors, the strategic positioning particularly at the asset and sub-sector level saw a continuation of a number of themes which have been running for a while. Our approach to retail exposure is a case in point. We no longer hold either of the UK's largest pure retail landlords, Intu and Hammerson. Our exposure is through Capital & Regional and New River Retail, where we increased the former but decreased the latter. We continue to focus on stocks where rents have rebased to affordable levels and where investors are being rewarded through higher income returns in an area of the market which is suffering huge structural headwinds. Asset management gains are a key part of the overall returns from these businesses and a small number of initiatives can make a large difference in these smaller companies. In the case of the larger stocks, they both have large development and repositioning pipelines but we don't believe the returns offered justify the risk on such large schemes.

 

We remain more confident about retail in Europe and our exposure has consolidated into four names, Unibail and Klepierre focused on prime and Mercialys and Eurocommercial in the sub-regional space. We have therefore exited (or are close to completing our exit) from Citycon (Finland), Wereldhave (Netherlands, Finland and France), Vastned Retail (Netherlands, France and Spain) and Deutsche Euroshop (Germany and Central Eastern Europe).

 

As discussed earlier in the report, the winners in the game of omni channel retailing are the warehouse landlords and developers. We have been increasing our exposure to this sector for several years (as the other side of the reduction in retail) and this accelerated both in the UK and Continental Europe. Segro is now the second largest UK position and the capital raises in September 2016 and March 2017 enabled significant expansion in our position. The stock was the top performing UK large cap in the period, returning 20.5%. Hansteen has been a stock we have traded in over many years and undue share price weakness early last year enabled us to rebuild the position. We were pleased with the announcement of the sale of the entire European portfolio allowing management to concentrate on the UK. London Metric announced their intention to exit over time from retail warehousing and focus on distribution and the company is now 2% of our assets. Tritax Bigbox gives us exposure to this sector but their addiction to raising equity will result in a cash drag and sub par earnings growth hence our modest position. This is not the issue at Argan, our preferred logistics play in France, where the CEO and his family own half the business and are focused on organic growth. The stock returned 32.7% in the period.

 

In last year's report I commented on the reduced London exposure and that strategic move continued up to the Referendum. However we were still exposed into June and that resulted in some weak relative performance in the aftermath. The London office specialists, Derwent London, Great Portland Estates and Workspace are well run businesses with solid balance sheets and low leverage. As a group we did not reduce exposure further post the result. The surprising weakness was in both St Modwen and CLS Holdings, two large holdings. We reduced exposure in the former but the subsequent resilience of the UK regional markets and the appointment of a well regarded new CEO led to a strong recovery in the share price. On a happier note, we held the CLS position and then added to it. Alongside the Vauxhall site (now sold), the business had one of the highest cashflows per share in the sector with a portfolio of edge of city centre and suburban offices in the UK, France and Germany. The total return for the year was 18.4%.

 

With bond yields across Europe set to rise further as the Eurozone economies improve we have rotated our residential focus to the higher yielding businesses, (Vonovia and LEG) and those with development pipelines (Buwog).

 

Our renewed interest in Spain evolved further with additional investment in Hispania. The business will be wound up by 2020 and importantly management's carried interest is paid only on the exit.

 

Revenue and Revenue Outlook

As highlighted in the Chairman's Statement revenue for the year is up by over 36% with currency being a significant factor as our European earnings became worth more in Sterling terms. Other factors did play a part, with some ex-dividend date changes around the year end being brought forward and some companies moving from annual to more regular dividends in the period. We expect most of these dates to be maintained for the current year but companies will not commit to ex-dividend dates until they make their individual announcements, so these can always change again.

 

This step change in the level of earnings can be expected to be maintained whilst Sterling remains at current levels. Results announced year to date have been positive in the main with dividend growth in many of the stocks in which we invest. As expressed earlier, strength of income is an important part of our investment decision process and we remain upbeat about the income account. The big caveat is currencies, if Sterling begins to strengthen from current levels this could have a significant negative impact depending on timing and quantum.

 

Gearing and Debt

Gearing increased from 11.9% to 13.3% over the year. With our private placement long-term debt in place and funding levels through CFDs still providing very competitively priced gearing, we reduced the amount available under one of our revolving credit facilities which renewed in January, from £50m to £40m. This is a modest reduction but undrawn debt under these facilities does carry a non-utilisation fee, as we have sufficient capacity to gear with this reduced facility level we opted to make the small saving.

 

Under new legislation effective from the beginning of April 2017, the amount of interest deductible when calculating tax payable has been restricted. Even at low levels of gearing, we will be caught by this to a small extent and the result will be a modest increase in the tax charge. This will be evaluated as a cost of debt when considering gearing levels but is not likely to influence gearing decisions when interest rates remain at current low levels. There are exemptions to these restrictions for some categories of business and Real Estate Investment Trusts are one example, so most of our investee companies will not suffer the restriction, however some non-REIT businesses may and they are engaging with their advisers. The Investment Trust industry lobbied HMRC through the AIC to extend the exemptions to regular Investment Trusts, but this was rejected.

 

Direct Physical Portfolio

The physical property portfolio produced a total return of 2.6% for the twelve months to March 2017 with an income return of 3.4% and a capital return of -0.7%. 

 

At our industrial estate in Wandsworth, London we have completed our programme of lease renewals, extending the expiry profile for the estate so all leases now expire in 2019.  This facilitates a redevelopment of the estate at that time.  Overall 11 leases were extended and 1 new letting was concluded with the rents received on those units increasing by 25%.  Only 2 units are vacant and one of those is under offer.  Our other industrial assets in Gloucester, Bristol and Plymouth have performed well over the year with the new lettings in Gloucester delivering further rental growth with a void period of only 2 months.

 

At the Colonnades in Bayswater, we have experienced a delay in the letting of the ground floor retail units.  Our planning application merging two units to facilitate the letting to Babaji, the restaurant operator, was turned down by the City of Westminster planning committee.  We believe that Babaji would be an excellent restaurant operator and we have therefore made an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate with a decision expected in late September.  At the time of writing we have strong interest in the two remaining units from a range of occupiers.  We are keen to ensure that the tenant mix is complementary as this will be essential to the success of the overall development and therefore we are not rushing to secure the first possible party.  The number of residential lease extensions was modest with only 5 flats extending their tenure. This is not a surprise and reflects the uncertainty generated by the Referendum result. We are in no rush to complete lease extensions as the effluxion of time towards each lease expiry merely increases the landlord's residual value and the ultimate extension premium which must be paid.

 

Outlook

Property is a pro-cyclical asset class, without economic growth market rents can't rise. Whilst that is an obvious point it is worth reiterating as investors have become overly (in our view) concerned about the threat of rising bond yields. Given the improving economic backdrop across Europe, bond yields need to begin the slow path to normalisation following the almost decade long effort by central banks to reduce the cost of debt through ultra loose monetary policy. The economic survey data amongst the major euro-zone economies has converged, they are all benefiting from low borrowing costs, good debt availability, a competitive Euro/Dollar rate, a pick up in global demand and improving labour markets. Headline inflation has ticked up but core consumer prices and broad money growth remain muted. If core inflation remains below 2% then the ECB have the latitude to elongate the 'glide path' of reducing their bond buying programme. Few are predicting an increase in the base rate before late 2018 or even into 2019. Meanwhile the gap between property yields and real interest rates remains at an all time high. The combination of the improving economic outlook within Continental Europe, the reduction in short term political risk and the modest performance of property equities (they are not overvalued) reinforces our positive outlook.

 

The UK has performed much better than many observers expected since the Referendum. Values of commercial property as measured by the MSCI/IPD data remain robust. The very high proportion of international buyers in the Central London office investment market is both a positive (they see an opportunity) and a negative (how far is currency weakness the driver). We are concerned that demand, particularly from financial services, will weaken further as negotiations with Brussels drag on. The good news is that equity prices have quickly adjusted and now represent fair value. The outperformance of the UK economy versus most European economies over the last nine months has been strong but that gap will narrow. The UK has experienced a credit boom and the UK consumers remain far more indebted than their Continental counterpart. We think stagnating real wage growth will be an additional headwind for retail sales growth.

 

Property will continue to be a valuable source of income for so many investors and whilst we see risks to some sub-sectors capital growth prospects, there are many parts of the market both in the UK and Continental Europe which we view as attractive opportunities for growth. Underpinning the vast majority of markets is the benign backdrop of low levels of speculative construction in commercial property markets and coupled with the strong financial position of most listed property companies leads us to feel confident that the asset class will remain a relative outperformer.

 

Marcus Phayre-Mudge

Fund Manager

25 May 2017

 

 

Overview of strategy, performance measurement and risk management

 

Investment Objective and Benchmark

The Company's Objective is to maximise shareholders' total return by investing in the shares and securities of property companies and property related businesses internationally and also in investment property located in the UK.

 

The benchmark is the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Europe Capped Net Total Return Index in Sterling. The index, calculated by FTSE, is free-float based and currently has 103 constituent companies. The index limits exposure to any one company to 10% and reweights the other constituents pro-rata. The benchmark website www.epra.com contains further details about the index and performance.

 

Business Model

The Company's business model follows that of an externally managed investment trust.

 

The Company has no employees. Its wholly non-executive Board of five Directors retains responsibility for corporate strategy; corporate governance; risk and control assessment; the overall investment and dividend policies; setting limits on gearing and asset allocation and monitoring investment performance.

 

The Board has appointed F&C Investment Business Limited as the Alternative Investment Fund Manager with portfolio management delegated to Thames River Capital LLP. Marcus Phayre-Mudge acts as Fund Manager to the Company on behalf of Thames River Capital LLP and Alban Lhonneur is Deputy Fund Manager. George Gay is the Direct Property Manager and Joanne Elliott the Finance Manager. They are supported by a team of equity and portfolio analysts.

 

Further information in relation to the Board and the arrangements under the Investment Management Agreement can be found in the Report of the Directors below.

 

In accordance with the AIFMD, BNP Paribas has been appointed as Depository to the Company. BNP Paribas also provide custodial and administration services to the Company. Company secretarial services are provided by Capita Company Secretarial Services.

 

The specific terms of the Investment Management Agreement are set out in the Directors' Report.

 

Strategy and Investment Policies

The investment selection process seeks to identify well managed companies of all sizes. The Manager generally regards future growth and capital appreciation potential more highly than immediate yield or discount to asset value.

 

Although the investment objective allows for investment on an international basis, the benchmark is a Pan-European Index and the majority of the investments will be located in that geographical area. Direct property investments are located in the UK only.

 

As a dedicated investor in the property sector the Company cannot offer diversification outside that sector, however, within the portfolio there are limitations, as set out below, on the size of individual investments held to ensure diversification within the portfolio.

 

Asset allocation guidelines

The maximum holding in the stock of any one issuer or of a single asset is limited to 15% of the portfolio at the point of acquisition. In addition, any holdings in excess of 5% of the portfolio must not in aggregate exceed 40% of the portfolio.

 

The Manager currently applies the following guidelines for asset allocation;

UK listed equities 25 - 50%

Continental European listed equities 45 - 75%

Direct Property - UK 5 - 20%

Other listed equities 0 - 5%

Listed bonds 0 - 5%

Unquoted investments 0 - 5%

 

Gearing

The Company may employ levels of gearing from time to time with the aim of enhancing returns, subject to an overall maximum of 25% of the portfolio value.

 

In certain market conditions the Manager may consider it prudent not to employ gearing on the balance sheet at all, and to hold part of the portfolio in cash.

 

The current asset allocation guideline is 10% net cash to 25% net gearing (as a percentage of portfolio value).

 

Property Valuation

Investment properties are valued every six months by an external independent valuer. If a material event occurs in the intervening period, then an interim valuation will be instructed on the property in question. Valuations of all the Group's properties as at 31 March 2017 have been carried out on a "Red Book" basis and these valuations have been adopted in the accounts.

 

Allocation of costs between Revenue & Capital

On the basis of the Board's expected long-term split of returns in the form of capital gains and income, the Group charges 75% of annual base management fees and finance costs to capital. All performance fees are charged to capital.

 

Key Performance Indicators

 

The Board assesses the performance of the Manager in meeting the Trust's objective against the following Key Performance Indicators ("KPIs"):

 

 

KPI

Board monitoring and outcome

Net Asset Value Total Return Relative to the benchmark.

The Directors regard the Company's net asset value total return performance in comparison with the benchmark as being an overall measure of value delivered to the shareholders' over the longer term

 

 

·      The Board reviews the performance in detail at each meeting and discusses the results and outlook with the Manager

 

Outcome

 

1 year

5 years

NAV Total Return

8.0 %

122.7 %

Benchmark Total Return

6.5 %

87.3 %

 

Delivering a reliable dividend which is growing over the longer term

The principal objective of the Company is a total return objective, however, the Manager aims to deliver a reliable dividend with growth over the longer term.

 

·      The Board reviews statements on income received to date and income forecasts at each meeting.

 

Outcome

 

1 year

5 years

Compound Dividend Growth

25.7%

9.7%

RPI

3.1 %

11.8 %

 

The Discount or Premium at which the Company's shares trade compared with Net Asset Value

Whilst investment performance is expected to be a key driver of the share price discount or premium to the net asset value of an investment trust over the longer-term, there are periods of volatility when the discount can widen. The Board is aware of the vulnerability of a sector-specialist trust to a change of investor sentiment towards that sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·      The Board takes powers at each AGM to buy-back and issue shares. When considering the merits of share buy-back or issuance, the Board looks at a number of factors in addition to the short and longer-term discount or premium to NAV to assess whether action would be beneficial to the shareholders overall. Particular attention is paid to the potential impact of any share buy-back activity on the liquidity if the shares and on ongoing charges over the longer term.

 

Outcome

 

1 year

5 years

Average discount

11.9%

6.8%

Total number of shares repurchased

150,000

525,000

 

Level of Ongoing Charges

The Board is conscious of expenses and aims to deliver a balance between strong service and costs.

The AIC definition of Ongoing Charges includes any direct property costs in addition to the management fees and all other expenses incurred in running a publicly listed company. As no other investment trusts hold part of their portfolio in direct property (they either hold 100% of their portfolio as property securities or as direct property), this statistic is shown without direct property costs to allow a clearer comparison of overall administration costs with other funds investing in securities.

 

·      Expenses are budgeted for each financial year and the Board reviews regular reports on actual and forecast expenses throughout the year.

 

Outcome

 

1 year

4 years*

Ongoing Charges excluding Performance Fees and Property Costs

0.64%

0.69%

 

*Ongoing Charges calculation introduced in 2013 therefore this statistic has only been produced for four years.

Investment Trust Status

The Company must continue to operate in order to meet the requirements for Section 1158 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010.

·      The Board reviews financial information and forecasts at each meeting which set out the requirements.

·      The Directors believe that the conditions and ongoing requirements have been met in respect of the year to 31 March 2017 and that the Company will continue to meet the requirements.

 

 

Principal Risks and Uncertainties

 

In delivering long-term returns to shareholders, the Board must also identify and monitor the risks that have been taken in order to achieve that return. The Board has included below details of the principal risks and uncertainties facing the Company and the appropriate measures taken in order to mitigate these risks as far as practicable.

 

Risk Identified

Board monitoring and mitigation

Share price performs poorly in comparison to the underlying NAV

The shares of the Company are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the share price is determined by supply and demand. The shares may trade at a discount or premium to the Company's underlying NAV and this discount or premium may fluctuate over time.

·      The Board monitors the level of discount or premium at which the shares are trading over the short and longer-term

·      The board encourages engagement with the shareholders. The Board receives reports at each meeting on the activity of the company's broker, PR agent and meetings and events attended by the Fund Manager.

·      The Company's shares are available through the F&C share schemes and the company participates in the active marketing of these schemes. The shares are also widely available on open architecture platforms and can be held directly through the Company's registrar.

·      The Board takes the powers to buy-back and issue shares at each AGM.

Poor investment performance of the portfolio relative to the benchmark.

The Company's portfolio is actively managed. In addition to investment securities the Company also invests in commercial property and accordingly, the portfolio may not follow or outperform the return of the benchmark

 

·      The Manager's objective is to outperform the benchmark. The Board regularly reviews the Company's long term strategy and investment guidelines and the manager's relative positions against these

 

·      The Management Engagement Committee reviews the Managers performance annually. The Board has the powers to change the Manager if deemed appropriate.

Market risk

Both share prices and exchange rates may move rapidly and adversely impact the value of the Company's portfolio.

 

Although the portfolio is diversified across a number of geographical regions, the investment mandate is focused on a single sector and therefore the portfolio will be sensitive towards the property sector, as well as global equity markets more generally.

 

Property companies are subject to many factors which can adversely affect their investment performance, these include the general economic and financial environment in which their tenants operate, interest rates, availability of investment and development finance and regulations issued by governments and authorities

 

The UK property market may be adversely affected by Brexit. The market will respond as the negotiations unfold and the impact on occupation across each sector and geographical location becomes clear.

 

·      The Board receives and considers a regular report from the Manager detailing asset allocation, investment decisions, currency exposures, gearing levels and rationale in relation to the prevailing market conditions

 

The Company is unable to maintain its progressive policy on dividends

progressive policy on dividends

Lower earnings in the underlying portfolio may put pressure on the Company's ability to maintain a progressive dividend could result from a number of factors; l lower earnings and distributions in investee companies

 

·      prolonged vacancies in the direct property portfolio

·      strengthening sterling reducing the value of overseas dividend receipts in sterling terms

·      adverse changes in the tax treatment of dividends or other income received by the company

·      changes in the timing of dividend receipts from investee companies.

 

The Company has seen a material increase in the level of earnings in the current year and a significant factor in this has been the weakening of sterling following the Brexit

decision. This may reverse in the near or medium term as the negotiations progress, leading to a fall in earnings.

 

·      The Board receives and considers regular income forecasts.

 

·      Income forecast sensitivity to changes in FX rates is also monitored.

 

 

·      The Company has revenue reserves which can be drawn upon when required.

Accounting and operational risks

Disruption or failure of systems and processes underpinning the services provided by third parties and the risk that these suppliers provide a sub-standard service.

·      Third party service providers produce periodic reports to the Board on their control environments and business continuation provisions on a regular basis.

·      The Management Engagement Committee considers the performance of each of the service providers on a regular basis and considers their ongoing appointment.

·      The Custodian and Depository are responsible for the safeguarding of assets. In the event of a loss of assets the Depository must return assets of an identical type or corresponding amount unless able to demonstrate that the loss was the result of an event beyond their reasonable control.

Financial risks

The Company's investment activities expose it to a variety of financial risks which include, counterparty credit risk, liquidity risk and the valuation of financial instruments.

 

·      Details of these risks together with the policies for managing these risks are found in the Notes to the Financial Statements.

Loss of Investment Trust Status

The Company has been accepted by HM Revenue & Customs as an investment trust, subject to continuing to meet the relevant eligibility conditions. As such the Company is exempt from capital gains tax on the profits realised from the sale of investments.

 

Any breach of the relevant eligibility conditions could lead to the Company losing investment trust status and being subject to corporation tax on capital gains realised within the company's portfolio.

 

·      The Investment Manager monitors the investment portfolio, income and proposed dividend levels to ensure that the provisions of CTA 2010 are not breached. The results are reported to the Board at each meeting.

·      The income forecasts are reviewed by the Company's tax advisor through the year who also reports to the Board on the year-end tax position and reports on CTA 2010 compliance.

Legal, regulatory and reporting risks

Failure to comply with the London Stock Exchange Listing Rules and Transparency and Disclosure rules; failing to meet the requirements under the Alternative Investment Funds Directive, the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 and other UK, European and overseas legislation affecting UK companies. Failure to meet the required accounting standards or make appropriate disclosures in the Interim and Annual Reports.

·      The Board receives regular regulatory updates from the Manager, Company Secretary, legal advisors and Auditors. The Board considers these reports and recommendations and takes action accordingly.

·      The Board receives an annual report and update from the Depository.

·      Internal checklists and review procedures are in place at service providers.

·      External auditors review Interim & Annual Reports and audit year end Financial Statements.

Inappropriate use of gearing

Gearing, either through the use of bank debt or through the use of derivatives may be utilised from time to time. Whilst the use of gearing is intended to enhance the NAV total return, it will have the opposite effect when the return of the Company's investment portfolio is negative.

 

·      The Board receives regular reports from the Manager on the levels of gearing in the portfolio. These are considered against the gearing limits set in the Investment Guidelines and also in the context of current market conditions and sentiment.

Personnel changes at Investment Manager

Loss of portfolio manager of other key staff.

·      The Chairman conducts regular meetings with the Fund Management team.

·      The fee basis protects the core infrastructure and depth and quality resources. The fee structure incentivises good performance and is fundamental in the ability to retain staff.

 

Exercise of voting power

The Board has approved a corporate governance voting policy which, in its opinion, accords with current best practice whilst maintaining a primary focus on financial returns.

 

The exercise of voting rights attached to the Company's portfolio has been delegated to the Manager who take a global approach to engagement with issuers and their management in all of the jurisdictions in which it invests. The Manager is required to include disclosure about the nature of their commitment to the Financial Reporting Committee's Stewardship Code and details may be found at www.fandc.com

 

Environmental policy & Socially Responsible Investment

The Company considers that good corporate governance extends to policies on the environment, employment, human rights and community relationships. Corporates are playing an increasingly important role in global economic activity and the adoption of good corporate governance enhances a company's economic prospects by reducing the risk of government and regulatory intervention and any ensuing damage to its business or reputation.

 

The Company has adopted an environmental policy in respect of its investments in both physical property and listed property companies. Within the context of the overall aim of the Company to maximise shareholders' returns the Directors will seek to limit the Company's and its investee companies' impact on the environment and will comply with all relevant legislation relating to its operations and activities.

 

The environmental policies and behaviour of all the companies in which the Company invests are taken into account in decision making.

 

Good environmental management can play a role in overall risk management and also have a financial impact in terms of savings through energy and water efficiency. Where appropriate the Manager will engage with investee companies to raise concerns about environmental matters.

 

So far as direct property investments are concerned, the Company conducts environmental audits prior to purchase to identify contamination or materials considered environmentally harmful. The Company will take remedial action or enforce tenant obligations to do so wherever appropriate. The Company's advisers assess the environmental impact of its properties on an ongoing basis and will take all necessary action to comply with environmental responsibilities.

 

The Company has no greenhouse gas emissions to report from the operations of the Company, nor does it have responsibility for any other emissions producing sources under the Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors' Reports) Regulations 2013, including those within its underlying investment portfolio.

 

Diversity, Gender Reporting and Human Rights Policy

The Board recognises the requirement under Section 414 of the Companies Act 2006 to detail information about employee and human rights; including information about any policies it has in relation to these matters and effectiveness of these policies. As the Trust has no employees, this requirement does not apply. The Directors are also satisfied that, to the best of their knowledge, the Company's principal suppliers, comply with the provisions of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

 

The Board currently comprises four male and one female Directors. The Board's diversity policy is outlined in more detail in the Corporate Governance Report. The Manager has an equal opportunity policy which is set out on its website www.fandc.com.

 

 

Statement of directors' responsibilities in relation to the Group financial statements

 

The directors are responsible for preparing the Report and Accounts in accordance with applicable United Kingdom law and those International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the European Union.

 

Under Company Law the directors must not approve the Group and Company financial statements unless they are satisfied that they present fairly the financial position, financial performance and cash flows of the Group and Company for that period.

 

In preparing the Group financial statements the directors are required to:

 

select suitable accounting policies in accordance with IAS 8: Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors and then apply them consistently;

 

present information, including accounting policies, in a manner that provides relevant, reliable, comparable and understandable information;

 

provide additional disclosures when compliance with the specific requirements in IFRSs is insufficient to enable users to understand the impact of particular transactions, other events and conditions on the Group and Company's financial position and financial performance;

 

state that the Group and Company has complied with IFRSs, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and

 

make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent.

 

The directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Group and Company's transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Group and Company and enable them to ensure that the Group and Company financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006 and Article 4 of the IAS Regulation. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Group and Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

 

 

 

Group Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

For the year ended 31 March 2017

 

 

 

Year ended 31 March 2017

Year ended 31 March 2016

 

Revenue Return

£'000

Capital Return £'000

Total

£'000

Revenue Return

£'000

Capital Return £'000

Total

£'000

 Income

Investment income                        

Other operating income                   

Gross rental income                      

Service charge income                    

Gains on investments held at fair value                                       

Net movement on foreign exchange; investments and loan notes             

Net movement on foreign exchange;  cash and cash equivalents

Net returns on contracts for difference                           

 

35,574

62

3,781

1,549

-

 

-

 

-

 

4,457

 

-

-

-

-

52,693

 

(1,130)

 

2,450

 

(1,487)

 

35,574

62

3,781

1,549

52,693

 

(1,130)

 

2,450

 

2,970

 

27,358

74

3,330

1,023

-

 

-

 

-

 

2,905

 

 

 

 

 

-

-

-

-

64,087

 

1,768

 

709

 

(4,166)

 

27,358

74

3,330

1,023

64,087

 

1,768

 

709

 

(1,261)

 

 

 

Total Income

 

45,423

 

52,526

 

97,949

 

34,690 

 

62,398

 

 

97,088

Expenses

 

Management and performance fees 

Direct property expenses, rent payable and service charge costs

Other administrative expenses         

 

 

(1,314)

 

(2,078)

(1,213)

 

 

(5,092)

 

-

(546)

 

 

(6,406)

 

(2,078)

(1,759)

 

 

 (1,229)

 

(1,533)

(1,269)

 

 

 

 

 

(7,042)

 

-

(481)

 

 

(8,271)

 

(1,533)

(1,750)

 

Total operating expenses

 

(4,605)

 

(5,638)

 

(10,243)

 

(4,031)

 

(7,523)

 

(11,554)

 

Operating profit

Finance costs                                    

 

40,818

(621)

 

46,888

(1,842)

 

87,706

(2,463)

 

30,659

(894)

 

54,875

(2,682)

 

85,534

(3,576)

 

Profit from operations before tax

 

40,197

 

 

45,046

 

 

85,243

 

 

29,765

 

52,193

 

81,958

Taxation

(4,080)

1,822

(2,258)

(3,221)

1,720

(1,501)

 

Total comprehensive income

 

36,117

 

46,868

 

82,985

 

26,544

 

53,913

 

80,457

 

Earnings per Ordinary share

 

11.38p

 

14.76p

 

26.14p

 

8.36p

 

16.98p

 

25.34p

 

 

 

 

The Total column of this statement represents the Group's Statement of Comprehensive Income, prepared in accordance witIFRS. 

The Revenue Return and Capital Return columns are supplementary to this and are prepared under guidance published by the 

Association of Investment Companies. All items in the above statement derive from continuing operations.

 

All income is attributable to the shareholders of the parent company. There are no minority interests.

 

 

 

Group and Company Statement of Changes in Equity

 

Group

 

 

 

For the year ended 31 March 2017

Share Capital Ordinary

£'000

Share Premium Account

£'000

Capital Redemption Reserve

£'000

Retained Earnings Ordinary

£'000

Total

£'000

At 31 March 2016

79,375

43,162

43,934

898,948

1,065,419

Net profit for the year

-

-

-

82,985

82,985

Shares repurchased

(37)

-

37

(459)

(459)

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(29,521)

(29,521)

At 31 March 2017

79,338

43,162

43,971

951,953

1,118,424

 

 

Company

 

 

For the year ended 31 March 2017

Share Capital Ordinary

£'000

Share Premium Account

£'000

Capital Redemption Reserve

£'000

Retained Earnings Ordinary

£'000

Total

£'000

At 31 March 2016

79,375

43,162

43,934

898,948

1,065,419

Net profit for the year

-

-

-

82,985

82,985

Shares repurchased

(37)

-

37

(459)

(459)

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(29,521)

(29,521)

At 31 March 2017

79,338

43,162

43,971

951,953

1,118,424

 

 

 

Group

 

 

For the year ended 31 March 2016

Share Capital Ordinary

£’000

Share Premium Account

£’000

Capital Redemption Reserve

£’000

Retained Earnings Ordinary

£’000

 

Total

£’000

At 31 March 2015

79,375

43,162

43,934

843,574

1,010,045

Net profit for the period

– 

80,457

80,457

Dividends paid

(25,083)

(25,083)

 

At 31 March 2016

 

79,375

 

43,162

 

43,934

 

898,948

 

1,065,419

 

 

Company

 

 

For the year ended 31 March 2016

Share Capital Ordinary

£’000

Share 

Premium 

Account

£’000

Capital Redemption 

Reserve

£’000

Retained Earnings Ordinary

£’000

 

Total

£’000

At 31 March 2015

79,375

43,162

43,934

843,574

1,010,045

Net profit for the period

– 

80,457

80,457

Dividends paid

(25,083)

(25,083)

 

At 31 March 2016

 

79,375

 

43,162

 

43,934

 

898,948

 

1,065,419

 

 

 

 

Group and Company Balance Sheets

as at 31 March 2017

 

 

 

Group

2017

£'000

 

Company

2017

£'000

Group

2016

£'000

Company

2016

£'000

Non-current assets

 

 

1,144,776

 

 

 

1,144,776

 

 

 

1,098,560

 

 

1,098,560

Investments held at fair value

Investments in subsidiaries

-

50,531

-

53,052

 

Deferred taxation asset

1,144,776

1,195,307

1,098,560

1,151,612

243

243

243

243

 

 

1,145,019

1,195,550

1,098,803

1,151,855

Current assets

 

 

 

 

Debtors

38,809

38,687

28,978

28,579

Cash and cash equivalents

6,445

6,420

22,754

22,741

 

 

45,254

45,107

51,732

51,320

 

Current liabilities

 

(14,081)

 

(64,465)

 

(30,473)

 

(83,113)

 

Net current assets/(liabilities)

 

31,173

 

(19,358)

 

 

21,259

 

(31,793)

Total assets less current liabilities

1,176,192

(1,176,192)

1,120,062

1,120,062

Non-current liabilities

(57,768)

(57,768)

(54,643)

(54,643)

Net assets

 

1,118,424

 

1,118,424

 

1,065,419

 

1,065,419

 

Capital and reserves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Called up share capital

79,338

79,338

79,375

 

79,375

Share premium account

43,162

43,162

43,162

43,162

Capital redemption reserve

43,971

43,971

43,934

43,934

Retained earnings

951,953

951,953

898,948

898,948

Equity shareholders' funds

1,118,424

1,118,424

1,065,419

1,065,419

Net Asset Value per:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ordinary share

352.42p

352.42p

335.56p

335.56p

 

 

 

Group and Company Cash Flow Statements

as at 31 March 2017

 

 

 

 

Group

2017

£'000

Company

2017 £'000

Group

2016

£'000

Company

2016

£'000

Reconciliation of profit from operations before tax to net cash inflow from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Profit from operations before tax

Financing costs

85,243

2,463

85,050

3,455

81,958

3,752

81,958

3,140

Gains on investments and derivatives held at fair value through profit or loss

(51,206)

(48,671)

(59,921)

(59,456)

Net movement on foreign exchange; cash and cash equivalents and loan notes

669

669

223

223

(Increase) / decrease in accrued income

(624)

(1,016)

645

646

Net sales of investments

4,606

4,606

28,848

28,848

Increase  in sales settlement debtor

(5,591)

(5,591)

(415)

(415)

(Decrease) / increase in purchase settlement creditor

(3,216)

(3,216)

523

523

Increase in other debtors

(1,595)

(1,602)

(18,631)

(18,631)

Decrease in other creditors

(1,575)

(4,237)

(5,634)

(21,097)

Scrip dividends included in investment income and net returns on contracts for difference

(1,450)

(1,450)

(1,223)

(1,223)

Net cash inflow from operating activities before interest and taxation

27,724

27,997

30,125

14,516

Interest paid

(2,437)

(3,042)

(3,752)

(3,140)

Taxation paid

(4,066)

(3,746)

(1,383)

(1,383)

 

Net cash inflow from operating activities    

                              

 

21,221

 

21,209

 

24,990

 

9,993

Financing activities

 

 

 

 

Equity dividends paid

(29,521)

(29,521)

(25,083)

(25,083)

Repayment of loans

(10,000)

(10,000)

(38,000)

(38,000)

Repayment of debenture stock

-

-

(15,000)

-

Repurchase of shares

(459)

(459)

-

-

Issue of loan notes

-

-

53,711

53,711

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash used in financing activities                                                      

 

(39,980)

 

(39,980)

 

(24,372)

 

(9,372)

(Decrease) / Increase in cash

(18,759)

(18,771)

618

621

Cash and cash equivalents at start of year

22,754

22,741

21,427

21,411

Net movement in foreign exchange; cash and cash equivalents

2,450

2,450

709

709

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year                                

 

6,445

 

6,420

 

22,754

 

22,741

Note

 

 

 

 

Dividends received

35,834

35,820

30,199

30,199

Interest received

41

41

194

194

 

 

 

Notes to the Preliminary Announcement

 

1

Accounting Policies

 

The financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2017 have been prepared on a going concern basis, in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which comprise standards and interpretations approved by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), together with interpretations of the International Accounting Standards and Standing Interpretations Committee approved by the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) that remain in effect, to the extent that they have been adopted by the European Union and as regards the Company financial statements, as applied in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006. The financial statements have also been prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), "Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts," to the extent that it is consistent with IFRS.

 

The Group and Company financial statements are expressed in Sterling, which is their functional and presentational currency. Sterling is the functional currency because it is the currency of the primary economic environment in which the Group operates. Values are rounded to the nearest thousand pounds (£'000) except where otherwise indicated.

 

 

2

Investment income

 

 

2017

2016

 

 

£'000

£'000

 

Dividends from UK listed investments   

2,660

2,025

 

Dividends from overseas listed investments          

26,018

18,063

 

Scrip dividends from listed investments

935

1,223

 

Interest from listed investments                                          

21

109

 

Property income distributions                                    

5,940

5,938

 

 

 

 

 

 

35,574

27,358

 

 

 

 

 

3

Earnings per share

 

 

Earnings per Ordinary share

 

 

The earnings per Ordinary share can be analysed between revenue and capital, as below.

 

 

 

Year

ended

31 March

2017

£'000

Year

ended

31 March

2016

£'000

 

 

 Net revenue profit

36,117

26,544

 

 

 Net capital profit

46,868

53,913

 

 

 

_________

_________

 

 

 Net total profit

82,985

80,457

 

 

 

_________

_________

 

 

Weighted average number of Ordinary shares in issue during the year

317,435,090

317,500,980

 

 

 

_________

_________

 

 

 

 pence

 pence

 

 

 Revenue earnings per share

11.38

8.36

 

 

 Capital earnings per share

14.76

16.98

 

 

 

_________

_________

 

 

Earnings per Ordinary share

26.14

25.34

 

 

 

_________

_________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Net asset value per Ordinary share

 

 

Net asset value per Ordinary share is based on the net assets attributable to Ordinary shares of £1,118,424,000 (2016: £1,065,419,000) and on 317,350,980 (2016: 317,500,980) Ordinary shares in issue at the year end.

 
 

5

Share capital changes

 

During the year, the Company made market purchases for cancellation of 150,000 Ordinary shares of 25p each, representing 0.05% of the number of shares in issue at 31 March 2016. The aggregate consideration paid by the Company for the shares was £459,000.

 

Since 31 March 2017 no Ordinary shares have been purchased and cancelled.

 

 

Status of preliminary announcement

 

The financial information set out above does not constitute the Company's statutory accounts for the years ended 31 March 2017 or 2016. The financial information for 2016 is derived from the statutory accounts for 2016 which have been delivered to the registrar of companies. The auditor has reported on the 2016 accounts; their report was (i) unqualified, (ii) did not include a reference to any matters to which the auditor drew attention by way of emphasis without qualifying their report and (iii) did not contain a statement under section 498 (2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006. The statutory accounts for 2017 will be finalised on the basis of the financial information presented by the directors in this preliminary announcement and will be delivered to the registrar of companies in due course.

 

 

Fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities

 

Financial assets and financial liabilities are carried in the Balance Sheet either at their fair value (investments) or the balance sheet amount is a reasonable approximation of fair value (due from brokers, dividends and interest receivable, due to brokers, accruals and cash at bank).

 

Fair value hierarchy disclosures

 

The table below sets out fair value measurements using IFRS 13 fair value hierarchy.

 

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

 

At 31 March 2017

Level 1

£'000

Level 2

£'000

Level 3

£'000

Total

£'000

Equity investments

1,047,470

-

2

1,047,472

Investment Properties

-

-

97,304

97,304

Contracts for difference

-

2,146

-

2,146

 

1,047,470

2,146

97,306

1,146,922

 

 

At 31 March 2016

Level 1

£'000

Level 2

£'000

Level 3

£'000

Total

£'000

Equity investments

999,843

-

2

999,845

Investment Properties

-

-

97,764

97,764

Fixed interest investments

951

-

-

951

Contracts for difference

-

329

-

329

Foreign exchange forward contracts

-

809

-

809

 

1,000,794

1,138

97,766

1,099,698

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table above represents the Group's fair value hierarchy. The Company's fair value hierarchy is identical except for the inclusion of the fair value of the investment in Subsidiaries which at 31 March 2017 was £50,531,000 (2016: £53,052,000) these have been categorised as level 3 in both years. The total financial assets at fair value for the Company at 31 March 2017 was £1,197,453,000 (2016: £1,151,941,000).

 

The movement from 31 March 2016 of £2,521,000 represents a reclassification of £2,100,000 to a subsidiary intercompany account together with depreciation of £421,000 (2016: £465,000 depreciation) in the period.

 

Categorisation within the hierarchy has been determined on the basis of the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement of the relevant asset as follows:

 

Level 1 - valued using quoted prices in an active market for identical assets.

Level 2 - valued by reference to valuation techniques using observable inputs other than quoted prices within Level 1.

Level 3 - valued by reference to valuation techniques using inputs that are not based on observable market data.

 

The valuation techniques used by the Group are explained in the accounting policies in the full Annual Report and Accounts.

 

Reconciliation of movements in financial assets categorised as level 3

 

 

31

March

2016

£'000

Purchases £'000

Sales £'000

Appreciation /

(Depreciation)

£'000

31 March

2017

£'000

Unlisted equity investments

2

-

-

-

2

Investment Properties

 

 

 

 

 

- Mixed use

54,152

773

(755)

(1,083)

53,087

- Industrial

30,290

15

-

964

31,269

- Offices

13,322

328

-

(702)

12,948

 

97,764

1,116

(755)

(821)

97,304

 

97,766

1,116

(755)

(821)

97,306

 

All appreciation/(depreciation) as stated above relates to unlisted equity investments and investment properties held at 31 March 2017.

 

Transfers between hierarchy levels

 

There were no transfers during the year between level 1 and level 2 nor between levels 1 or 2 and level 3.

 

Key assumptions used in value in use calculations are explained in the accounting policies in the full Annual Report and Accounts.

 

Sensitivity information

 

The significant unobservable inputs used in the fair value measurement categorised within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy of investment properties are:

 

·      Estimated rental value: £4-£50 per sq ft (2016: same)

·      Capitalisation rates: 3.5%-9.75% (2016: 4.0%-9.0%)

 

Significant increases (decreases) in estimated rental value in isolation would result in a significantly higher (lower) fair value measurement. A significant increase (decrease) in Capitalisation Rates in isolation would result in a significantly lower (higher) fair value measurement.

 

 

 

Business segment reporting

 

 

Valuation

31 March

2016

£'000

Net additions/ (disposals)

£'000

Net appreciation/ (depreciation)

£'000

Valuation 31 March

2017

£'000

Gross    revenue 31 March

2017

£'000

Gross  revenue

31 March

2016

£'000

Listed investments

1,000,796

(7,555)

54,231

1,047,472

35,574

27,358

Direct property

97,764

361

(821)

97,304

5,330

4,353

 

1,098,560

(7,194)

53,410

1,144,776

40,904

31,711

Contracts for difference

329

3,304

(1,487)

2,146

4,457

2,905

 

1,098,889

(3,890)

51,923

1,146,922

45,361

34,616

 

In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the Company invests in the shares and securities of property companies and property related businesses internationally and also in investment property located in the UK. The Company therefore considers that there are two distinct reporting segments, listed investments and direct property, which are used for evaluating performance and allocation of resources. The Board, which is the principal decision maker, receives information on the two segments on a regular basis. Whilst revenue streams and direct property costs can be attributed to the reporting segments, general administrative expenses cannot be split to allow a profit for each segment to be determined. The assets and gross revenues for each segment are shown above.

 

The property costs included within note 3 to the Financial Statements are £2,078 (2016: £1,533) and deducting these costs from the direct property gross revenue above would result in net income of £3,252 (2016: £2,820) for the direct property reporting segment.

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

Dividends

 

An interim dividend of 4.10p was paid in January 2017. A final dividend of 6.40p (2016: 5.20p) will be paid on 1 August 2017 to shareholders on the register on 23 June 2017. The shares will be quoted ex-dividend on 22 June 2017.

 

 

10

 

Annual Report and AGM

The Annual Report will be posted to shareholders in June 2017 and will be available thereafter from the Company Secretary at the Registered Office, 11 Hanover Street, London, W1S 1QY. The Annual General Meeting of the Company will be held at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London W1K 7TN on 25 July 2017 at 2pm.

 

 

         

 

 

This announcement and the information contained herein is not for publication, distribution or release in, or into, directly or indirectly, the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan and does not constitute, or form part of, an offer of securities for sale in or into the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan.

 

The securities referred to in this announcement have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States unless they are registered under the Securities Act or pursuant to an available exemption therefrom.  The Company does not intend to register any portion of securities in the United States or to conduct a public offering of the securities in the United States.  The Company will not be registered under the U.S. Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, and investors will not be entitled to the benefits of that Act.

 

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the securities referred to herein in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration, exemption from registration or qualification under the securities law of any such jurisdiction. 

 

The contents of this announcement include statements that are, or may be deemed to be "forward looking statements".  These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "may", "will" or "should".  They include the statements regarding the target aggregate dividend.  By their nature, forward looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance.  The Company's actual results and performance may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, except as may be required by applicable law and regulation (including the Listing Rules).  No statement in this announcement is intended to be a profit forecast.

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

Marcus Phayre-Mudge

Fund Manager

TR Property Investment Trust plc

Telephone: 020 7011 4711

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
END
 
 
FR EAKSLASFXEFF
Close


London Stock Exchange plc is not responsible for and does not check content on this Website. Website users are responsible for checking content. Any news item (including any prospectus) which is addressed solely to the persons and countries specified therein should not be relied upon other than by such persons and/or outside the specified countries. Terms and conditions, including restrictions on use and distribution apply.

 


Final Results - RNS