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RNS
Alliance Trust PLC   -  ATST   

Half-year Report

Released 07:00 25-Jul-2019

RNS Number : 6396G
Alliance Trust PLC
25 July 2019
 

Alliance Trust PLC

 

Results for six months ended 30 June 2019

 

 

Fully focussed global equity investment trust

 

Financial highlights

 


As at / 6 months to 30 June 2019

As at / 12 months to 31 Dec 2018

As at / 6 months to 30 June 2018

Share price

796.0p

688.0p

748.0p

NAV per share

836.8p

723.6p

793.2p

Total shareholder return

 16.8%

 -6.1%

  1.1%

Total dividend

 6.980p

13.55p

6.778p

 

Encouraging performance in H1 2019

 

·      Total Shareholder Return (TSR) of 16.8%, Net Asset Value (NAV) Total Return of 16.7% and Equity Portfolio Total Return of 16.3%* compared with the MSCI ACWI Total Return of 16.7%

 

·      Since Willis Towers Watson's (WTW) appointment as investment manager in April 2017, TSR has been 21.1%, NAV Total Return 20.5% and the Equity Portfolio Total Return 22.2%* compared to the MSCI ACWI's 21.5% and 18.6% for the peer group median** over the same period

 

·      Interim dividend of 3.490p, an increase of 3% year on year and over 50 years of successive dividend growth

 

·      Discount to NAV averaged 5.1% over the period (H1 2018: 5.8%)

 

·      Investment portfolio now comprises 99.5% global equities following completion of the sale of Alliance Trust Savings

 

*before fees

    ** Morningstar universe of 306 UK retail global equity funds (open-ended and closed-ended)

 

 

Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Alliance Trust PLC, commented:

 

"I am pleased to report an encouraging period of strong absolute returns to shareholders. Global equity markets rebounded strongly in the first half and we delivered a Total Shareholder Return of 16.8% against the 16.7% return of our benchmark index. Since we appointed WTW, our Equity Portfolio Total Return has been 22.2%*, outperforming the benchmark, which returned 21.5%. We have also outperformed many of our peers in a challenging period for active managers.

 

With the sale of Alliance Trust Savings having closed in June, we have completed the simplification of the Trust as approved by our shareholders just over two years ago following the strategic review. We now have less than £14m invested outside of global equities and we expect this to be realised by the end of the year.

 

I am also pleased that we have declared a 3% year-on-year increase in our interim dividend, continuing our long record of rising dividends.

 

We started 2019 expecting there to be increasingly difficult global economic conditions and continued political uncertainty, and this has proved to be the case. The first half brought significant volatility in the equity market which may well continue. We believe that our diversified, best ideas investment approach means that the Trust is well positioned to take advantage of volatile markets, as all our stock pickers have extensive experience of a wide variety of market environments over many years, including both bull and bear markets. We are confident in their abilities to identify the winners and we believe they will deliver attractive investment performance over the long-term."

 

-ENDS-

 

About Alliance Trust PLC

 

Alliance Trust aims to deliver long-term capital growth and rising income from investing in global equities at a competitive cost. We blend the top stock selections of some of the world's best active managers, as rated by Willis Towers Watson, into a single diversified portfolio designed to outperform the market while carefully managing risk and volatility.

 

 

https://www.alliancetrust.co.uk

 

 

For more information, please contact:



Mark Atkinson

Head of Marketing and Investor Relations


Fiona Harris

Sarah Gibbons-Cook

Alliance Trust PLC


Quill PR

Tel: 07918 724303


Tel: 020 7466 5050 / AllianceTrust@quillpr.com

 

 

 

 

Alliance Trust PLC Interim Report 2019

 

Alliance Trust aims to deliver long-term capital growth and rising income from investing in global equities at a competitive cost. We blend the top stock selections of some of the world's best active managers* into a single diversified portfolio designed to outperform the market.

*As rated by Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

 

OUR PERFORMANCE IN 2019

 

SHARE PRICE (PENCE)


NET ASSET VALUE (PENCE)*

30 June 2019

796.0


30 June 2019

836.8

31 December 2018

688.0


31 December 2018

723.6

31 December 2017

746.5


31 December 2017

777.7

31 December 2016

638.0


31 December 2016

667.5

31 December 2015

517.0


31 December 2015

559.0

31 December 2014

478.9


31 December 2014

544.8






Source: FactSet.



Source: FactSet and WTW.




Net Asset Value includes income and with debt at fair value.

Why we measure this: This is a simple means of identifying the change in the value of the Trust.


Why we measure this: This shows the performance of all of our investments

How have we performed: The share price rose 15.7% during the first six months of 2019 from 688.0p at 31 December 2018 to 796.0p as at 30 June 2019. Our discount remained steady, averaging 5.1% over the six month period.


How have we performed: Our NAV per share rose 15.6% during the six months to 30 June 2019 to 836.8p from 723.6p at 31 December 2018, driven predominantly by a rise in equity markets. The MSCI ACWI rose 16.7% over the same period.

 

* UK GAAP Measure.

 

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

 

INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE

 

Global equity markets rebounded strongly in the first half of 2019. For the first six months the Trust's Total Shareholder Return (TSR)*, NAV Total Return* and Equity Portfolio Total Return* were 16.8%, 16.7% and 16.3% respectively, compared to our benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) which returned 16.7% over the same period. Since Willis Towers Watson's (WTW) appointment in April 2017, the TSR was 21.1%, NAV Total Return was 20.5% and the Equity Portfolio Total Return was 22.2% before fees, outperforming the Trust's benchmark, which returned 21.5%.

 

* Alternative Performance Measure (refer to Glossary)

 

DISCOUNT

 

Our discount remained steady and over the six month period it averaged 5.1% and varied between 4.0% and 6.1%. During the period we repurchased and cancelled only 3.6m shares reflecting the reduction in demand for our buyback programme. We will continue to operate the programme to support the management of our discount.

 

ALLIANCE TRUST SAVINGS (ATS)

 

The sale of ATS, to Interactive Investor, completed on 28 June. As previously announced, the total consideration payable for the business was £40m including office premises, subject to post completion adjustments. The net proceeds after costs associated with the disposal of £34.2m will be reinvested in the Trust's global equity portfolio.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the hard-working staff at ATS for their efforts over the years to build the business.

 

SIMPLIFICATION OF THE TRUST

 

In 2017, our shareholders approved the Board's plan to change our investment approach and to simplify the Trust. We have now completed our transformation into a fully focussed global equity trust.

 

The sale of ATS, combined with the ongoing reduction in our mineral rights through a structured sale process, means that 99.5% of the Trust's assets will be invested in the equity portfolio. Our remaining non-core investments, now valued at under £14m, should be realised before the year end.

 

As our portfolio is much simpler, comprising almost entirely equities, there will no longer be a need to report both the NAV Total Return and the Equity Portfolio Total Return as they will be virtually identical. We will now focus on the NAV Total Return as our key measure of investment performance. We recognise that over historic periods that return will have been impacted by ATS and our non-core investments. We continue to target 2% outperformance against our benchmark, after costs, over a rolling three year period and we remain confident that our investment approach will deliver good long-term returns, exceeding our benchmark. In the future, rather than refer to the Gross Dividend Reinvested variant of the MSCI ACWI, we will refer to the Net Dividend Reinvested variant as our benchmark. As this variant of the index includes the effects of foreign withholding tax on dividends paid, it more accurately reflects the return that a shareholder could expect to actually receive.

 

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT

 

We recognise the increased focus on stewardship within the UK investment sector and have strengthened our commitment to responsible investment through the appointment of Hermes Equity Ownership Services (HEOS), to provide a new engagement overlay service. HEOS is a leading stewardship provider which works with companies around the world to address the key risks and challenges they face, including, environmental, social, governance, strategy, risk and communication matters. All of the Trust's stock pickers have been vetted by WTW for their approach to stewardship and responsible investment, and HEOS will provide an additional layer of expertise.

 

DIVERSITY

 

Our shareholders at our Annual General Meeting in April approved an increase in the total ordinary remuneration that is allowed to be paid to our Directors. This additional flexibility has enabled the Board to take a decision to increase both the size of the Board and its gender diversity. We hope to announce the appointment of an additional, female, Director before the end of the year.

 

DIRECTORS' REMUNERATION

 

As announced in our Annual Report, from 1 July the fees paid to our Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee will be reduced, in aggregate, by 16.8% or £67,500. This reflects the significant simplifications that have taken place in the Trust.

 

CONTINUED COMMITMENT TO DUNDEE

 

Following the sale of ATS and our office premises, the Trust is remaining headquartered in Dundee. We have taken a lease of a smaller office there in which the Executive function will be based and where we will hold Board meetings.

 

CONTROL OF COSTS

 

We continue to keep a close eye on the expenses we incur in running the Trust and we have managed to maintain them at around the same level as last year. Where possible, we will seek savings to reflect the simplification of the Trust.

 

CORPORATE BROKERS

 

On 24 June we announced the appointment of Investec Bank plc as our sole broker. This appointment followed the decision by our former brokers to cease providing this service and the move of our existing brokerage team to Investec. We will consider later in the year whether we wish to carry out a tender exercise for the role.

 

APPROVAL OF DIVIDEND POLICY

 

Like a number of other investment trusts we pay four interim dividends a year and do not seek approval from our shareholders of a final dividend. We believe that this meets the needs of our shareholders. However, at our next Annual General Meeting we will ask our shareholders to approve our dividend policy.

 

DIVIDEND DECLARATION

 

The Board has declared a second interim dividend for the year ending 31 December 2019 of 3.49p per ordinary share payable on 30 September 2019 to shareholders on the register on 6 September 2019; the ex-dividend date is 5 September 2019. This is a 3% increase on last year.

 

Lord Smith of Kelvin

Chairman

 

RESULTS FOR 6 MONTHS TO 30 JUNE 2019

 

COMPANY PERFORMANCE


30 June 2019

 

31 December 2018

30 June 2018

 

Share price

796.0p

688.0p

748.0p

Net Asset Value (NAV) per share*

836.8p

723.6p

793.2p

Discount to NAV

4.9%

4.9%

5.7%

Average Discount to NAV**

5.1%

6.0%

5.8%

 

Source: WTW and Morningstar.

*Balance sheet value calculated with debt at fair value. **Six months to 30 June and 12 months to 31 December.

 

PORTFOLIO PERFORMANCE (6 MONTHS TO 30 JUNE 2019)

Contribution Analysis (%)

Contribution to Total Return


Equity Portfolio

16.3%

This is the Equity Portfolio Total Return and is before managers' fees and includes the effect of the managers' cash holdings

Effect of Weighting and Cost of Gearing

0.9%

This is the impact of having more than 100% of the assets in the equity portfolio on average over the year and the cost of gearing

Non-core Investments

0.1%

Includes private equity and mineral rights and shows that they had a marginally positive impact on the Trust's return in the period

Subsidiaries

0.0%

Alliance Trust Savings had a neutral impact on the contribution

to the Trust's Total Shareholder Return

Cash and Accruals

-0.4%

This entry includes cash as well as accruals for Trust expenses, but does not include cash held by the stock pickers which has not been invested - this is captured in the Equity Portfolio Total Return

Share Buybacks

0.1%

The impact of share buybacks was positive, boosting the Total Shareholder Return

Total Expenses

-0.3%

Costs including manager fees reduced performance

NAV Total Return

16.7%

This is the total return of the Trust based on its NAV

Effect of Discount

0.1%

This is the impact on the Total Shareholder Return due to the discount changing during the period

Total Shareholder Return

16.8%

This is the total return that our shareholders received through share price movement and dividend reinvestment




MSCI ACWI Total Return

16.7%

This is the return that the benchmark index achieved through share price movement and dividend reinvestment

 

Source: WTW, The Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd, Morningstar, BNY Mellon Fund Performance & Risk Analytics Europe Limited and MSCI Inc.

 

SHAREHOLDER RETURN

 

As at 30 June 2019

6 months

1 year

3 years

5 years

Total Shareholder Return

16.8%

8.4%

60.9%

99.0%

NAV Total Return*

16.7%

7.3%

49.3%

80.4%

MSCI ACWI

16.7%

10.3%

48.5%

86.1%

 

Source: Morningstar and MSCI Inc.

* NAV Total Return is based on NAV including income with debt at fair value, and after all manager fees (including WTW's fees) and allows for any tax reclaims when they are achieved.

 

ADMINISTRATION EXPENSES


6 months to

30 June 2019

Year to

31 December 2018

6 months to

30 June 2018

Investment Management Fees

£.5.5m

£10.8m

£5.2m

Ongoing Administrative Expenses

£2.9m

£5.8m

£3.0m

Total Ongoing Expenses

£8.4m

£16.6m

£8.2m

Non-recurring Costs

£0.4m

£0.8m

£1.4m

Total Expenses

£8.8m

£17.4m

£9.6m

 

Source: WTW.

 

 

INVESTMENT APPROACH

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE AND POLICY

 

The Trust's objective is to be a core investment for investors that delivers a real return over the long term through a combination of capital growth and a rising dividend. The Trust invests primarily in global equities across a wide range of different sectors and industries to achieve its objective.

 

The Trust, through its investment manager, appoints a number of stock pickers with different styles and approaches each of which will select and invest in stocks for the Trust's single investment portfolio; it will achieve an appropriate spread of risk by holding a diversified portfolio in which no single investment may exceed 10% of the Trust's total assets at the time of investment.

 

Where market conditions permit, the Trust will use gearing of not more than 30% of its net assets at any given time. The Trust can use derivative instruments to hedge, enhance and protect positions, including currency exposures. While the primary focus of the Trust is investment in global equities, the Trust may also invest from time to time in fixed interest securities, convertible securities and other assets.

 

The above investment objective and policy was approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on 25 April 2019.

 

HOW WE MANAGE THE PORTFOLIO

 

We have appointed Willis Towers Watson1 (WTW) (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading investment group with roots dating back to 1828, as our investment manager, and it in turn has appointed a number of managers to pick and invest in stocks for the Trust's portfolio. The managers' mandate is to pick and invest in stocks while WTW manages the overall portfolio and is responsible for balancing risk at the stock, sector and geographical level.

 

With $122bn2 of assets under management and $2.6trn3 under advice, WTW's size and global presence brings investors in the Trust advantages that many other investment managers cannot offer.

 

With a research and portfolio management team of some 120 (39 in equities alone), WTW's primary goal is to identify managers who will deliver long-term value for their clients net of fees. WTW leveraged its scale and industry leading position to design a portfolio that met the specific needs of the Trust while at the same time negotiating highly competitive fees.

 

Although WTW has been successfully running similar strategies for institutional investors for some time, the portfolio built for the Trust is unique for an investment trust. While it is not uncommon to bring existing funds together in a multi-manager structure, the Trust's portfolio is different, in that it comprises the highest conviction stocks of eight best-in-class4 managers in a single, bespoke portfolio. Most of the eight are not otherwise accessible by UK retail investors.

 

Between them, the managers cover a range of stock-picking styles which reduces the risk that is often faced by investors selecting a single, star manager or one particular style that can move in and out of favour. We believe this approach of using several complementary stock pickers investing with high-conviction increases the chances of outperformance.

 

HOW THE STOCK PICKERS ARE SELECTED

 

WTW has drawn on its in-depth knowledge of over 1,500 equity managers and 16,850 equity investment products to select the most appropriate stock pickers. WTW's quantitative analysis and assessment of qualitative factors are fundamental to its selection process, and includes consideration of i) investment professionals, ii) approach/insight generation, iii) portfolio management, iv) firm and team stability, v) opportunity set, vi) alignment and vii) environmental, social and governance beliefs. We discuss our approach to stewardship and responsible ownership on page 36 of the Annual Report and Accounts.

 

WTW's considerable global buying power enabled it to negotiate highly competitive fee levels with the eight managers. As a result, the Trust's investors can now gain exposure to a combination of some of the world's best-in-class4 managers for less than what many 'off-the-shelf' funds charge.

 

HOW THE STOCK PICKERS ARE MANAGED

 

Performance of the Trust's overall portfolio is managed by WTW's investment committee. This committee is responsible for driving outperformance of the portfolio, monitoring and overseeing stock picker performance, reviewing portfolio blending and risk balancing, implementing any hedging and gearing - as well as tight cost management. This process is supported by stock level data feeds and monitoring, a breadth of analytics tools, and regular meetings with the stock pickers.

 

The investment committee is chaired by Craig Baker, Global Chief Investment Officer at WTW. The other members of the committee are Co-portfolio managers, David Shapiro and Mark Davis together with Stuart Gray, Senior Equity Manager Researcher. Collectively the team has over 75 years of investment experience. The team is supported by about 120 research and portfolio management professionals around the world.

 

David Shapiro has recently indicated his desire to retire from full-time portfolio management. David feels it is the right time for him to do this now that the Trust's investment approach is well established and he will leave WTW at the end of September 2019.

 

Stuart Gray will assume David's role as Co-portfolio manager alongside Mark Davis. Stuart was previously a member of the Equity Portfolio Management Group at WTW and member of the investment committees for their equity funds. He joined WTW in 2003 and has spent most of his career researching equity managers around the world.

 

WTW'S EQUITY RESEARCH PROCESS

 

WTW focuses on qualitative factors supported by data analytics.

 

IDEA GENERATION

DUE DILIGENCE

INVESTMENT DECISION

16,850 universe

3,900 researched

210 top rating*

Universe of equity products

Multiple research team inputs

Desk-based research

On-site meetings/engagement

Follow-up research and contact

Operation due diligence approval

Devil's advocate

Final skill thesis

20 top-rated equity managers running highly-concentrated products. Of these, 8 pick stocks for the Trust.

 

 

Process recognised by asset managers with WTW voted by asset managers as having the highest Quality of Research**

 

Notes: Figures included above are approximated and rounded.

Sourced from WTW as at 31 December 2018.

*As rated by WTW. **Portfolio Institutional Consultants Survey 2016.

 

1. The Alliance Trust Board has appointed Towers Watson Investment Management (Ireland) Limited (TWIMI) as the Trust's Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). The AIFM has delegated the management of the Trust's portfolio to Towers Watson Investment Management Limited (TWIM). Both TWIMI and TWIM are members of the Willis Towers Watson group of companies.

 2. As at 30 June 2018. 3. As at 30 June 2017. 4. As rated by WTW.

 

INVESTMENT MANAGER'S REPORT

 

MARKET BACKDROP

 

Global equity markets experienced very strong growth over the last six months with the MSCI ACWI rising 16.7%. The US and China trade dispute continued to dominate headlines but didn't materially impact returns over the period. The evolution of this dispute generated a number of short-term market fluctuations during the first half of the year, particularly evident in May following a breakdown in trade discussions. It also impacted across emerging markets, where Chinese and Mexican equities led the sell-off that saw emerging markets equities underperform developed markets over the period.

 

The threat of a 'no-deal' Brexit didn't have a material impact on global market returns; as the 29 March deadline loomed, the UK was granted an extension to the end of October 2019.

 

From a country perspective, markets experienced a continuation of the themes experienced in 2018 with US markets leading the major regions in terms of returns, mostly led by mega cap technology companies. The strong performance of the Information Technology sector led global markets, generating over 25% in the first half of 2019. Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Mastercard all benefitted from tremendously strong price performance over the period.

 

INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE

 

The absolute return of the Trust's equity portfolio benefitted from the global outlook of the stock pickers. The ability to take advantage of the broadest investment opportunities has been key in delivering strong returns to shareholders.

 

The Trust's equity portfolio is designed to outperform the market over the long term regardless of the market conditions. However, in any short-term period, performance will be influenced by a range of factors. In the last six months a key factor has been the very strong performance of the US market relative to other regions. The Trust holds nearly half of its assets in the US and, as a result, the 18.9% return from this region was the main driver of the strong absolute return. However, as the Trust was slightly underweight versus the benchmark this acted as a drag on relative performance against the MSCI ACWI over this period. In addition, as our managers retain small amounts of cash to be able to react to stock opportunities swiftly when they arise, the strongly rising market meant that this cash acted as a slight drag on returns.

 

In a market now full of 'macro noise', our stock pickers continue to find good investment opportunities in businesses that should be able to materially outperform in the long-run. However, in the current environment, those stock pickers that could best be described as 'value' orientated, have been having a very difficult time and the spread of returns between 'value' and 'growth' has been increasing in the last 18 months.

 

Whilst undoubtedly there are some companies suffering from structural shifts in the market place that are not expected to recover, our preferred value orientated managers are focussed on companies that can, and are, delivering in terms of underlying business results but are not being recognised at present by market pricing.

 

The table below shows the relationship between the momentum in company earnings and the change in the price of the companies over 2017 and 2018. We note that while in 2017, stocks with a positive trend in earnings were generally rewarded by the market with positive price momentum, in 2018 this was not the case. Instead, 2018 saw stocks with negative or neutral earnings better rewarded than those with a positive earnings change, and this trend has continued into 2019. This has had a negative impact on the return profiles of some of our value-based managers; however, we believe that in the long run, fundamentals, such as earnings growth, are likely to come back into focus.

 

 

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COMPANY SHARE PRICE AND COPMANY EARNINGS

 

 

Year

Direction of Change

Earnings Change

Price Change

2017

Positive

63%

67%

Negative or Neutral

37%

33%

2018

Positive

70%

22%

Negative or Neutral

30%

78%

 

Source: WTW.

 

OUTPERFORMING THE TRUST'S PEERS

 

Since our appointment on 1 April 2017, the Trust's equity portfolio has returned 22.2% before fees - outperforming the MSCI ACWI return of 21.5%. It is pleasing to note that the Trust has outperformed the Peer Group Median since the adoption of the Trust's current investment strategy.

 

PERFORMANCE FROM 1 APRIL 2017 - 30 JUNE 2019 (%)

 

Measure

%

Total Shareholder Return

21.1

MSCI ACWI GDR*        

21.5

MSCI ACWI NDR**

20.0

Peer Group Median

18.6

 

Source: Morningstar. All figures are measured since 1 April 2017, gross of fees. The Peer Group is the Morningstar universe of 306 UK global equity funds (open ended and closed ended).

* MSCI ACWI Gross Dividend Reinvested.

** MSCI ACWI Net Dividend Reinvested.

 

THE IMPACT OF STOCK SELECTION

 

Stock selection in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets regions and in the financials sector have been the most significant positive drivers of performance relative to the MSCI ACWI since the start of the year. Amongst the most additive of the Trust's holdings were Indian banking and financial services company HDFC Bank and Chinese private education provider New Oriental Education.

 

Health insurer Cigna and media conglomerate Qurate Retail Group, both US firms, were amongst the most significant detractors to the performance of the Trust's equity portfolio over the period. Despite short-term price volatility and recent falls in value, the Trust's managers continue to hold a long-term view and maintain conviction that these companies will deliver significant positive returns over the longer-term.

 

The Trust's stock pickers continue to focus on maximizing long-term returns. They continued to discover new opportunities across their investment universe and to add to the Trust's equity portfolio. Positions have been taken up in global advertising house Interpublic Group, American computing organisation ServiceNow and Japanese electronics manufacturer, Murata Manufacturing, underlining the diversity and global reach of the Trust's equity portfolio.

 

Over the past six months, we see that the most significant detractor has been an underweight to the US. US equity markets have performed very positively throughout the period, outperforming UK and European markets by 7.8% and 4.4% respectively, returning 17.6%. Furthermore, some of our US focussed managers seek out companies with long-term fundamental value. This style has not been rewarded over the last six months, despite in many cases the underlying companies showing positive earnings and business progress.

 

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT

 

The Board has delegated stewardship activities, which it believes is an integral part of investment, to WTW. We are strong supporters of active engagement with investee companies as we believe this will have a far greater impact on issues affecting the environment and society than exclusion.

 

We expect each of the managers that we have appointed to undertake effective engagement and voting. However, we recognise managers have limited resources to engage with investee companies and so we have appointed Hermes Equity Ownership Services (HEOS), to enhance the stewardship applied to the Trust's portfolio. HEOS is a leading stewardship provider which works with companies across the world to address the key risks and challenges they face. One of HEOS's top priority engagement themes is climate change. This is well-exemplified by their efforts as part of the Climate Action 100+ initiative where they are the lead or co-lead on 27 of the targeted companies. The appointment of HEOS will add a further layer of expertise and oversight, helping to enhance the way in which the stock pickers engage with companies on issues of governance and shareholder value and in the long-term interests of the Trust's shareholders. We will provide more information on HEOS's engagement and voting activity in the Trust's Annual Report.

 

STOCK PICKER CHANGES

 

Over the 27 months since WTW's appointment, there have been no changes to the stock picker line-up or significant reallocations of capital between them. At the outset, we expected that there would likely be a 10-15% manager turnover, which for a portfolio of six to twelve managers implies, on average, one manager change per year because something fundamental may have changed. The low turnover is a testament to the conviction we continue to hold in the portfolio's managers through changing market environments. If we were to implement changes, we are more likely to increase the number of managers in the line-up, given we think a portfolio of between eight to ten managers is the most likely scenario.

 

GEARING

 

We have maintained a gross level of gearing for the Trust of around 8% throughout the first half of the year. This was towards the lower end of the range set by the Board and reflects our cautious outlook. In late March 2019, when equity valuations were back at pre-October 2018 levels, we reduced the Trust's gearing to 7.5%. Following significant market volatility during May, when equity markets fell nearly 6%, we increased the Trust's gearing back to around 8% at the end of May and finished the period with a gearing level of 7.5%.

 

CURRENT POSITIONING AND OUTLOOK

 

Our outlook for the rest of 2019 is set against a backdrop of increasingly difficult global economic conditions and political uncertainty. This uncertainty will, we believe, likely result in increased volatility in global equity markets in the coming years. This is an environment that, with a long-term investment horizon, can present good opportunities for talented stock pickers. This is particularly the case where investments are made through a concentrated, best ideas mandate. The Trust's stock pickers are well placed to take advantage of future volatility by identifying companies where their share value does not have regard for their true intrinsic worth.

 

Because economic policy and political uncertainty are elevated globally, it is increasingly difficult to predict economic outcomes. We expect growth in the major economies to steadily slow. This may be temporarily eased through further Central Bank support. However, we expect liquidity to fall and volatility to rise.

 

The Trust's portfolio is broadly diversified by stock, sector and country; it is a truly global portfolio. The portfolio is at present overweight the UK and Europe at the expense of the US, which reflects where the stock pickers are currently finding the most compelling opportunities. The portfolio continues to show a level of absolute volatility that is similar to that of the benchmark index (10.8% per annum compared to the 10.5% per annum for the MSCI ACWI over the period since the adoption of the new approach to 30 June 2019), and this evidences the benefits of how the Trust's portfolio is managed. Despite this low level of volatility against the benchmark, the portfolio retains a very high level of active share (81% as at 30 June 2019) consistent with our expectations for this strategy and illustrating the potential for outperformance from the Trust.

 

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO

 

EQUITY HOLDINGS AS AT 30 JUNE 2019

 

Investment

Region

% of Investment Portfolio

Value £m

Equities

Global

99.5

2,866.1



Total Value

2,866.1

A list of all our equity investments can be found on pages 22 to 24 of the Interim Report and can also be found on our website www.alliancetrust.co.uk

 

NON-CORE INVESTMENTS AS AT 30 JUNE 2019

 

Investment

Region

% of Investment Portfolio

Value £m

Private Equity

United Kingdom/Europe

0.4

9.8

Mineral Rights

North America

0.1

3.9

Other Assets

United Kingdom

0.0

0.2



Total Value

13.9

 

TOTAL INVESTMENTS AS AT 30 JUNE 2019

 

Investment

% of Investment Portfolio

Value £m

Equities

99.5

2,866.1

Non-core investments

0.5

13.9


Total Value

2,880.0

Source: The Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

 

In order to achieve its investment objective the Trust invests in quoted equities. It also has non-core investments in other asset classes which are being realised. Its principal risks and uncertainties are therefore:

 

·      Market and Prudential - Investment, Credit and Counterparty, Financial and Prudential Reporting and Liquidity

·      Operational - Cyber-attack and Outsourcing

·      Corporate Governance

·      Investment Trust Status - Loss of tax status

·      Strategic - Performance impacted by external factors

·      Reputational

·      Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and technological change

·      Regulatory Non-Compliance

 

These risks, and the way in which they are managed, are described in more detail within the Risk Management section on pages 32 to 34 of the Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2018, which is available on the Trust's website at www.alliancetrust.co.uk

 

Difficult global economic conditions and political uncertainty, including Brexit, continued in the first half of 2019. The Board has considered the impact of Brexit and expects active management of the concentrated best ideas approach employed by the Trust will be able to take advantage of any volatility as it creates opportunities. The Board believes that our globally diversified portfolio will be able to provide a less volatile and, hopefully, a more rewarding investment. From an operational perspective the Board, after the end of the period, agreed to appoint Towers Watson Investment Management Limited as its Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). This will remove any future issues that could arise from the previous AIFM being based in Ireland.

 

RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

There were no transactions with related parties during the six months ended 30 June 2019 which have a material effect on the results or the financial position of the Trust.

 

BUYBACKS

 

The availability of the share buyback programme has continued throughout the period. We purchased 3,616,287 shares in the six month period ended 30 June 2019.

 

GOING CONCERN STATEMENT

 

The factors impacting on Going Concern are set out in detail on page 50 of the Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2018.

 

As at 30 June 2019 there have been no significant changes to these factors. The Directors, who have reviewed budgets, forecasts and sensitivities, consider that the Trust has adequate financial resources to enable it to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the Directors believe it is appropriate to continue to adopt the going concern basis for preparing the financial statements.

 

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT

 

We confirm that to the best of our knowledge:

 

·      The condensed set of financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 "Interim Financial Reporting" as adopted by the EU;

·      The interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by:

 

a)   DTR 4.2.7R of the Disclosure and Transparency Rules, being an indication of important events that have occurred during the first six months of the financial year and their impact on the condensed set of financial statements, and a description of the principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the year; and

b)   DTR 4.2.8R of the Disclosure and Transparency Rules, being related party transactions that have taken place in the first six months of the current financial year and that have materially affected the financial position or performance of the entity during that period, and any changes in the related party transactions described in the last annual report that could do so.

 

Signed on behalf of the Board

 

Lord Smith of Kelvin

Chairman

24 July 2019


Financial Statements

 

Financial statements

Income statement (unaudited) for the period ended 30 June 2019



6 months to 30 June 2019

 

6 months to 30 June 2018

Year to

31 December 2018 (audited)

£000

Note

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue











Income

3

36,571

36,571

31,488

31,488

55,145

-

55,145

Profit/(loss) on fair value designated investments


387,125

387,125

55,402

55,402

(162,664)

(162,664)

(Loss)/profit on fair value of debt


(10,477)

(10,477)

2,510

2,510

(361)

(361)

Total Revenue


36,571

376,648

413,219

31,488

57,912

89,400

55,145

(163,025)

(107,880)

Investment management fees


(1,378)

(4,135)

(5,513)

(1,295)

(3,896)

(5,191)

(2,713)

(8,139)

(10,852)

Administrative expenses


(2,802)

(483)

(3,285)

(2,973)

(1,491)

(4,464)

(5,466)

(1,076)

(6,542)

Finance costs

4

(879)

(2,637)

(3,516)

(775)

(2,302)

(3,077)

(1,618)

(4,817)

(6,435)

Loss on other assets held at fair value


(56)

(56)

-

-

(2,180)

(2,180)

Foreign exchange losses


(1,381)

(1,381)

(2,603)

(2,603)

(2,722)

(2,722)

Profit/(loss) before tax


31,512

367,956

399,468

26,445

47,620

74,065

45,348

(181,959)

(136,611)

Tax

5

(1,657)

-

(1,657)

(2,621)

-

(2,621)

(3,986)

-

(3,986)

Profit/(loss) for the period/year


29,855

367,956

397,811

23,824

47,620

71,444

41,362

(181,959)

(140,597)

All profit for the period/year is attributable to equity holders.

Earnings per share attributable to equity holders











Basic (p per share)

7

9.03

111.30

120.33

6.99

13.97

20.96

12.18

(53.60)

(41.42)

Diluted (p per share)

7

9.02

111.18

120.20

6.98

13.95

20.93

12.17

(53.53)

(41.36)

 

 

 

Statement of comprehensive income (unaudited)



6 months to 30 June 2019

 

6 months to 30 June 2018

Year to

31 December 2018 (audited)

£000

Note

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Profit/(loss) for the period/year


29,855

367,956

397,811

23,824

47,620

71,444

41,362

(181,959)

(140,597)

Items that will not be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:











Defined benefit plan net actuarial loss and expenses

8

-

-

-

-

(38)

(38)

-

(38)

(38)

Retirement benefit obligations deferred tax


-

-

-

-

6

6

-

6

6

Other comprehensive loss


-

-

-

-

(32)

(32)

-

(32)

(32)

Total comprehensive income/(loss) for the period/year


29,855

367,956

397,811

23,824

47,588

71,412

41,362

(181,991)

(140,629)

All total comprehensive income for the period/year is attributable to equity holders.

 

Statement of changes in equity (unaudited) for the period ended 30 June 2019

£000

6 months to

30 June 2019

 

6 months to

30 June 2018

Year to

31 December 2018

(audited)

Called up share capital




At 1 January

8,342

8,691

8,691

Own shares purchased and cancelled in the period/year

(90)

(190)

(349)

At 30 June / 31 December

8,252

8,501

8,342





Capital reserve




At 1 January

1,639,172

1,923,439

1,923,439

Profit/(loss) for the period/year

367,956

47,620

(181,959)

Defined benefit plan actuarial loss

-

(32)

(32)

Own shares purchased and cancelled in the period/year

(27,427)

(54,891)

(102,276)

At 30 June / 31 December

1,979,701

1,916,136

1,639,172





Merger reserve




At 1 January, 30 June and 31 December

645,335

645,335

645,335





Capital redemption reserve




At 1 January

10,656

10,307

10,307

Own shares purchased and cancelled in the period/year

90

190

349

At 30 June / 31 December

10,746

10,497

10,656





Revenue reserve




At 1 January balance previously reported

107,684

111,861

111,861

Profit for the period/year

29,855

23,824

41,362

Dividends

(22,777)

(22,761)

(45,545)

Unclaimed dividends returned

-

6

6

At 30 June / 31 December

114,762

112,930

107,684





Total equity




At 1 January

2,411,189

2,699,633

2,699,633





At 30 June / 31 December

2,758,796

2,693,399

2,411,189

 

 

Balance sheet (unaudited) as at 30 June 2019





£000

Note

30 June 2019

 

30 June 2018

31 December 2018 (audited)










Investments held at fair value

10

2,880,009

2,843,016

2,580,765

Office premises freehold / heritable property


-

4,935

-

Right of use asset


881

-

-


2,880,890

2,847,951

2,580,765

Current assets





Outstanding settlements and other receivables


54,278

11,157

13,574

Cash and cash equivalents


86,036

92,488

81,168

Assets classified as held for sale


-

-

2,755



140,314

103,645

97,497

 

Total assets


3,021,204

2,951,596

2,678,262






Current liabilities





Outstanding settlements and other payables


(15,494)

(8,756)

(14,761)

Tax payable


(3,991)

(3,991)

(3,991)

Bank loans

13

(50,000)

(127,000)

(67,000)

Lease liability


(251)

-

-


(69,736)

(139,747)

(85,752)

Total assets less current liabilities


2,951,468

2,811,849

2,592,510

Non‑current liabilities





Unsecured fixed rate loan notes

13

(191,798)

(118,450)

(181,321)

Lease liability


(874)

-

-



(192,672)

(118,450)

(181,321)

Net assets


2,758,796

2,693,399

2,411,189






Equity





Share capital

14

8,252

8,501

8,342

Capital reserve


1,979,701

1,916,136

1,639,172

Merger reserve


645,335

645,335

645,335

Capital redemption reserve


10,746

10,497

10,656

Revenue reserve


114,762

112,930

107,684

Total Equity


2,758,796

2,693,399

2,411,189





 

Net asset value per ordinary share attributable to equity holders





Basic (£)

9

£8.37

£7.93

£7.24

Diluted (£)

9

£8.36

£7.92

£7.23

 

 

Cash flow statement (unaudited) for the period ended 30 June 2019




£000

6 months to

30 June 2019

 

 

6 months to

30 June 2018

Year to

31 December 2018

(audited)

Cash flows from operating activities




Profit/(loss) before tax

399,468

74,065

(136,611)

 

Adjustments for:




(Losses)/gains on investments

(387,125)

(55,402)

162,664

Loss/(gain) on fair value of debt

10,477

(2,510)

361

Foreign exchange losses

1,381

2,603

2,722

Depreciation

93

-

-

Loss on other assets held at fair value

56

-

2,180

Finance costs

3,516

3,077

6,435

Movement in pension scheme loss

-

6

6

Operating cash flows before movements in working capital

27,866

21,839

37,757

Decrease/(increase) in receivables

4,998

668

(2,288)

Increase in payables

307

1,708

5,848

Net cash inflow from operating activities before income tax

33,171

24,215

41,317





Taxes paid

(1,600)

(2,855)

(5,220)

Net cash inflow from operating activities

31,571

21,360

36,097

 

 




Cash flows from investing activities




Proceeds on disposal at fair value of investments through profit and loss

726,586

960,072

1,849,279

Purchase of investments at fair value through profit and loss

(683,800)

(905,330)

(1,747,167)

Disposal of assets held for sale

2,699

-

-

Net cash inflow from investing activities

45,485

54,742

102,112





Cash flows from financing activities




Dividends paid - equity

(22,777)

(22,761)

(45,545)

Unclaimed dividends returned

-

6

6

Purchase of own shares

(27,427)

(54,891)

(102,276)

Bank loans and unsecured fixed rate loan notes raised

-

-

60,000

Repayment of borrowing

(17,000)

(6,000)

(66,000)

Finance costs paid

(3,603)

(3,173)

(6,312)

Net cash outflow from financing activities

(70,807)

(86,819)

(160,127)

Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

6,249

(10,717)

(21,918)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period/year

81,168

105,808

105,808

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes

(1,381)

(2,603)

(2,722)

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of period/year

86,036

92,488

81,168

 

Notes to the financial statements

 

1 General Information

 

The information contained in this report for the period ended 30 June 2019 does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. A copy of the statutory accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018 has been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditor's report on those financial statements was prepared under s495 and s496 of the Companies Act 2006. The report was not qualified, did not contain an emphasis of matter paragraph and did not contain statements under section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act.

 

The interim results are unaudited. They should not be taken as a guide to the full year.

 

2 Accounting Policies

 

Basis of preparation

The annual financial statements were prepared using accounting policies consistent with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the EU. The condensed set of financial statements included in this half yearly financial report have been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 'Interim Financial Reporting', as adopted by the EU.

 

Going concern

The Directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company has sufficient resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. Accordingly the financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis.

 

Segmental reporting

The Company has identified a single operating segment, the investment trust, which aims to maximise shareholders returns. As such no segmental information has been included in these financial statements.

 

Application of accounting policies

The same accounting policies, presentations and methods of computation are followed in these financial statements as were applied in the Company's last annual audited financial statements with the exception of those noted below.

 

Adoption of new accounting standards

In the current financial year the Company has applied IFRS 16 Leases. IFRS 16 introduces new or amended requirements with respect to lease accounting. It removes the distinction between operating and finance leases and requires the recognition of a right of use asset and a lease liability at the lease commencement for all leases, except for short-term leases and leases of low value assets. The requirements for lessor accounting have remained largely unchanged.

 

The Company has applied IFRS 16 using the modified retrospective basis with the cumulative effect of initially applying the standard recognised on a catch up basis.

 

The date of initial application of IFRS 16 for the Company is 1 January 2019.

 

Impact on Lessee Accounting

Following the transition there was no impact to equity. A right of use asset of £0.9m and a lease liability of £1.2m was created. The incremental rate of borrowing applied to lease liabilities is 3.06%. The Company has also made use of the transition rules in the standard to adjust the value of the right of use asset by £0.3m for the value of onerous leases.

 

 

3 Income

£'000

6 months to

30 June 2019

 

6 months to

30 June 2018

Year to

31 December 2018

Deposit interest

257

(4)

344

Dividend income

35,423

29,943

51,803

Mineral rights income

797

1,097

2,144

Property rental income

62

382

785

Other income

32

70

69

Total income

36,571

31,488

55,145

 

4 Finance Costs

 


6 months to 30 June 2019

6 months to 30 June 2018

Year to 31 December 2018

£000

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Bank loans and unsecured fixed rate loan notes

879

2,637

3,516

775

2,302

3,077

1,618

4,817

6,435

 

Finance costs include interest of £2.2m (£2.2m at 30 June 2018 and £4.3m at 31 December 2018) on the £100m 4.28% unsecured fixed rate loan notes issued in July 2014 for 15 years and interest of £0.8m (£0.2m at 31 December 2018) on the three tranches of unsecured fixed rate loan notes, each of £20m, with respective interest rates of 2.657%. 2.936% and 2.897% issued in November 2018 for 15, 25 and 35 years.

 

5 Taxation

 

UK corporation tax for the period to 30 June 2019 is calculated at the average rate of 19% (19% for the period to 30 June 2018) of the estimated assessable profits for the period. Taxation for overseas jurisdictions is calculated at the rates prevailing in the respective jurisdictions, such taxation mainly comprises withholding taxes levied on the investment returns generated on foreign investments such as overseas dividend income.

 

6 Dividends paid

 

£000

6 months to

30 June 2019

6 months to

30 June 2018

Year to 31 December 2018

2017 fourth interim dividend of 3.290p per share

-

11,245

11,245

2018 first interim dividend of 3.389p per share

-

11,516

11,516

2018 second interim dividend of 3.389p per share

-

-

11,441

2018 third interim dividend of 3.389p per share

-

-

11,343

2018 fourth interim dividend of 3.389p per share

11,260

-

-

2019 first interim dividend of 3.490p per share

11,517

-

-


22,777

22,761

45,545

 

7 Earnings Per Share


6 months to 30 June 2019

6 months to 30 June 2018

Year to 31 December 2018

£000

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Revenue

Capital

Total

Ordinary shares

Earnings for the purposes of basic earnings per share being net profit  attributable to equity holders

 

29,855

 

367,956

 

397,811

 

23,824

 

47,620

 

71,444

 

41,362

 

(181,959)

 

(140,597)





Number of shares

Weighted average number of ordinary shares for the purposes of:

Basic earnings per share

330,591,813

340,879,652

339,480,982

Diluted earnings per share

330,946,254

341,303,463

339,904,794

 

 

7 Earnings Per Share

 

The calculation of the diluted earnings per share is based on the weighted average of the entire number of shares in issue.

 

The calculation of the basic earnings per share is based on the weighted average number of ordinary shares arrived at by excluding 334,182 (407,316 at 30 June 2018 and at 31 December 2018) ordinary shares held by the Trustee of the Employee Benefit Trust.

 

IAS 33.41 requires that shares should only be treated as dilutive if they decrease earnings per share or increase the loss per share. The earnings per share figures on the income statement reflect this.

 

In 2019, shares held by the EBT were sold to fund the payment of cash bonuses to members of the executive function.

 

8 Pension Schemes

 

In the period the Company sponsored two pension arrangements.

 

The pension arrangements offered by the Trust are (i) membership of a pension plan through the National Employment Savings Trust, this was set up for the purposes of auto-enrolment and has no members and (ii) contributions by the Trust to personal SIPPs operated by individual members and currently administered by Alliance Trust Savings.

 

There is no defined benefit pension scheme. The scheme previously sponsored by the Company was wound up in June 2018.

 

9 Net Asset Value Per Ordinary Share

 

The calculation of the net asset value per ordinary share is based on the following:

 


30 June 2019

30 June 2018

31 December 2018

Equity shareholder funds (£000)

2,758,796

2,693,399

2,411,189

Number of shares at period end - Basic

329,675,551

339,574,639

333,218,704

Number of shares at period end - Diluted

330,009,733

339,981,955

333,626,020

 

The number of ordinary shares has been reduced by 334,182 (407,316 at 30 June 2018 and at 31 December 2018) ordinary shares held by the Trustee of the Employee Benefit Trust in order to arrive at the basic figures above.

 

10 Hierarchical valuation of financial instruments

 

Accounting Standards recognise a hierarchy of fair value measurements, for financial instruments measured at fair value in the Balance Sheet, which gives the highest priority to unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (Level 1) and the lowest priority to unobservable inputs (Level 3). The classification of financial instruments depends on the lowest significant applicable input.

The table below analyses financial instruments carried at fair value, by valuation method. The different levels have been defined as follows:

 

Level 1

Unadjusted, fully accessible and current quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. Included within this category are investments listed on any recognised stock exchange.

Level 2

Quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities or other directly or indirectly observable inputs which exist for the period of investment. Examples of such instruments would be forward exchange contracts and certain other derivative instruments.

Level 3

Valued by reference to valuation techniques using inputs that are not based on observable market data. The value is the Director's best estimate, based on advice from relevant knowledgeable experts, use of recognised valuation techniques and on assumptions as to what inputs other market participants would apply in pricing the same or similar instrument. Included within this category are direct or pooled private equity investments and mineral rights.

 

The following table analyses the fair value measurements for the Company's assets and liabilities measured by the level in the fair value hierarchy in which the fair value measurement is categorised at 30 June 2019. All fair value measurements disclosed are recurring fair value measurements.

 

Company valuation hierarchy fair value through income statement


As at 30 June 2019

£000

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total

Listed investments

2,866,095

-

-

2,866,095

Unlisted investments





Private Equity

-

-

9,822

9,822

Mineral rights

-

-

3,891

3,891

Other

-

-

201

201


2,866,095

-

13,914

2,880,009

 

 

10 Hierarchical valuation of financial instruments

 


As at 30 June 2018

£000

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total

Listed investments

2,713,143

-

-

2,713,143

Foreign exchange contracts

-

1

-

1

Unlisted investments





Private Equity

-

-

76,879

76,879

Alliance Trust Savings

-

-

38,000

38,000

Mineral rights

-

-

14,803

14,803

Other

-

-

190

190


2,713,143

1

129,872

2,843,016







As at 31 December 2018

 

£000

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total

 

Listed investments

2,520,432

-

-

2,520,432

 

Foreign exchange contracts

-

-

-

-

 

Unlisted investments





 

Private Equity

-

-

14,595

14,595

 

Alliance Trust Savings

-

-

32,650

32,650

 

Mineral rights

-

-

12,881

12,881

 

Other

-

-

207

207

 


2,520,432

-

60,333

2,580,765

 

 

There have been no transfers during the year between Levels 1, 2 and 3.

 

Fair Value Assets in Level 1

 

The quoted market price used for financial investments held by the Company is the current bid price. These investments are included within Level 1 and comprise of equities bonds and exchange-traded derivatives.

 

Fair Value Assets in Level 2

 

There are no assets in this category as at 30 June 2019.

 

Fair Value Assets in Level 3

 

Level 3 assets, excluding the valuation of Alliance Trust Savings (ATS), are reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Valuation Committee of Towers Watson Investment Management (TWIM) who are assigned responsibility for valuation by the Board of the Company. The TWIM Valuation Committee considers the appropriateness of the valuation models, inputs, using the various valuation methods in accordance with the Company's valuation policy, and will determine the appropriateness of any valuation of the underlying assets.

 

As reported on page 3 of the Interim Report the Company completed the sale of Alliance Trust Savings, and the Dundee office building, to Interactive Investor on 28 June.

 

The following table shows the reconciliation from the beginning balances to the ending balances for fair value measurement in Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy.



£000

June 19

June 18

December 18

Balance at 1 January

60,333

134,598

134,598

Net gain/(loss) from financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss

58,085

(1,697)

(14,101)

Purchases at cost

12,790

2,946

3,236

Sales proceeds

(53,338)

(10,991)

(73,441)

Realised (loss)/gain on sale

(63,956)

5,016

10,041

Balance at 30 June / 31 December

13,914

129,872

60,333

 

 

 

 

Investments in subsidiary companies (Level 3), including private equity related subsidiaries, are valued in the Company's accounts at £0.6m (£83.4m at 30 June 2018 and £38.1m at 31 December 2018).

 

Mineral rights are carried at fair value and are valued in the Company's accounts at £3.9m (£14.8m at 30 June 2018, £12.9m at 31 December 2018) being the Directors' estimate of their fair value, using a combination of agreed sale values and the guidelines and methodologies on valuation published by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and for non-producing properties, the Lierle US Price Report. The fair value of the mineral rights has continued to be reviewed through the sale process.

 

10 Hierarchical valuation of financial instruments

 

Private equity investments included under Level 3, are valued in accordance with the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation Guidelines issued in December 2018. Unlisted investments in private equity are stated at the valuation as determined by the TWIM Valuation Committee based on information provided by the General Partner. The General Partner's policy in valuing unlisted investments is to carry them at fair value. The General Partner will generally rely on the fund's investment manager's fair value at the last reported period, rolled forward for any cashflows. However if the General Partner does not feel the manager is reflecting a fair value it will select a valuation methodology that is most appropriate for the particular investments in that fund and generate a fair value. In those circumstances the General Partner believes the most appropriate methodologies to use to value the underlying investments in the portfolio are price of a recent investment, multiples, net assets and industry valuation benchmarks.

 

An entity is not required to create quantitative information to comply with this disclosure requirement if quantitative unobservable inputs are not developed by the entity when measuring fair value (for example, when an entity uses prices from prior transactions or third-party pricing information without adjustment). TWIM receives information from the General Partner on the underlying investments which is subsequently reviewed by the TWIM Valuation Committee. Where the TWIM Valuation Committee does not feel that the valuation is appropriate, an adjustment will be made

 

Unsecured fixed rate loan notes are recognised at fair value.

 

The Company refines and modifies its valuation techniques as markets develop. While the Company believes its valuation techniques to be appropriate and consistent with other market participants, the use of different methodologies or assumptions could result in different estimates of fair value at the balance sheet date.

 

No interrelationships between unobservable inputs used in the above valuations of Level 3 investments have been identified.

 

11 Financial Commitments

 

As at 30 June 2019 the Company had financial commitments, which have not been accrued, totalling £1.7m (£19.2m at 30 June 2018 and £1.7m at 31 December 2018). These amounts were in respect of uncalled subscriptions in investments structured as limited partnerships all of which relates to investments in our private equity portfolio. The recallable distribution relating to FF&P Investors of £1.4m should cease once the partnership is wound up. We expect this to happen within the next 12 months. 

 

The Company has provided letters of comfort in connection with banking facilities made available to one of its subsidiaries. The Company provided a letter of support to AT2006 Limited confirming ongoing support for at least 12 months from the date the annual financial statements were signed, to make sufficient funds available if needed to enable them to continue trading, meet commitments and not to seek repayment of any amounts outstanding.

 

The ongoing regulatory support provided by the Company for ATS in the context of its role as a consolidated bank holding company has now ceased following the completion of the sale of ATS.

 

12 Share Based Payments

 

The Company operates three share based payment schemes. Full details of these schemes (Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP), Deferred Bonus and All Employee Share Ownership Plan (AESOP) are disclosed in the December 2018 Annual Report and financial statements and the basis of measuring fair value is consistent with that disclosed therein. Following the sale of ATS the AESOP is being terminated and all shares held will be disbursed to members of the plan in accordance with its rules.

 

Details of the historic LTIP awards are disclosed in the 2018 Annual Report. The Company continues to operate the 2015 LTIP under which awards which will vest in 2020. In the period ended 30 June 2019 no new awards were made and no Company shares were purchased (nil at 30 June 2018 and 31 December 2018). There was no charge to the Company income statement during the period in respect of LTIP awards (nil at 30 June 2018 and at 31 December 2018).

 

13 Bank loans and unsecured fixed rate loan notes

 

£000

As at

30 June 2019

As at

30 June 2018

As at

31 December 2018

Bank loans repayable within one year

50,000

127,000

67,000

Analysis of borrowings by currency:




Bank loans - Sterling

50,000

127,000

67,000

The weighted average % interest rates payable:




Bank loans

1.33%

1.23%

1.44%

The Directors' estimate of the fair value of the borrowings:




Bank loans

50,000

127,000

67,000

 

 

13 Bank loans and unsecured fixed rate loan notes

Unsecured fixed rate loan notes

 

£000

As at

30 June 2019

As at

30 June 2018

As at

31 December 2018

4.28 per cent. Unsecured fixed rate loan notes due 2029

123,970

118,450

119,390

2.657 per cent. Unsecured fixed rate loan notes due 2033

21,802

-

20,439

2.936 per cent. Unsecured fixed rate loan notes due 2043.

22,664

-

20,607

2.897 per cent. Unsecured fixed rate loan notes due 2053

23,362

-

20,885


191,798

118,450

181,321

 

£100m of unsecured fixed rate loan notes were drawn down in July 2014, over 15 years at 4.28%.

 

On 28 November 2018 the Company issued £60m fixed rate unsecured privately placed notes each of £20m and with maturities of 15, 25 and 35 years and coupons for each respective tranches of 2.657%, 2.936% and 2.897%.

 

The basis of the fair value estimate for the issued notes is disclosed in the Annual Report. The fair value of unsecured debt is sourced from a specialist external vendor.

The total weighted average % interest rates payable:

3.16%

2.57%

3.06%

 

14 Share Capital

 

£000

As at

30 June 2019

 

As at

30 June 2018

As at

31 December 2018

Allotted, called up and fully paid:




330,009,733 (339,981,955 at 30 June 2018 and 333,626,020 at 31 December 2018) ordinary shares of 2.5p each

8,252

8,501

8,342

   Share Buybacks

 

£000

As at

30 June 2019

 

As at

30 June 2018

As at

31 December 2018

Ordinary shares of 2.5p each




Opening share capital

8,342

8,691

8,691

Share buybacks

(90)

(190)

(349)

Closing share capital

8,252

8,501

8,342

 

 

EQUITY PORTFOLIO LISTING

 

EQUITY HOLDINGS AS AT 30 JUNE 2019

 

Stock

Sector

Country of Listing

% of quoted equities

Value £m

Alphabet Inc.

Communication Services

United States

3.1

88.1

Microsoft

Information Technology

United States

2.8

81.3

HDFC Bank Ltd.

Financials

India

1.9

55.8

Unilever

Consumer Staples

United Kingdom

1.6

47.1

Oracle

Information Technology

United States

1.4

39.6

HCA Healthcare

Health Care

United States

1.4

39.5

Abbot Laboratories

Health Care

United States

1.3

37.1

Salesforce.com

Information Technology

United States

1.3

36.4

Ryanair

Industrials

Ireland

1.2

35.8

UnitedHealth Group

Health Care

United States

1.2

34.1

Facebook Inc.

Communication Services

United States

1.1

31.0

Broadcom Inc.

Information Technology

United States

1.0

29.9

Charter Communications

Communication Services

United States

1.0

29.6

Philip Morris International

Consumer Staples

United States

1.0

29.5

Crown Holdings Inc.

Materials

United States

1.0

29.1

Intercontinental Exchange

Financials

United States

1.0

28.4

AIA Group Ltd.

Financials

Hong Kong

1.0

28.4

Microchip Technology Inc.

Information Technology

United States

1.0

28.2

Celanese

Materials

United States

0.9

27.0

Aercap

Industrials

Ireland

0.9

26.5

Ameriprise Financial Inc.

Financials

United States

0.9

25.9

Reckitt Benckiser

Consumer Staples

United Kingdom

0.9

25.7

United Rentals Inc.

Industrials

United States

0.9

25.0

Cigna

Health Care

United States

0.8

24.3

IHS Markit Ltd.

Industrials

United Kingdom

0.8

23.5

Suncor Energy

Energy

Canada

0.8

23.4

Danone

Consumer Staples

France

0.8

22.9

Capgemini

Information Technology

France

0.8

22.9

Sap Se - ADR

Information Technology

Germany

0.8

22.8

Lincoln Financial Group

Financials

United States

0.8

22.7

New Oriental

Consumer Discretionary

China

0.8

22.7

Inditex

Consumer Discretionary

Spain

0.8

22.7

Melrose Industries plc

Industrials

United Kingdom

0.8

22.5

Alibaba

Consumer Discretionary

China

0.8

22.5

EOG Resources Inc.

Energy

United States

0.8

22.4

Visa Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.8

22.3

Yum!

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.8

22.2

Mastercard

Information Technology

United States

0.8

22.0

HeidelbergCement

Materials

Germany

0.8

22.0

Hanesbrands Inc.

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.8

21.9

The Interpublic Group of Companies

Communication Services

United States

0.8

21.9

WPP

Communication Services

United Kingdom

0.8

21.8

Equinix Inc.

Real Estate

United States

0.8

21.7

Santen Pharmaceutical

Health Care

Japan

0.8

21.7

Autodesk Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.8

21.6

Amazon.com Inc.

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.8

21.5

GlaxoSmithKline ADR

Health Care

United Kingdom

0.7

21.5

Essilor International

Consumer Discretionary

France

0.7

21.3

Western Union

Information Technology

United States

0.7

21.1

Barrick Gold

Materials

Canada

0.7

21.1

Schneider Electric

Industrials

France

0.7

20.9

Novo Nordisk

Health Care

Denmark

0.7

20.7

BorgWarner Inc.

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.7

20.7

Prada

Consumer Discretionary

Italy

0.7

20.6

Whirlpool

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.7

20.5

AIB Group

Financials

Ireland

0.7

20.4

Standard Chartered plc

Financials

United Kingdom

0.7

20.3

PageGroup

Industrials

United Kingdom

0.7

20.3

Baidu Inc.

Communication Services

China

0.7

20.2

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.7

20.0

GrandVision

Consumer Discretionary

Netherlands

0.7

20.0

Ambev

Consumer Staples

Brazil

0.7

20.0

CVS Health

Health Care

United States

0.7

19.6

Sulzer Ltd.

Industrials

Switzerland

0.7

19.6

DKSH Holding AG

Industrials

Switzerland

0.7

19.2

Saint-Gobain

Industrials

France

0.7

19.0

Alliance Data Systems

Information Technology

United States

0.7

18.9

Citigroup Inc.

Financials

United States

0.6

18.6

Naspers

Consumer Discretionary

South Africa

0.6

18.2

Safran S.A.

Industrials

France

0.6

18.0

FEMSA

Consumer Staples

Mexico

0.6

17.9

Applus Services

Industrials

Spain

0.6

17.8

BP

Energy

United Kingdom

0.6

17.6

H&R Block Inc.

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.6

17.5

OC Oerlikon

Industrials

Switzerland

0.6

17.4

Pearson plc

Communication Services

United Kingdom

0.6

17.4

Volkswagen

Consumer Discretionary

Germany

0.6

17.2

Roche

Health Care

Switzerland

0.6

17.2

Murta Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

Information Technology

Japan

0.6

17.1

Glanbia plc

Consumer Staples

Ireland

0.6

15.8

Western Digital

Information Technology

United States

0.6

15.8

Diageo plc

Consumer Staples

United Kingdom

0.5

15.7

AstraZeneca plc

Health Care

United Kingdom

0.5

15.7

Proctor & Gamble

Consumer Staples

United States

0.5

15.3

Ralph Lauren

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.5

15.2

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group

Financials

Japan

0.5

15.2

Lloyds Banking Group

Financials

United Kingdom

0.5

15.0

TP ICAP

Financials

United Kingdom

0.5

15.0

Anglo American plc

Materials

United Kingdom

0.5

15.0

Deutsche Boerse AG

Financials

Germany

0.5

14.8

Flex Ltd.

Information Technology

United States

0.5

14.8

Rolls Royce plc

Industrials

United Kingdom

0.5

14.7

Harley-Davidson

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.5

14.6

Airbus

Industrials

France

0.5

14.5

L'Oreal

Consumer Staples

France

0.5

14.2

Nielsen

Industrials

United States

0.5

14.1

Daikin Industries Ltd.

Industrials

Japan

0.5

13.8

American Express

Financials

United States

0.5

13.8

Qurate Retail Group

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.5

13.7

Dollar General

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.5

13.6

Imperial Brands

Consumer Staples

United Kingdom

0.5

12.9

Nintendo Co. Ltd.

Communication Services

Japan

0.5

12.9

Anima Holding S.p.A.

Financials

Italy

0.4

12.9

Air Liquide S.A.

Materials

France

0.4

12.8

Tingyi Holding Corp.

Consumer Staples

China

0.4

12.8

Ericsson

Information Technology

Sweden

0.4

12.7

Hain Celestial

Consumer Staples

United States

0.4

12.5

Sapiem S.p.A.

Energy

Italy

0.4

12.4

Canadian Pacific Railway

Industrials

Canada

0.4

12.3

ICICI Bank

Financials

India

0.4

12.3

Santander Mexico

Financials

Mexico

0.4

12.3

Bayer AG

Health Care

Germany

0.4

12.3

Sonic Healthcare

Health Care

Australia

0.4

12.2

S&P Global

Financials

United States

0.4

12.2

Commscope Holdings Co. Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.4

12.2

Smiths Group Plc

Materials

United Kingdom

0.4

12.0

Barclays

Financials

United Kingdom

0.4

12.0

Auto Data Processing Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.4

11.9

Nestle S.A.

Consumer Staples

Switzerland

0.4

11.9

Comcast

Communication Services

United States

0.4

11.8

Workday Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.4

11.5

Novartis

Health Care

Switzerland

0.4

11.5

Tesco plc

Consumer Staples

United Kingdom

0.4

11.3

Adient Plc

Consumer Discretionary

Ireland

0.4

11.3

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

Consumer Discretionary

United States

0.4

11.2

McKesson

Health Care

United States

0.4

10.9

Makita

Industrials

Japan

0.4

10.7

TS Tech Co. Ltd.

Consumer Discretionary

Japan

0.4

10.7

Eni S.p.A.

Energy

Italy

0.4

10.5

Inovalon

Health Care

United States

0.4

10.5

CGGVeritas

Energy

France

0.4

10.4

Adobe Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.3

9.7

Marks & Spencer

Consumer Discretionary

United Kingdom

0.3

9.6

CMS Energy

Utilities

United States

0.3

9.4

Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd.

Financials

India

0.3

9.1

The Cooper Co. Inc.

Health Care

United States

0.3

7.7

Solocal

Communication Services

France

0.3

7.7

Kato Sangyo Co ltd

Consumer Staples

Japan

0.2

7.1

Bank Central Asia

Financials

Indonesia

0.2

6.1

Veeco Instruments Inc.

Information Technology

United States

0.2

5.9

Nippon TV

Communication Services

Japan

0.2

5.8

Reliance Industries Ltd.

Energy

India

0.2

4.7

Capita plc

Industrials

United Kingdom

0.2

4.5

Link REIT

Real Estate

Hong Kong

0.2

4.5

Infosys Ltd. ADR

Information Technology

India

0.1

3.8

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

Information Technology

India

0.1

3.5

Bank Rakyat

Financials

Indonesia

0.1

3.5

China Tower

Communication Services

Hong Kong

0.1

3.2

Guangdong Investment Ltd.

Utilities

Hong Kong

0.1

3.1

MTR Corp. Ltd.

Industrials

Hong Kong

0.1

3.1

CK Infastructure Holdings

Utilities

Hong Kong

0.1

3.0

CP All

Consumer Staples

Thailand

0.1

3.0

Coca-Cola HBC

Consumer Staples

Switzerland

0.1

3.0

Heineken

Consumer Staples

Netherlands

0.1

3.0

IMCD Group

Industrials

Netherlands

0.1

2.8

Kotak Mahindra Bank

Financials

India

0.1

2.7

Sberbank

Financials

Russia

0.1

2.6

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance

Financials

South Korea

0.1

2.5

CLP Holdings Ltd.

Utilities

Hong Kong

0.1

2.5

Infosys Ltd.

Information Technology

India

0.1

2.4

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services

Health Care

Thailand

0.1

2.2

Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd.

Utilities

Thailand

0.1

2.2

Ascendas REIT

Real Estate

Singapore

0.1

2.0

LUKoil

Energy

Russia

0.1

1.9

Yandex Search

Communication Services

Russia

0.1

1.9

Macquarie Korea

Financials

South Korea

0.1

1.8

Polyus Gold

Materials

Russia

0.1

1.8

Singapore Exchange

Financials

Singapore

0.1

1.7

United Breweries Ltd

Consumer Staples

India

0.1

1.6

Bajaj Finance

Financials

India

0.0

1.4

Tencent

Communication Services

China

0.0

1.3

ThaiBev

Consumer Staples

Thailand

0.0

1.3

Coca-Cola

Consumer Staples

United States

0.0

1.3

IHH Healthcare Berhad

Health Care

Malaysia

0.0

1.3

ISA CTEEP

Utilities

Brazil

0.0

1.3

Equatorial Energia

Utilities

Brazil

0.0

1.2

WalMart Mexico

Consumer Staples

Mexico

0.0

1.1

Sarana Menara Nusantara

Communication Services

Indonesia

0.0

1.0

TSMC

Information Technology

Taiwan

0.0

1.0

Bajaj Finserv ltd

Financials

India

0.0

1.0

TAESA

Utilities

Brazil

0.0

0.9

China Resources

Utilities

Hong Kong

0.0

0.8

Kingdee

Information Technology

China

0.0

0.7

Ping An Insurance

Financials

China

0.0

0.7

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

Financials

Hong Kong

0.0

0.7

Airports of Thailand

Industrials

Thailand

0.0

0.7

Chailease Holding Co.

Financials

Taiwan

0.0

0.6

Universal Robina

Consumer Staples

Philippines

0.0

0.6

Rolls Royce Holdings

Industrials

United Kingdom

0.0

0.1

 

Source: WTW and The Bank of New York Mellon (International) Ltd.

 

A full portfolio listing, similar to that displayed above, is available on a monthly basis on our website at www.alliancetrust.co.uk. Where the percentage of the portfolio is shown as 0.0% this is due to the small size of the holding and rounding the percentage downwards. Holdings may be selected by more than one stock picker.

 

GLOSSARY: PERFORMANCE MEASURES AND OTHER TERMS

 

Throughout this document a number of terms are used to describe performance. Where not described in detail elsewhere set out here is what these terms mean.

 

Equity Portfolio Total Return is a measure of the performance of the Trust's equity portfolio over a specified period. It combines any appreciation in the value of the equity portfolio and dividends paid. The comparator used for Equity Portfolio Total Return is the MSCI ACWI total return. The Equity Portfolio Total Return was 16.3% over the six months to end 30 June 2019 before managers' fees and including the effect of managers' cash holdings. On page 5 of the Interim Report, an analysis of the investment portfolio and equity portfolio return is provided.

 

Gearing at its simplest, gearing is borrowing. Just like any other public company, an investment trust can borrow money to invest in additional investments for its portfolio. The effect of the borrowing on the shareholders' assets is called 'gearing'. If the Company's assets grow, the shareholders' assets grow proportionately more because the debt remains the same. But if the value of the Company's assets falls, the situation is reversed. Gearing can therefore enhance performance in rising markets but can adversely impact performance in falling markets.

 

Gearing (Gross) = Total Gearing is a measure of the Trust's financial leverage. It is calculated by dividing the Trust's total borrowings (unless otherwise indicated these are valued at par) by its Net Asset Value. The Gross Gearing calculation includes any cash or non-equity holdings.

 

Gearing (Net) is a measure of the Trust's financial leverage and calculated by dividing the Trust's net borrowings (i.e. total borrowings minus cash) by its Net Asset Value. Unless otherwise indicated borrowings are valued at par.

 

Leverage For the purposes of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) Directive, 'leverage' is a term used to describe any method by which the Company increases its exposure, whether through borrowing (gearing) or through leverage embedded in derivative positions, or by any other means. As required by AIFMD, leverage is calculated using two methods: the 'gross' method which gives the overall total exposure, and the 'commitment' method which takes into account hedging and netting offsetting positions. As the leverage calculation includes exposure created by the Company's investments, it is only described as 'leveraged' if its overall exposure is greater than its net asset value. This is shown as a leverage ratio of greater than 100%.

 

MSCI means MSCI Inc which provides information relating to the benchmark, the MSCI All Country World Index (MSCI ACWI), against which the performance target for the equity portfolio has been set.

 

MSCI All Country World Index (MSCI ACWI) is a market capitalisation weighted index designed to provide a broad measure of equity-market performance throughout the world. It is comprised of stocks from both developed and emerging markets. This measures performance in sterling. Until 30 June 2019 the variant of the MSCI ACWI referred to was the Gross Dividend Reinvested variant. This assumes that as much as possible of a company's dividend distributions are reinvested back into the index. The reinvested amount is equal to the total dividend amount distributed to persons residing in the country of the dividend paying company, excluding any tax credits. From 1 July 2019 we will be referring to the Net Dividend Reinvested variant of the MSCI ACWI as our benchmark index. This variant more accurately reflects the return that a shareholder could expect to actually receive because it includes the effects of foreign withholding tax on dividend payments. MSCI's disclaimer regarding the information provided by it can be found on our website.

 

NAV Total Return is a measure of the performance of the Trust's Net Asset Value (NAV) over a specified time period. It combines any appreciation in the NAV and dividends paid. The comparator used for NAV Total Return is the MSCI ACWI total return.

 

After fees NAV Total Return including income with debt at Fair Value was 16.7% for the six month period to 30 June 2019.

 

Net Asset Value (NAV) is the value of total assets less liabilities (including borrowings). The NAV per share is calculated by dividing this amount by the number of ordinary shares in issue and is stated on a cum-income basis. The Trust's balance sheet NAV as at 30 June 2019 is £2.8bn divided by 330,009,733 ordinary shares in issue on that date, giving a NAV per share of 836.8p. This includes income and with debt at fair value.

 

Non-core Assets or Non-core Investments are the assets the Trust holds aside from the global equity portfolio. These include mineral rights and a number of private equity holdings. During 2018, the Trust successfully sold a significant part of the legacy non-core assets portfolio. This process continued in the first half of 2019 and we expect the remaining non-core assets to be sold or be wound down in 2019 as part of the Trust's strategy to simplify and focus on the global equity portfolio.

 

Ongoing Charges represent the total ongoing costs and are calculated in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). More detailed information can be found on page 29 of the Annual Report and Accounts.

 

Ongoing Charge Ratio (OCR) The total expenses (excluding borrowing costs) incurred by the Trust as a percentage of the average NAV (with debt at fair value). A fuller explanation and the method of calculation can be found on page 29 of the Annual Report and Accounts.

 

Peer Group Median is the median of the Morningstar universe of 306 UK retail global equity funds (open ended and closed ended).

 

Total Assets represents total net assets less current liabilities, before deduction of all borrowings.

 

Total Expense Ratio (TER) is a measure of the total costs associated with managing and operating of the Trust. These costs consist primarily of management fees and additional expenses, such as trading fees, legal fees, auditor fees and other operational expenses. The total cost of the Trust is divided by the Trust's total assets to arrive at a percentage amount, which represents the TER. The TER over the six month period to 30 June 2019 was 0.68%.

 

Total Shareholder Return (TSR) is the return to shareholders after reinvesting the net dividend on the date that the share price goes ex-dividend. The comparator used for the TSR is the MSCI ACWI total return. This measure shows the actual return received by a shareholder from their investment.

 

The TSR for the six month period to 30 June 2019 was 16.8%.

 

 

 

 

The Interim Report will be available on the Company's website www.alliancetrust.co.uk later today. 

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
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