Regulatory Story
Go to market news section View chart   Print
RNS

Half-year Report

Released 07:00 03-Oct-2019

RNS Number : 5790O
Witan Pacific Investment Trust PLC
03 October 2019
 

WITAN PACIFIC INVESTMENT TRUST PLC

(the "Company")

 

HALF YEAR REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 31 JULY 2019

 

Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc announces that its 2019 Half Year Report has been published. The full report can be accessed via the Company's website at www.witanpacific.com and will be made available on the National Storage Mechanism website: http://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/NSM. It will be circulated to shareholders shortly.

 

The Directors have declared an interim dividend of 2.55p per Ordinary share, which will be payable on 28 October 2019 to shareholders whose names appear on the register at the close of business on 18 October 2019 (ex-dividend 17 October 2019).

 

 

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

 

Key data

 

 

31 July 2019   

31 January 2019   

% change

Net asset value ("NAV") per share1,2

380.86p

352.54p

+8.0%

Share price3

340.00p

303.00p

+12.2%

Discount1

10.7%

14.1%

 

 

 

Total return

 

 

6 months

1 year

3 years

5 years

NAV per share1,2

9.4%

2.1%

26.7%

57.7%

Share price¹,3

13.8%

6.4%

31.6%

61.7%

Benchmark4

10.5%

4.6%

36.7%

68.1%

 

 

Income

 

 

31 July 2019

31 July 2018

% change

Revenue per share

4.21p

4.71p

-10.6%

Interim dividend per share

2.55p

2.50p

+2.0%

 

Ongoing charges1 (6 months)

 

 

31 July 2019

31 July 2018

Excluding performance fees

0.54%

0.54%

Including performance fees

0.57%

0.54%

 

 

1 The financial statements (below) set out the required statutory reporting measures of the Company's financial performance. In addition to these, the Board assesses the Company's performance against a range of non-statutory reporting criteria which are viewed as particularly relevant for investment trusts ("Alternative Performance Measures"), which are summarised above/below. Definitions of the terms used are set out below.

2 Source:Morningstar/Witan Investment Services.

3 Source: Morningstar.

4 Source: Morningstar. The benchmark for Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc is the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Free Index (Sterling).

 

 

LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS

 

Total returns since inception of multi-manager structure (31 May 2005)

 

 

Cumulative return

Annualised return

NAV per share¹

250.4%

9.3%

Share price2

260.3%

9.5%

Benchmark3

248.8%

9.2%

 

1 Morningstar/Witan Investment Services. Alternative Performance Measure (see below).

2 Source: Morningstar. Alternative Performance Measure (see below).

3 Source: Morningstar.

 

 

CHAIR'S STATEMENT

 

SUMMARY

 

§ NAV total return of 9.4%, compared with benchmark 10.5%

 

§ Share price total return of 13.8%

 

§ Revenue per share 4.2p compared with 4.7p over the same period last year

 

§ Interim dividend increased by 2.0% to 2.55p

 

Performance

Witan Pacific's NAV total return per share rose by 9.4% and the share price total return rose by 13.8% over the six months ended 31 July 2019, compared with the benchmark total return of 10.5%. The overall returns experienced by our shareholders were augmented by further Sterling weakness. In US Dollar terms, for example, our benchmark rose just 2.9%. Although absolute performance was strongly positive during the period, the continued NAV underperformance against the benchmark, while marginal, is clearly disappointing, especially in light of the specific performance objective announced in the Corporate Update on 11 February 2019 (see fuller commentary on the Corporate Update in the 'Discount, share repurchases and future developments' section below).

 

Market background

After the falls in late 2018, global equities generally recovered strongly in the period under review. US stocks led the way and rose to a record high as the Federal Reserve effectively ruled out interest rate hikes in 2019. Global growth expectations, which had declined over the course of 2018, have stabilised this year, albeit at generally lower levels. This led to growing expectations of a US interest rate cut, which materialised in late July. This more accommodative stance was mirrored by several Asian central banks (including India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand) to counteract signs of slowing economic activity.

 

Trade tensions between China and the US continued to dominate newsflow during the period. Markets in Asia remain highly sensitive to any change in stance. The rally in equity markets to the end of July more than recouped the 5.4% decline our benchmark experienced in our last financial year.

 

The major country components of our benchmark posted positive returns over the period, with the exception of Korea. As is often the case, there was significant country divergence in the region, with Korea the regional laggard falling by 4.9% and Taiwan (the strongest performer) rising by 20.7% and setting a new high in the process. The Korean economy, which is seen as being particularly sensitive to global trade concerns, slowed markedly and the Korean Won depreciated accordingly relative to the US Dollar. Taiwan, which has over 50% of its stock market capitalisation in technology companies, was boosted by strong demand for smartphone semiconductors driven by speedier 5G adoption. A notable performer was Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, which is owned by three of our four managers and is the Company's largest holding.

 

The other two strong markets were Australia and the China A Share market. Australia benefited from an election result perceived positively by the market, lower interest rates (the first rate cut since 2016) and strong performance in the mining and financial sectors, which together make up approximately 50% of its stock market.

 

In China, mainland stock prices recovered following the sell-off they suffered in the latter half of 2018 as Chinese authorities unveiled various stimulus measures to spur domestic demand and to fast-track certain infrastructure projects.

 

Our managers all have the opportunity to invest in the China A Share market and collectively have 8% invested in this market, either directly or via shares which are dual-listed in Hong Kong. The Company's total Chinese exposure, including all Chinese companies wherever they are listed, is now 32% and is therefore the largest geographic weighting in the portfolio. This represents an overweight position versus China's 25% benchmark weight.

 

Indian shares, which rose 15%, recovered from a particularly turbulent period in the autumn of 2018 when the market was impacted by a default in the shadow banking sector. The market reacted positively to Narendra Modi's BJP Party general election win in May, further increasing its substantial majority. However, the post-election rally was short-lived, as valuations became stretched and trade tensions resurfaced.

 

As Japan's economy continues to grow at one of the slowest rates in the developed world, let alone relative to its Asian peers, it remains one of the cheapest markets globally, despite being home to a significant number of world-class global businesses. Amongst these, our managers have identified a number of attractive opportunities. Most are international businesses so have not been immune to the uncertainties surrounding global trade of the last few months which is reflected in disappointing performance for many of our Japanese holdings. The broader Japanese market gained 9.5% and therefore marginally underperformed the rest of the region over the period.

 

With Brexit remaining unresolved and the route to a successful outcome becoming ever more convoluted, it is hardly surprising that Asian currencies performed very strongly relative to the beleaguered Pound. Indeed, even the Korean Won, which declined by 6% versus the US Dollar over the six months, appreciated versus Sterling. The major ASEAN currencies (Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia) appreciated between 7% and 10% while the Japanese Yen and Indian Rupee also made significant gains of 8% and 11% respectively.

 

Portfolio managers

Aberdeen was the strongest of our four portfolio managers over the period, returning 15.3% on a total return basis aided by stock selection successes in China and Japan. Their bottom-up approach, with an emphasis on quality companies with strong franchises and balance sheets and healthy cash flows, has found favour in these market conditions. By contrast, Matthews' Chinese and Japanese stocks detracted from their performance, causing them to lag the benchmark with a total return of 9.0%. Dalton performed broadly in line with the benchmark, returning 11.1% with some notable successes in India, Taiwan, China and Singapore. Robeco underperformed the benchmark, with a total return of 6.1% with ongoing negative sentiment towards the more cyclical 'value' stocks they hold in their portfolio.

 

The combined portfolio produced a return of 10.0%, which represents a marginal underperformance of 0.5% when compared to the benchmark. The key factors influencing this underperformance were an underweight to the strongly performing Australian financials sector and an overweight in Korea. Stock selection was generally positive across the portfolio, but not significant enough to make up for the negative influence from the resulting geographic exposure. Adding around 0.5% of costs to the portfolio's 0.5% underperformance results in the NAV total return being 1.1% behind the benchmark.

 

Portfolio review

Details of the portfolio's key country and sector allocations, as well as the top twenty investments by size, follow this statement. The portfolio is the result of the stocks selected by our four portfolio managers and at the end of the period was overweight China (including Hong Kong), Singapore and South Korea and underweight Japan, Australia and Taiwan. There were no significant changes in country or sector exposure in the portfolio in the last six months.

 

The portfolio retains an overweight (+4%) position in the Consumer Staples sector, which proved to be a small drag on performance over the period. At the same time, the underweight position in Financials (especially in Australia), Communication Services and Industrials also proved to be a short-term headwind.

 

Outlook

The Asia Pacific region includes many of the world's most dynamic economies. Their increasingly affluent and better-educated populations are likely to fuel demand across various sectors providing good stock picking opportunities for our managers. In the short term, sentiment in the region will continue to be dominated by US/China tensions and affected by the protests in Hong Kong. Currency volatility (especially versus Sterling) is likely to be a factor which impacts short-term returns, especially as the next Brexit deadline approaches. The prospects for the rest of this year will depend on whether easier monetary policy sits alongside economic stability, allowing good quality companies to benefit from a benign environment and grow earnings as they have done in recent years. The question of whether cyclical 'value' stocks will at last start to outperform defensive or higher growth stocks is moot. This largely depends on whether investors continue to value the perception dependability (at a high price) over the possibility of higher returns offered by some increasingly undervalued opportunities. Whilst our portfolio should benefit from a less polarised investment climate, we are certainly not dependent on it. Our managers build portfolios from the bottom up and the result tends to be a portfolio which is well balanced with a broad range of investments, irrespective of their corresponding weights in the benchmark we aim to outperform.

 

Discount, share repurchases and future developments

In February 2019, the Board announced that "if the Company does not deliver NAV total return outperformance of its benchmark over the period from the last financial year end to 31 January 2021, the Board will put forward proposals which would include a full cash exit at close to NAV for all shareholders as soon as reasonably practicable after 31 January 2021". This announcement does not affect how our managers invest on our behalf and the Board continues to have faith in their individual and collective ability to add value for our shareholders. We are, however, now eight months (as of 30 September 2019) into that two-year measurement period and the NAV total return is 7.4% versus a benchmark total return of 9.3%.

 

The share price discount to NAV narrowed from 14.1% at the start of the period to 10.7% at the period end. We continue to buy back shares when the discount at which they stand is at an anomalous and substantial level. During the period, the Company purchased 683,481 shares at an average discount of 10.9% (net of costs), which has added approximately £270,000 of value (0.44p per share) for shareholders.

 

Dividend

The Board aims to increase the annual dividend per share in real terms over the long term. I am pleased to report that annual dividends have increased consistently for over 14 years at an annualised rate in excess of 14.5%. The Company has taken advantage of one of the benefits of the investment trust structure and has a healthy revenue reserve amounting to 21p per share which is available to supplement dividends to shareholders in leaner years. Revenue earnings per share of 4.2p were 10% lower than the same (exceptionally strong) period last year. Lower dividend receipts were the result of portfolio changes which involved the sale of a small number of high yield stocks. The Board proposes to pay an interim dividend of 2.55p per share. This represents an increase of 2.0% over the interim dividend paid last year.

 

Susan Platts-Martin

Chair

2 October 2019

 

 

Company Secretary contact details:

 

Link Company Matters Limited

Beaufort House, 51 New North Road

Exeter EX4 4EP

email: WitanPacificInvestmentTrustPlc@linkgroup.co.uk

 

 

PORTFOLIO INFORMATION

 

Portfolio manager performance for the half year ended 31 July 2019 and from appointment to 31 July 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance

Annualised

performance²

 

Appointment

Managed assets¹

Manager

Benchmark

Manager

Benchmark

 

date

£m

% 

%

%

%

%

Matthews

30 April 2012

95.0

40.7

+9.0

+10.5

+11.8

+10.4

Aberdeen

31 May 2005

59.7

25.5

+15.3

+10.5

+11.1

+9.2

Robeco

28 Sept 2017

57.0

24.4

+6.1

+10.5

+4.0

+7.2

Dalton

28 Sept 2017

21.9

9.4

+11.1

+10.5

+0.1

+7.2

 

Source: BNP Paribas. All performance figures are disclosed on a pre-fee basis.

 

¹ Excluding cash balances held centrally by the Company.

² Since appointment.

 

 

The Company's portfolio by sector analysis as at 31 July 2019

 

Sector

Portfolio %¹

Benchmark %²

Consumer Discretionary

15%

14%

Consumer Staples

10%

6%

Energy

3%

3%

Financials

19%

21%

Healthcare

6%

6%

Industrials

9%

12%

Information Technology

12%

13%

Materials

7%

6%

Real Estate

6%

6%

Communication Services

5%

10%

Utilities

4%

3%

Other

4%

0%

 

¹ Source: BNP Paribas.

² Source: MSCI.

 

 

Geographical allocation

Country

Portfolio at

31 July 2019¹

Benchmark at

31 July 2019²

Australia

6%

11%

China

21%

19%

Hong Kong

11%

6%

India

5%

5%

Indonesia

2%

1%

Japan

28%

37%

Malaysia

1%

1%

New Zealand

-

1%

Philippines

1%

1%

Singapore

6%

2%

South Korea

10%

7%

Taiwan

5%

7%

Thailand

2%

2%

Vietnam

2%

-

 

100%

100%

 

¹ Source: BNP Paribas - Portfolio represents investments excluding cash.

² Source: MSCI.

 

 

 

TOP TWENTY INVESTMENTS

as at 31 July 2019

 

Rank

Company

Country

% of total investments

Value

£'000

1

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

Taiwan

2.7

6,165

2

Samsung Electronics

South Korea

2.3

5,219

3

Aberdeen Standard Indian Equity Fund

India

2.2

5,034

4

AIA Group

Hong Kong

1.6

3,698

5

Aberdeen Standard China A Share Equity Fund

China

1.6

3,677

6

Ping An Insurance

China

1.6

3,592

7

China Construction Bank

China

1.5

3,452

8

Shenzhou International

China

1.5

3,318

9

China Mobile

Hing Kong

1.5

3,275

10

Hyundai Mobis

South Korea

1.4

3,182

11

Minth Group

China

1.4

3,043

12

China Petroleum (Sinopec)

China

1.2

2,704

13

Hoya Corporation

Japan

1.2

2,630

14

BHP Group

Australia

1.1

2,557

15

United Overseas Bank

Singapore

1.1

2,468

16

Anritsu Corporation

Japan

1.1

2,457

17

LG Chemical

South Korea

1.1

2,413

18

BGF Retail

South Korea

1.0

2,294

19

Tencent Holdings

China

1.0

2,232

20

Shin-Etsu Chemical

Japan

1.0

2,164

Total

 

 

29.1

65,574

 

The value of the twenty largest holdings represents 29.1% (31 January 2019: 28.5%) of the Company's total investments. The full portfolio listing is published monthly (with a three-month lag) on the Company's website. The country shown is the country of incorporation or, in the case of funds, the country of risk.

 

 

 

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

 

Related party transactions disclosures

During the period to 31 July 2019, related party transactions included dividends paid to Directors in respect of their shareholdings in the Company. Details of Directors' shareholdings and remuneration may be found in the Directors' Remuneration Report on pages 44 to 47 of the Company's Annual Report for the year ended 31 January 2019. The report is available on the Company's website at www.witanpacific.com.

 

There have been no other related party transactions.

 

Principal risks and uncertainties

The Directors have considered the principal risks and uncertainties affecting the Company's position. The principal risks faced by the Company for the remaining six months of the financial year include financial risks relating to markets, liquidity and credit. Market risk includes market price risk, currency risk and interest rate risk. Other risk categories include those relating to business strategy, market conditions, investment performance, reduction in income, operational failures and tax and regulatory changes or breaches. These risks and the way in which they are managed are described in more detail in the Annual Report for the year ended 31 January 2019 in the corporate review and in the notes to the financial statements.

 

The risks faced by the Company have not changed significantly over the six months to 31 July 2019 and are not expected to change materially in the next six months. The report is available on the Company's website at www.witanpacific.com.

 

Going concern

The financial statements continue to be prepared on a going concern basis. The approach used for the Annual Report is applied, including proper consideration of financial and cash flow forecasts, and it is believed that the Company has adequate financial resources to continue to operate for the foreseeable future.

 

 

CONDENSED INCOME STATEMENT

for the half year ended 31 July 2019

 

 

 

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

31 July 2019

(Unaudited)

Half year ended

31 July 2018

(Audited)

Year ended

31 January 2019

 

 

 

Revenue 

Capital  

Total 

Revenue 

Capital  

Total 

Revenue 

Capital  

Total 

 

Note

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

Gains/(losses) on investments held at fair value through profit or loss

 

18,330 

18,330 

(3,997)

(3,997)

(21,782)

(21,782)

Exchange losses

 

(66)

(66)

(33)

(33)

(123)

(123)

Investment income

2

3,544 

3,544 

3,928 

3,928 

6,577 

6,577 

Management fees

3

(197)

(593)

(790)

(209)

(628)

(837)

(403)

(1,210)

(1,613)

Performance fees

3

(72)

(72)

Other expenses

 

(473)

(32)

(505)

(437)

(23)

(460)

(796)

(54)

(850)

Net return/(loss) before taxation

 

2,874 

17,567 

20,441 

3,282 

(4,681)

(1,399)

5,378 

(23,169)

(17,791)

Taxation

 

(267)

(107)

(374)

(307)

(307)

(424)

(424)

Net return/(loss) after taxation

 

2,607 

17,460 

20,067 

2,975 

(4,681)

(1,706)

4,954 

(23,169)

(18,215)

Return/(loss) per Ordinary share - pence

5

4.21 

28.19 

32.40 

4.71 

(7.41)

(2.70)

7.88 

(36.84)

(28.96)

                         

 

All revenue and capital items in the above statement derive from continuing operations. The total columns of this statement represent the Income Statement of the Company. The revenue return and capital return columns are supplementary to this and are prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies.

 

The Company had no other comprehensive income, recognised gains or losses other than those disclosed in this statement.

 

  

CONDENSED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

for the half year ended 31 July 2019

 

 

Called up

Share

Capital

 

 

 

 

share

premium

redemption

Capital 

Revenue 

 

 

capital

account

reserve

reserves 

reserve 

Total 

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

Half year ended 31 July 2019 (unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 1 February 2019

16,486 

41,085 

149,221 

13,132 

219,929 

Net return after taxation and total comprehensive income

17,460 

2,607 

20,067 

Purchase of own shares

(2,220)

(2,220)

Dividends paid

(2,784)

(2,784)

At 31 July 2019

16,486 

41,085 

164,461 

12,955 

234,992 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Half year ended 31 July 2018 (unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 1 February 2018

16,486

5

41,085

175,084 

11,795 

244,455 

Net (loss)/return after taxation and total comprehensive income

-

-

-

(4,681)

2,975 

(1,706)

Purchase of own shares

-

-

-

(738)

(738)

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(2,054)

(2,054)

At 31 July 2018

16,486

5

41,085

169,665 

12,716 

239,957 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended 31 January 2019 (audited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 1 February 2018

16,486 

41,085 

175,084 

11,795 

244,455 

Net (loss)/return after taxation and total comprehensive (expense)/income

(23,169)

4,954 

(18,215)

Purchase of own shares

(2,694)

(2,694)

Dividends paid

(3,617)

(3,617)

At 31 January 2019

16,486 

41,085 

149,221 

13,132 

219,929 

 

 

CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET

as at 31 July 2019

 

 

 

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

(Audited)

 

 

31 July 

31 July 

31 January 

 

 

2019 

2018 

2019 

 

Note

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

Fixed assets

 

 

 

Investments held at fair value through profit or loss

 

224,949 

233,671 

215,797 

Current assets

 

 

 

 

Debtors

 

1,223 

1,598 

1,424 

Cash at bank and in hand

 

10,059 

6,735 

4,310 

 

 

11,282 

8,333 

5,734 

Creditors

 

 

 

 

Performance fee

 

(15)

Amounts falling due within one year

 

(1,167)

(2,047)

(1,602)

 

 

(1,182)

(2,047)

(1,602)

Net current assets

 

10,100 

6,286 

4,132 

Total assets less current liabilities

 

235,049 

239,957 

219,929 

Provision for liabilities and charges

6

(57)

Net assets

 

234,992 

239,957 

219,929 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital and reserves

 

 

 

 

Called up share capital

7

16,486 

16,486 

16,486 

Share premium account

 

Capital redemption reserve

 

41,085 

41,085 

41,085 

Capital reserves

 

164,461 

169,665 

149,221 

Revenue reserve

 

12,955 

12,716 

13,132 

Total shareholders' funds

 

234,992 

239,957 

219,929 

Net asset value per Ordinary share - pence

8

380.96

380.82 

352.54 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

for the half year ended 31 July 2019

 

1 Accounting policies

 

a) Basis of preparation

The condensed financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 (Interim Financial Reporting) and with the Statement of Recommended Practice 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts'. They have also been prepared on a going concern basis and on the assumption that approval as an investment trust will continue to be granted.

 

The interim financial statements have been prepared using the same accounting policies as the preceding annual financial statements.

 

As an investment fund, the Company has the option, which it has taken, not to present a cash flow statement. A cash flow statement is not required when an investment fund meets all the following conditions: substantially all of the entity's investments are highly liquid and are carried at market value; and where a Statement of Changes in Equity is provided.

 

(b) Valuation of investments

All investments have been designated upon initial recognition as fair value through profit or loss. This is done because all investments are considered to form part of a group of financial assets which is evaluated on a fair value basis, in accordance with the Company's documented investment strategy, and information about the grouping is provided internally on that basis.

 

Investments are recognised and de-recognised at trade date where a purchase or sale is under a contract whose terms require delivery within the timeframe established by the market concerned, and are measured initially at fair value. Subsequent to initial recognition, investments are valued at fair value through profit or loss.

 

Listed investments have been designated by the Board as held at fair value through profit or loss and accordingly are valued at fair value, deemed to be bid market prices for quoted investments. Investments included in Level 2 in the Fair Value Hierarchy disclosures in note 9 consist of unlisted reportable funds within the portfolio, Aberdeen Standard Indian Equity Fund and Aberdeen Standard China A Share Equity Fund. These are priced daily using their net asset value, which is the fair value.

 

Changes in the fair value of investments held at fair value through profit or loss and gains and losses on disposal are recognised in the Income Statement as "Gains or losses on investments held at fair value through profit or loss". Also included within this caption are transaction costs in relation to the purchase or sale of investments, including the difference between the purchase price of an investment and its bid price at the date of purchase. All purchases and sales are accounted for on a trade date basis.

 

2 Investment income

 

 

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

(Audited)

 

Half year

Half year

Year

 

ended

ended

ended

 

31 July

31 July

31 January

 

2019

2018

2019

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Income from investments held at fair value through profit or loss:

 

 

 

Overseas dividends

3,434

3,717

6,235

UK dividends

83

202

311

Scrip dividends

26

9

27

Other income

1

-

4

Total income

3,544

3,928

6,577

 

3 Transactions with the managers

On 27 May 2005, the Company appointed Witan Investment Services Limited as Executive Manager. Aberdeen Asset Managers Limited was appointed as portfolio manager on 31 May 2005. In April 2012, the Company appointed Matthews International Capital Management LLC. In September 2017, the Company appointed Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. and Dalton Investments LLC.

 

Each Management Agreement can be terminated at one month's notice in writing. Each portfolio manager is entitled to a base management fee, at rates between 0.20% and 0.85% per annum, calculated according to the value of the assets under their management.

 

Aberdeen is also entitled to a performance fee based on relative outperformance against the MSCI AC Asia Pacific Free Index (Sterling adjusted total return). The performance fee is calculated according to investment performance over a three-year rolling period and is payable at a rate of 15% of the calculated outperformance relative to the benchmark (subject to a cap).

 

Any provisions included in the Income Statement for the half year ended 31 July 2019 are calculated on the actual performance of the portfolio manager relative to the benchmark index. The provision assumes that both the benchmark index remains unchanged and that the portfolio managers' assets under management perform in line with the benchmark index to 31 May 2020, being the date the next performance period ends.

 

In addition, provisions are made where necessary for the performance periods ending 31 May 2021 and 31 May 2022, on the assumption that the portfolio manager performs in line with the benchmark to each period end. The total of these provisions amounts to £57,000 (31 July 2018: £nil and 31 January 2019: £nil).

 

 

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

(Audited)

 

Half year 

Half year 

Year 

 

ended 

ended 

ended 

 

31 July 

31 July 

31 January 

 

2019 

2018 

2019 

 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

Charged to revenue return:

 

 

 

Management fee1

183 

209 

403 

 

 

 

 

Charged to capital return:

 

 

 

Management fee1

593 

628 

1,210 

 

 

 

 

Total management fees

790 

837 

1,613 

Performance fees charged to capital return

72 

 

1 The management fees stated above include fees paid to Witan Investment Services Limited of £130,000 (six months to 31 July 2018: £150,000 and full year to 31 January 2019: £290,000).

 

Management fees are charged 75% to capital return and 25% to revenue return.

 

The allocation percentages approximate to the split of historic returns between capital and income, and reflect the Board's expectation of the long-term split of returns in compliance with the Statement of Recommended Practice 'Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts'. Performance fees, when payable, will be charged wholly to the capital account.

 

4 Dividends

An interim dividend of 2.55p per Ordinary share (2018: 2.50p) will be paid on 28 October 2019 to shareholders on the register on 18 October 2019.

 

5 Return per Ordinary share

The total return per Ordinary share is based on the net gain attributable to the Ordinary shares of £20,067,000 (half year ended 31 July 2018: loss of £1,706,000; year ended 31 January 2019: loss of 18,215,000) and on 61,928,245 Ordinary shares (half year ended 31 July 2018: 63,175,471; year ended 31 January 2019: 62,888,550), being the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period.

 

The total return can be analysed as follows:

 

(Unaudited)

(Unaudited)

(Audited)

 

Half year 

Half year 

Year 

 

ended 

ended 

ended 

 

31 July 

31 July 

31 January 

 

2019 

2018 

2019 

 

£'000 

£'000 

£'000 

Revenue return

2,607 

2,975 

4,954 

Capital return/(loss)

17,460 

(4,681)

(23,169)

Total return/(loss)

20,067 

(1,706)

18,215 

Weighted average number of Ordinary shares in issue during the period

61,928,245 

63,175,471 

62,888,550 

Revenue return per Ordinary share - pence

4.21 

4.71 

7.88 

Capital return/(loss) per Ordinary share - pence

28.19 

(7.41)

(36.84)

Total return/(loss) per Ordinary share - pence

32.40 

(2.70)

(28.96)

 

The Company does not have any dilutive securities.

 

6 Provisions for liabilities and charges

This represents the estimated performance fees payable for the three-year performance fee periods ending 31 May 2020, 31 May 2021 and 31 May 2022. This accrual is based on actual performance to 31 July 2019 and the assumption that the portfolio manager performs in line with the benchmark from 31 July 2019 to the end of each fee period. Changes in the level of accrual for future performance periods could arise for one of three principal reasons: a change in the degree of relative performance, the time elapsed (since this would increase the proportion of the rolling three-year performance period to which the performance calculation would be applied), or the termination of the portfolio manager's contract.

 

7 Share capital

During the half year ended 31 July 2019, 683,481 Ordinary shares were repurchased and held in treasury, at a total cost of £2,220,000 (half year ended 31 July 2018: 224,884 Ordinary shares were repurchased and held in treasury at a total cost of £738,000; year ended 31 January 2019: 852,346 Ordinary shares were purchased to be held in treasury at a total cost of £2,694,000).

 

As at 31 July 2019, there were 65,944,000 Ordinary shares of 25p in issue, of which 4,244,077 were held in treasury. Subsequent to 31 July 2019, a further 133,919 Ordinary shares were repurchased and held in treasury, at a total cost of £447,000. As at 30 September 2019, there were 65,944,000 Ordinary shares of 25p in issue, of which 4,377,996 were held in treasury.

 

8 Net asset value per Ordinary share

Net asset values are based on net assets of £234,992,000 (31 July 2018: £239,957,000 and 31 January 2019: £219,929,000) and on 61,699,923 Ordinary shares in issue as at 31 July 2019 excluding shares held in treasury (31 July 2018: 63,010,866 and 31 January 2019: 62,383,404).

 

9 Fair value hierarchy

FRS 102 requires an entity to classify fair value measurements using a fair value hierarchy that reflects the significance of the inputs in making the measurements. The fair value hierarchy shall have the following classifications:

 

·      Level 1: The unadjusted quoted prices in an active market for identical assets or liabilities that the entity can access at the measurement date.

·      Level 2: Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable (i.e., developed using market data) for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly.

·      Level 3: Inputs are unobservable (i.e., for which market data is unavailable) for the asset or liability.

 

The financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value in the Balance Sheet are grouped into the fair value hierarchy at the reporting date as follows:

 

 

 

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total

 

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Financial assets and financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss

 

 

 

 

 

As at 31 July 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Equity investments

 

216,238

8,711

-

224,949

Total

 

216,238

8,711

-

224,949

 

 

 

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total

 

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Financial assets and financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss

 

 

 

 

 

As at 31 January 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Equity investments

 

208,530

7,267

-

215,797

Total

 

208,530

7,267

-

215,797

 

The valuation techniques used by the Company are explained in the accounting policies in note 1(b).

 

There were no transfers during the year between Level 1 and Level 2.

 

(a) Quoted equities and preference shares

The fair value of the Company's investments in quoted equities and preference shares has been determined by reference to their quoted bid prices at the reporting date. Quoted equities and preference shares included in Level 1 are actively traded on recognised stock exchanges.

 

Investments classified as Level 2 are Aberdeen Standard Indian Equity Fund and Aberdeen Standard China A Share Equity Fund (31 January 2019: same).

 

10 Results

The results for the half years ended 31 July 2019 and 31 July 2018, which are unaudited and were not reviewed by the Auditors, constitute non-statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 435 of the Companies Act 2006. The latest published accounts which have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies are for the year ended 31 January 2019; the report of the Auditors thereon was unqualified and did not contain a statement under Section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006. The comparative figures for the year ended 31 January 2019 have been extracted from those accounts.

 

 

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT OF THE DIRECTORS

in respect of the Half Year Report for the six months ended 31 July 2019

 

The Directors confirm, to the best of their knowledge, that this condensed set of financial statements has been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 104 (Interim Financial Reporting) and gives a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the Company, and the interim management report (which comprises the financial summary, the long-term performance analysis, the Chair's statement, portfolio information and regulatory disclosures) includes a fair review of the information required by Rules 4.2.7 R and 4.2.8 R of the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority.

 

The names and functions of the Directors of Witan Pacific Investment Trust plc are as listed below.

 

This Half Year Report was approved by the Board on 2 October 2019 and the above responsibility statement was signed on its behalf by:

 

Susan Platts-Martin

Chair

2 October 2019

 

 

DIRECTORS

 

Susan Platts-Martin - Chair

Dermot McMeekin - Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee

Christopher Ralph - Independent Director

Andrew Robson - Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee

 

All the Directors are members of both the Audit Committee and of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

 

 

GLOSSARY

Definitions of Alternative Performance Measures

 

Net asset value per share

This is the value of total assets less all liabilities of the Company. The net asset value, or NAV, per Ordinary share is calculated by dividing this amount by the total number of Ordinary shares in issue (excluding those shares held in treasury).

Net asset value total return

Total return on NAV, on a cum-income value to cum-income value basis, assuming that all dividends paid out by the Company were reinvested, without transaction costs, into the shares of the Company at the NAV per share at the time the shares were quoted ex-dividend.

 

NAV total return calculation

Half year ended
31 July 2019

Half year ended
31 July 2019

Year ended

31 January 2019

 

Opening cum-income NAV per share (pence)

352.54 

386.58 

386.58 

(a)

Closing cum-income NAV per share (pence)

380.86 

380.82 

352.54 

(b)

Total dividend adjustment factor1

1.012710 

1.008465

1.015617 

(c)

Adjusted closing cum-income NAV per share
(d = b x c)
(pence)

385.70 

384.00 

358.00 

(d)

Net asset value total return (e = d/a - 1)

9.4% 

-0.7% 

-7.4% 

(e)

 

1 The dividend adjustment factor is calculated on the assumption that the dividends paid out by the Company are reinvested into the shares of the Company at the cum-income NAV at the ex-dividend date.

Ongoing charge

The ongoing charge reflects those expenses of a type which are likely to recur in the foreseeable future, whether charged to capital or revenue as a collective fund, excluding the costs of acquisition and disposal and gains or losses arising on investments. The calculation is performed in accordance with the guidelines issues by the Association of Investment Companies.

Premium/discount

The amount by which the market price per share is either higher (premium) or lower (discount) than the NAV per share expressed as a percentage of the NAV per share.

Share price total return

Share price total return, on a last traded price to last traded price basis, assuming that all dividends received were reinvested, without transaction costs, into the shares of the Company at the time the shares were quoted ex-dividend.

 

Share price total return calculation

Half year ended
31 July 2019

Half year ended

31 July 2018

Year ended

31 January 2019

 

Opening share price (pence)

303.00 

344.00 

344.00 

(a)

Closing share price (pence)

340.00 

327.00 

303.00 

(b)

Total dividend adjustment factor1

1.014107 

1.009745 

1.018366 

(c)

Adjusted closing share price (d = b x c) (pence)

344.80 

330.20 

308.60 

(d)

Share price total return (e = d/a - 1)

13.8% 

-4.0% 

-10.3% 

(e)

 

1 The dividend adjustment factor is calculated on the assumption that the dividends paid out by the Company are reinvested into the shares of the Company at the last traded price quoted at the ex-dividend date.

 

 

 

Footnote

Source MSCI. The MSCI information may only be used by you as an individual for your personal use, and as a corporate organisation for your internal use and it may not be reproduced or redisseminated in any form and may not be used as a basis for or a component of any financial instruments or products or indices. None of the MSCI information is intended to constitute investment advice or a recommendation to make (or refrain from making) any kind of investment decision and may not be relied on as such. Historical data and analysis should not be taken as an indication or guarantee of any future performance analysis, forecast or prediction. The MSCI information is provided on an "as is" basis and the user of this information assumes the entire risk of any use made of this information. MSCI, each of its affiliates and each other person involved in or related to compiling, computing or creating any MSCI information (collectively, the "MSCI Parties") expressly disclaims all warranties (including, without limitation, any warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose) with respect to this information. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall any MSCI Party have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive, consequential (including, without limitation, lost profits) or any other damages. (www.msci.com)

 

 

 

 

 

The content of the Company's web-pages and the content of any website or pages which may be accessed through hyperlinks on the Company's web-pages or this announcement is neither incorporated into nor forms part of the above announcement.

 


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.
 
END
 
 
IR BLBDGDGGBGCD
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.

 


Half-year Report - RNS