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Henderson Opportunities placates shareholders after tough half year

21st Jun 2023 16:35

(Alliance News) - Henderson Opportunities Trust PLC on Wednesday told cautious shareholders that "the pendulum will swing" in its holdings' favour, despite its net asset value decreasing amid an uncertain economic and political climate.

Henderson Opportunities is a London-headquartered investment trust run by Janus Henderson Fund Management UK Ltd. Its portfolio mainly consists of UK investments and it "has a strong bias towards smaller, early-stage companies".

The company said its NAV on April 30 was 1,228.4 pence per share, down from 1,471.5p at the same time a year prior. It was, however, up from 1,173.7p per share on October 31, 2022.

Shares in Henderson Opportunities were down 1.4% at 935.10p each in London on Wednesday.

NAV total return for the half-year ended April 30 was positive 6.3%, compared with negative 8.7% for the same interim the previous year. The FTSE All-Share Index benchmark returned positive 12.5%.

Henderson Opportunities declared a second interim dividend of 7.5p per share, bringing the total half-year payout to 15.0p per share compared with 14.0p the year before.

The trust said UK equities are currently highly undervalued, due in part to caution over Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, and to overseas buyers favouring large global companies over small domestic-facing ones. On the other hand, it said the low valuations are causing takeovers to increase.

Henderson Opportunities acknowledged that at its annual general meeting in March, almost 25% of the votes cast were against its continuation. However, it insisted that over time its strategy, to which it does not intend to make any major changes, will create long-term value for shareholders. It also may propose a share split to assist monthly savers, shareholders who reinvest their dividends, and those looking to invest smaller amounts.

"The UK is generally out of favour and UK smaller, domestic focused companies are being particularly harshly treated by investors. However, at some point the pendulum will swing as the companies that are languishing in share price terms come through with operational growth," Henderson Opportunities promised.

The trust said that although companies are generally responding well to the "demanding circumstances", many "are trading on very undemanding valuations" despite "sound long-term plans".

It continued: "The fund managers and the board therefore believe this is a time of substantial opportunity for a fund with [our] investment approach."

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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Copyright 2023 Alliance News Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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