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Henderson Smaller Cos says net asset value total return underperforms

26th Jan 2023 11:36

(Alliance News) - Henderson Smaller Cos Investment Trust PLC reported that its net asset value fell in the first half of its financial year, noting tensions between the US and China, high inflation and interest rates, and Russia's war on Ukraine.

The UK-focused small-cap stock investor said NAV was 923.4 pence per share on November 30, down 14% from 1,074.4p on May 31 and down 28% from 1,286.2p a year prior.

NAV total return over the half-year was negative 12.5%, underperforming against its benchmark, the Numis Smaller Companies Index excluding investment companies, which returned negative 6.5%. For the 12 months, total return was negative 26.5%, compared to negative 12.9%.

The interim dividend was kept unchanged from a year prior at 7.00p per share.

Looking ahead, Henderson Smaller Cos said it expects earnings growth in 2023 to be muted. "It is noteworthy, however, that in the corporate sector conditions are intrinsically stronger than during the global financial crisis of 2008-9 particularly in terms of balance sheet strength. We are seeing a strong recovery in dividend payments and evidence of companies buying back shares." Henderson Smaller added that aims to exploit opportunities that it expects to emerge "as current conditions improve".

Henderson Smaller shares were 0.9% higher at 885.01 pence each on Thursday morning in London.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

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