10th Mar 2023 20:34
(Alliance News) - Octopus AIM VCT 2 PLC on Friday reported a sharp drop in net asset value, due to an extremely challenging environment in 2022, but lifted its payout.
The Essex, England-based venture capital trust reported a net asset value per share of 61.6 pence per share as at November 30, down 32% from 90.8 pence on the same date a year before.
Net assets amounted to GBP101.8 million on November 30, reflecting a decrease of 25% from GBP134.9 million a year earlier.
Octopus AIM recorded a total return of negative 27.5% for financial 2022 from positive 16.6% a year prior.
The company attributed these results to an extremely challenging period.
"The year started nervously as the Omicron variant stalled the opening up of the economy both here and abroad, intensifying existing pressures on supply chains and the labour market which had started to emerge in 2021. Inflation, already perceived as a problem, was stoked by the dramatic increase in European energy prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February," it stated.
"Interest rates, which started the period at 0.1%, had risen to 3% by the end of November. Political upheaval which resulted in two changes of Prime Minister did not help, with the autumn mini-budget pushing the market to new lows in October before it started to recover towards the end of 2022," it added.
Octopus AIM declared a final dividend of 2.3 pence, up 9.5% from 2.1 pence.
The company said that more than half the companies in its portfolio have updated it on trading since the period end, with many of these updates being "reassuring".
"We believe the current cautious market conditions will provide opportunities to invest the VCT's cash at attractive valuations," Octopus said.
Shares in Octopus AIM VCT 2 were untraded on Friday, last quoted at 54.00 pence per share.
By Abby Amoakuh, Alliance News reporter
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