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Smithson reports "pleasing" net value boost after last year's troubles

31st Jul 2023 09:31

(Alliance News) - Smithson Investment Trust PLC on Monday said it swung to a positive net asset value return and outperformed its comparator index in a "significant" improvement on the previous year.

The London-headquartered trust, which focuses on long-term investments in small to mid-sized companies worldwide, said its NAV at June 30 was GBP1.575.4 pence per share, up from 1,339.5p at the same time in 2022.

For the half year ended June 30, Smithson said its NAV total return per share was positive 11.7%, compared with negative 31.7% for the first half of 2022. This outperformed the MSCI World SMID Index by 9.8 percentage points.

Smithson hailed the "significant" improvement "since this time last year," and reminded shareholders that "whilst volatility...over short time periods is uncomfortable, the focus is always on longer term performance."

"It is pleasing to note that both the first half results and our returns since inception represent good absolute performance as well as a healthy outperformance of our comparator index," commented Chair Diana Dyer Bartlett.

The company said it has repurchased 11.3 million shares for approximately GBP152.4 million since April 2022, but that these buybacks "[have] not had any sustained impact on reducing" the discount at which its shares are trading compared with NAV.

Smithson declared no interim dividend, and said it is unlikely to declare any payouts in the future. It explained that it continues to prioritise capital growth, and its accounting policies are not designed to facilitate dividend payments.

Going forward, Smithson said: "Economic factors such as inflation, interest rates and growth are hard to predict accurately...The board believes that the patient investor will be well rewarded."

Rather than predicting future macro-economic climates, it said it "focuses instead on identifying good companies with robust business models that will be able to thrive throughout market cycles."

The stock was up 0.1% at 1,400.60 pence in London on Monday morning.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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