(Alliance News) - City Of London Investment Trust PLC on Friday reported a rise in net assets and outperformed its benchmark indices during its recently ended financial year.
Net assets at June 30 rose by 4.9% year-on-year to GBP1.60 billion from GBP1.52 million. Net asset value per share however fell by 1.9% to 421.20 pence from 429.20p, reflecting a larger number of shares in issue.
At June 30, the trust had 378.8 million issued shares, 6.9% higher than 354.4 million at the end of the last financial year.
The company's stock was trading flat at 418.95p each in London on Friday morning.
Net asset value total return was "modest" at 2.7%, the trust said, down on 6.3% last year but outperforming its three benchmarks. The AIC UK Equity Income had a return of negative 0.8%, the IA UK Equity Income OEIC had a negative return of 2.6%, and the FTSE All-Share Index returned 0.6%.
The three largest portfolio contributors were Switzerland's Nestle SA and the US's Merck & Co Inc and Verizon Communications Inc. The best UK contributor was bakery retailer Greggs PLC, City of London said.
The biggest detractors were drug firm AstraZeneca PLC and travel operator TUI AG, both London-listed firms.
The trust hiked its annual dividend, the 53rd successive year it has done so, by 5.1% to 18.6p per share from 17.7p. City Of London said the increase was "well ahead of inflation".
Looking ahead, although the trust is wary of the impact of Brexit, a fall in sterling could be beneficial given the "predominance of international companies" in its portfolio.