Utilico warns environment remains challenging

Utilico Emerging Markets, which invests predominantly in infrastructure, utility and related sectors, said Thursday that the investment environment remains challenging and is likely to remain so, but declared a third quarterly dividend of 1.525p per share, up from 1.375p the previous quarter.

Utilico Emerging Markets, which invests predominantly in infrastructure, utility and related sectors, said Thursday that the investment environment remains challenging and is likely to remain so, but declared a third quarterly dividend of 1.525p per share, up from 1.375p the previous quarter.

In the final quarter of 2012 market confidence remained weak, with attention fixed on the US, as the "Fiscal Cliff" deadline approached.

During the period, the group's net asset value cum income total return was up 4.3%, which it described as a solid performance broadly inline with the MSCI Emerging Markets Total Return Index (Sterling adjusted), which was up 4.9%.

UEM's gross assets less current liabilities (excluding debt) at the beginning of the period were £387.0m and increased by £4.9m to £391.9m at the end of December. Ordinary shareholders' funds increased by £12.7m to £382.8m.

During the quarter the company reduced its bank debt from £12.2m to £9.1m. The bank debt was drawn £5.0m in sterling and £4.1m in euros.

In its interim management statement it said: "The investment environment remains challenging and is likely to remain so. A great deal of uncertainty still surrounds the US and the Eurozone. However, UEM and emerging markets generally continue to outpace the major developed markets in terms of growth and we are positive on the portfolio's long term prospects."

NR

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