Alliance Trust unveils best first quarter results in 15 years

Investment company Alliance Trust reported its 'best first quarter performance in 15 years' following a strong performance in global equities.

Investment company Alliance Trust reported its 'best first quarter performance in 15 years' following a strong performance in global equities.

The group posted a 12.6% rise in net asset value per share to 502.2p as the share price rose 14.6% to 430.1p.

During the quarter, the biggest contributors to growth were health care, consumer staples and consumer discretionary.

The total global equity exposure rose from 89% to 96% of NAV while the fixed income exposure fell from 9.6% to 8.5%, mainly due to outperformance from equities.

The cum income discount traded in a tight range between 13.3% and 15.6% and finished the period at 14.4%.

Portfolio activity was driven by changes to the level of gearing, portfolio optimisation following a major restructuring and stock specific activity supported by analysis of companies.

The group added Walt Disney, Zurich Insurance, Barclays and Infineon Technology to its portfolio - accounting for some £140m of the £220m of new holdings initiated over the period.

The Alliance Trust Investments arm achieved two milestone in the quarter. It completed the transition of the Sustainable Future funds into the Alliance Trust ICVC, renaming them all under the Alliance Trust Investments brand and at end of the quarter, assets under management (AuM) exceeded £2.0bn for the first time.

"Given that the business started just over four years ago, with no third party funds, we believe that this is a credible performance and recognition of the ability of our investment teams and provides us with a great springboard for growing the business," the company said.

Alliance Trust Savings also made progress in the first quarter with AuM increasing by 15% to £4.6bn.

Looking ahead the company will focus on long-term drivers of stocks. "We feel this is a prudent approach and adds value, throughout the economic cycle, and is consistent with our objective of delivering an increasing total shareholder return on a sustainable basis," the firm concluded.

Shares rose 0.36% to443.50p at 10:42 Friday.

RD

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