Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust posts annual earnings growth

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust reported strong annual earnings results boosted by non-recurring dividends most notably from its holding in Polish copper miner KGHM.

Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust reported strong annual earnings results boosted by non-recurring dividends most notably from its holding in Polish copper miner KGHM.

Earnings per share totalled 15.59p for the year to March 31st, compared to 13.07p in 2012.

However, the group expects the following year's earnings to be lower as the company said it has "benefitted from the special dividends and accelerated timing of dividend receipts".

The group proposed a final dividend of 7.3p per share, bringing the total for the year to 14p which represents a 7.7% rise.

"Although the primary focus of this trust is to provide long term capital growth, it is the board's intention to provide progressive and real dividend growth; the existence of reserves of 26p per share would allow us, if necessary, to smooth dividend payments from year to year should the need arise," said Chairman, John Scott.

"Longer term, the outlook for dividend increases remains healthy."

The firm's share price reached a new high of 862.5p in early March, before falling back to 822.5p at the end of the same month.

Over the course of the year, the share price rose by 16.2% and the net asset value (NAV) per share increased by 11.6%.

Despite the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, the group has achieved a total return over the past five years of a 53% increase in share price and 45% rise in NAV.

In the year ahead, the company expects the European debt crisis to continue to pose a threat to the performance of its portfolio. With that in mind, Scottish Mortgage said it will carefully select investments that generate returns.

RD

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