By Benjamin Chiou
Date: Monday 28 May 2012
Returns at FTSE 250 global equity investment group Scottish Investment Trust outpaced its benchmarks in half year ended April 30th despite the economic uncertainty that has gripped stock markets in recent months.
Net asset value per share with borrowings at market value was 529.2p, up 7% on the 500.2p reported at the end of its prior fiscal year (October 31st 2011). The group's global and UK comparator indices, the FTSE All-World Index and the UK FTSE All-Share Index, produced a total return of 6.6% and 6.2%, respectively.
Total income in the half came in at £10.41m, up from £8.76m in the same period the year before, while earnings per share increased from 4.48p to 5.98p. The interim dividend was maintained at 4.6p per share.
The company spreads its shareholder funds across several different industries but has the biggest exposure to financials (accounting for 20.2% of funds), industrials (14.2%) and consumer goods (13.4%). However, the largest capital gains came from technology - with strong contributions from its largest holding, Apple - consumer services and consumer goods.
Unsurprisingly, Chairman Douglas McDougall highlighted the Eurozone as the main issue "preoccupying stock market investors" during the period but noted a global rally between December and mid-March following central bank actions.
"Economic rescue measures for Greece were coordinated eventually although worries about the Greek and other economies persist. General signs of improvement from US economic data releases also helped lift sentiment although worries about the slowdown in the important Chinese economy were a recurring feature," he said.
The company said that given the uncertain outlook for the Eurozone and the "clear risks from further deterioration", it prefers to keep most of its long-term borrowings liquid "with a view to deploying them at more attractive levels as and when opportunities arise."
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