Find out more about Alliance Trust’s performance, with the help of market commentary from our Investment Manager.
For the month of April, the Trust’s Total Shareholder Return and NAV Total Return were 13.7% and 10.0% respectively, outperforming the benchmark MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) which returned 8.8%. In a rising market, the Trust’s NAV Total Return benefitted from gearing, which started the month at 10.6% gross, in the middle of the range set by the Board. However, after a strong market rally and continued uncertainty about the economic outlook, gearing was gradually reduced during the course of the month, ending at 7.1%. We also rebalanced the portfolio slightly in April, taking profits from our dedicated emerging markets allocation, and reinvesting the proceeds across our global managers.
The top stock contributor to performance over the month was e-commerce giant, Amazon. com, up 25%, benefitting from a boost in sales driven by the coronavirus lockdowns. The biggest detractor was Pearsons Plc, the UK based education and publishing company, which was down 16% following a 5% drop in Q1 revenues, after closing the majority of its learning test centres due to the pandemic. The company has, however, seen a rise in its online learning business and decided to maintain its dividend payment given its solid balance sheet.
Within the Trust’s portfolio, a position was initiated in Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspection and certification. The company has been expanding its reach across different industries and capitalising on the move to digitisation.
A new position was also established in Fast Retailing (parent company of UNIQLO), a leading Japanese clothing retailer. The company benefits from considerable cost advantages driven by an efficient supply chain and strong growth opportunity through international expansion. The position in Hain Celestial Group, the producer and distributor of organic foods and personal care products, was sold on recent strength as the share price held up well in light of consumers’ stockpiling of goods. The significant disruption in the airline industry led to the sale of shares in Ryanair.Monthly Factsheet Quarterly Newsletter Sign up for updates
Alliance Trust has been awarded the AIC’s Dividend Hero award and is proud to have increased its dividend every year for over 50 years. This award is made by the Association of Investment Companies to the small number of investment companies who have increased their dividends each year for 20 years or more. For more information and a full list of qualifying companies, you can visit the AIC website.More information