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Athelney Trust plc - Net Asset Value(s)

RNS Number : 5630I
Athelney Trust PLC
02 April 2020

Athelney Trust PLC


Legal Entity Identifier:


The unaudited net asset value of Athelney Trust was 191.7p at 31 March 2020.

Fund Manager's comment for March 2020

The COVID-19 coronavirus continued to hammer financial markets in March as the virus spread to the US and across the globe.  The economic carnage produced by the abrupt shutdown of economic activity across the world is evident from the weekly unemployment claims in the US.  In the period prior to the outbreak, jobless claims had declined to their lowest levels in sixty years.  In the second week of March claims increased suddenly to 282,000 and then sky rocketed to a record 3.3 million during the week ended March 21. As bad as these figures are, the numbers are likely to climb even higher next week.

This hibernation of the world's economy was reflected in the major world stock markets as represented by the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 which continued to fall, with both indices dropping in February by 13.5% and 12.5% respectively.  The UK, European and Asian markets reacted in similar fashion.  In the UK, the FTSE 100 was down by 13.8% in local currency terms while the indices associated with smaller companies fared much worse.  The Small Cap Index declined by 20.8%, the AIM All Share Index was down by 21.7% and the Fledgling Index was down by 25.3%.

While our portfolio of investments declined in similar fashion to that of the overall market, it performed better than the small to midcap segment of the market, declining by 18.8% during the month which, after allowing for the expenses resulted in a decline of 22.6% in the NAV.  When analysing the underlying performance of the portfolio it is interesting to note that the non-REIT component of the portfolio declined by only 14% with overall performance dragged down by the REIT exposure.  It would appear that the REIT's have been under additional price pressure due to the selling by open-ended property funds.  These funds have used exposures to listed REITs, rather than extra cash, to provide liquidity for excessive redemptions so as to retain an exposure to property. This is evidenced by a recent RNS announcement by Tritax BigBox (BBOX) where Aviva (a closed open-ended property fund) announced that it had reduced its holding.

We sold our holdings in Biffa, VP and Marston's, utilising the proceeds and some of our surplus cash to add to our position in Costain, Jarvis, Boohoo, Rightmove, JD Sports and T Clark.  Cash currently comprises 7.9% of the portfolio


Fact Sheet

An accompanying fact sheet which includes the information above as well as wider details on the portfolio can be found on the Fund's website www.athelneytrust.co.uk under "Portfolio Details".

Background Information

Dr. Emmanuel (Manny) Pohl

Manny is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of E C Pohl & Co ("ECP"), an investment management company and has been a major shareholder in Athelney trust for many years.

E C Pohl & co is licensed by the Australian Financial services (licence no.421704).



Manny Pohl and the ECP group has over AU$1000m under its management including four listed investment companies, three listed in Australia and one in the UK:

·    Flagship Investments (ASX code:FSI)

AUD56m https://flagshipinvestments.com.au

·    Barrack St Investments (ASX code: BST)

AUD25m www.barrackst.com

·    Global Masters Fund Limited (ASX code: GFL)

AUD27m www.globalmastersfund.com.au

·    Athelney Trust plc (LSE code: ATY)

GBP5m www.athelneytrust.co.uk           

Athelney Trust plc Investment Policy

 The investment objective of the Trust is to provide shareholders with prospects of long-term capital growth with the risks inherent in small cap investment minimised through a spread of holdings in quality small cap companies that operate in various industries and sectors. The Fund Manager also considers that it is important to maintain a progressive dividend record.

The assets of the Trust are allocated predominantly to companies with either a full listing on the London Stock Exchange or a trading facility on AIM or ISDX. The assets of the Trust have been allocated in two main ways: first, to the shares of those companies which have grown steadily over the years in terms of profits and dividends but, despite this progress, the market rating is favourable when compared to future earnings and dividends; second, to those companies whose shares are standing at a favourable level compared with the value of land, buildings or cash in the balance sheet.

Athelney Trust was founded in 1994. In 1996 it was one of the ten pioneer members of the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM"). In 2008 the shares became fully listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Athelney Trust has a successful progressive dividend growth record and the dividend has grown every year since 2004. According to the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Athelney Trust is one of only "22 investment companies that have increased their dividend every year between 10 and 20 years - the next generation of dividend heroes" (as at 20/03/2018). See link




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Quick facts: Athelney Trust PLC

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Market: AIM
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