Source - Alliance News

Polar Capital Global Healthcare Trust PLC on Friday reported an increased net asset value per share but decreased profit in the first half of its financial year, and said healthcare would be ‘an attractive place to invest’ in the coming months.

The London-based investment trust focused on global healthcare said pretax profit for the six months ended March 31 was £8.9 million, down from £19.6 million the year prior.

Gains on investments held at fair value decreased by 48% to £10.4 million from £20.2 million year-on-year.

Polar Capital Global Healthcare said total expenses increased 8.6% to £2.0 million from £1.8 million. These included an 11% rise in its investment management fee to £1.6 million from £1.5 million.

However, the company’s net asset value at March 31 was 339.70 pence per share, up from 333.83p per share at September 30.

NAV return for the half year ended March 31 was 2.1%, which the company said outperformed its benchmark by 1.7% despite ‘a continuing difficult market and economic backdrop’. However, this was down from 5.1% year-on-year.

The company had previously declared a dividend of 1.10p per share for the previous financial year on December 9. It did not declare any dividends for the current year.

Polar Capital Global Healthcare said the current macroeconomic environment was uncertain, but that said this would make healthcare a good investment this year, thanks to its potential for upwards revenue and earnings revisions.

Chair Lisa Arnold said the relatively high NAV return was ‘driven by strong stock selection in the larger capitalisation stocks, positive contributions from all major geographical regions, as well as good sub sector allocation.’

She added: ‘The key investment themes of increased utilisation, delivery disruption and consolidation also appear to be gathering momentum, with utilisation especially positive. Looking forward, we believe the healthcare sector continues to be an attractive place to invest, given its defensive characteristics, attractive valuations, and opportunities for dynamic growth.’

Shares in Polar Capital Global Healthcare were up 0.8% at 338.82p in London on Friday.

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