Source - Alliance News

Henderson European Focus Trust PLC on Wednesday celebrated ‘significantly outperforming’ the index in its latest year, and announced an unchanged total dividend.

The London-based investment trust said its net asset value per share was 178.1 pence at September 30, up from 147.7p at the same time one year prior.

Shares in Henderson European Focus were trading 2.0% higher at 170.31p each in London on Wednesday afternoon.

Henderson European Focus said its NAV total return for the 12 months that ended on September 30 was positive 24.1%, compared with negative 13.1% the previous year. It consequently celebrated ‘significantly outperforming’ its benchmark index, the FTSE World Europe (ex UK) index, which delivered a positive 20.5% return following the prior year’s negative 13.1%.

‘The company’s long-term track record is excellent, with NAV and share price total return outperforming the benchmark over one, three, five, seven and ten years,’ commented Chair Vicky Hastings.

Henderson European Focus declared a final dividend of 3.05p per share, down from 3.15p. However, when combined with the 1.30p per share interim payment in June, the total dividend for financial 2023 was 4.35p, unchanged when excluding the 0.5p special dividend also declared in financial 2022.

Going forward, Hastings said the fund managers were ‘erring on the side of caution’ and investing in UK gilts to de-gear the trust. This was unsurprising with ‘US bond yields not far off the levels last seen in the Global Financial Crisis, geopolitical risks that have continued to rise and the very real threat of recessionary forces’.

However, she added: ‘Meetings with the underlying company management teams continue and, for some, the future is very bright. Your board remains confident in your fund managers’ ability to uncover these opportunities and for the company to continue to prove a good long-term investment for its shareholders.’

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