Income specialist Murray Income Trust (MUT) delivered a total return in net asset value of 7.2% for the six months to 31 December 2021.
Performance was comfortably ahead of the FTSE All-Share return of 6.5% and means the trust is ahead its benchmark over one, three and five years. The shares reacted positively, gaining 1.3% to 833p.
The company said it continued to benefit from its enlarged scale following the merger with Perpetual Income & Growth Investment Trust.
With net assets at £1.15 billion the ongoing charge is expected to be lower at around 0.48%.
Additional benefits include greater liquidity in the shares and a lower dealing spread.
Chairman Neil Rogan highlighted the manager’s focus on quality companies which resulted in a lower drop in dividends than the market in 2020 and a stronger rebound in 2021.
This means the company is ahead of its original forecasts and expects dividends from the portfolio to reach new high later in 2022.
The full year dividend of 34.5p per share represented a yield of 3.8% on the December 2021 share price of 918p, which is above the benchmark yield of 3.2%.
The company expects to increase the dividend again in 2022 continuing the unbroken trend of the past 48 years.
That track record puts the company in the AIC’s (Association of Investment Companies) 'Top 10 Dividend Heroes' list.
Overweight positions in the electricity and real estate sectors helped performance while underweight positions in oil and gas detracted.
The trust’s lack of exposure to Shell (SHEL), resources company Glencore (GLEN) and information services firm Experian (EXPN) detracted the most from the trust's performance relative to the benchmark.
During the period the managers added five new stocks including purpose-built student accommodation specialist Watkin Jones (WJG:AIM) and renewable energy company Drax (DRAX).