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Murray Income Tst. (MUT)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Monday 21 February, 2000

Murray Income Tst.

Interim Results - 6 Months to 31 December 1999

Murray Income Trust PLC
21 February 2000

The Directors of Murray Income Trust PLC have pleasure in reporting the
results of the company for the six-month period to 31 December 1999.


- Portfolio now more closely aligned with benchmark FTSE 350 Higher Yield 

- Murray Income returned a negative 0.8% on net assets (with net dividends 
  reinvested), in line with the benchmark return of negative 0.8%.

- Performance improved in fourth quarter of 1999, following portfolio 
  restructuring. The total return exceeded benchmark by 2.5%.


Over the past six months there has been a wide divergence of returns from
different areas of the UK equity market with growth stocks, particularly those
in technology and telecommunications, performing strongly. However, the FTSE
350 Higher Yield Index, with its focus on stocks which generate above average
dividend payments, suffered and posted a negative total return of 0.8%.  The
consequence has been a two tier market, with those stocks considered to be in
the growth category being rerated to extremely high levels, whilst those
perceived to be non growth oriented stocks, many of which are large
capitalisation blue chip companies, have been heavily derated.  The benchmark
index is heavily biased towards the banking and oil sectors, both of which
performed poorly; banks because of the unfavourable outlook for interest
rates, and oil stocks because the oil price strength had already been factored
into valuations.  Significantly these areas of the market are seen as being
unlikely beneficiaries of the internet revolution and were used by many in the
market as liquid sources of cash for investments in technology related stocks.


The most recent annual report stated that the Murray Income portfolio was to
become more closely aligned with the structure of the company's benchmark, the
FTSE 350 Higher Yield Index.  This has been implemented and should in future
ensure that the performance of Murray Income does not differ substantially
from that of its benchmark.   However, there is sufficient discretion to
enable the manager to outperform through judicious sector allocation and stock
selection. Over the six month period to 31 December 1999 Murray Income
returned a negative 0.8% on net assets (with net dividends reinvested), in
line with the benchmark return.  It is pleasing to report that following the
restructuring of the portfolio in the quarter to 30 September 1999, Murray
Income exceeded its benchmark return by 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 1999.

Amongst the best performing stocks in the portfolio were the mining shares
Billiton, Rio Tinto and Anglo American, which were beneficiaries of improving
global growth prospects and firming commodity prices.  Another strong
performer was Marconi, formerly GEC, which in the course of 1999 had
repositioned itself away from defence electronics towards being a supplier of
telecommunication equipment.  Media stocks also performed well and the fund
benefited from being overweight in the sector with holdings in EMAP, Pearson,
Carlton Communications and Scottish Media Group. 

Share repurchases

In October shareholders renewed the authority to repurchase ordinary shares. 
The repurchase scheme is aimed at enhancing net asset value and reducing the
discount at which the shares are traded in the stock market. From the date of
renewal of the authority, 25 October 1999, to date 4,070,000 ordinary shares
(4.79% of the issued share capital) were repurchased and cancelled. 4,820,000
ordinary shares have been bought back since the share buy-back facility was
put in place. The average price at which the shares were bought back was
428.20p and the scheme has enhanced the net asset value per share to date for
the remaining ordinary shareholders by some 2.9p or 0.64%.


In the most recent annual report it was announced that the company would pay
three interim dividends of 3.15p for the year ending 30 June 2000.  The first
of these was paid on 14 January, with two further payments due on 14 April and
14 July 2000.  The board intends to recommend a final dividend for the current
financial year of 6.3p per share, making a total of 15.75p, a 2.6% increase on
the dividend for the year to 30 June 1999, not including the special
distribution of 0.75p.  The special distribution was paid in compensation for
the absence of a tax credit on the interim that had been paid as a foreign
income dividend.

For the year to 30 June 2001 the directors forecast three interim dividends of
at least 3.15p per share payable on 15 January, 16 April and 16 July 2001.


In the first six months of the year 2000, the performance of the UK equity
market is likely to be constrained by upward moves in interest rates, both in
the UK and the US, and consequently inflationary pressures are likely to be
subdued.  Corporate profit forecasts for UK companies continue to be robust,
although there remains a lack of pricing power in many industries. There is
good value in many stocks and sectors, but until investors shift their focus
away from growth stocks, such undervaluations are likely to remain in place. 
We are positive on the outlook for UK equities, particularly with the prospect
of interest rates falling later this year.  It is intended, therefore, to make
moderate use of the borrowing facilities available, in order to take advantage
of some of the good opportunities which now exist.

for the six months ended 31 December 1999 (unaudited)

                              6 months to            6 months to 
                             31 December 1999      31 December 1998
                        Revenue Capital  Total Revenue Capital   Total
                           £000    £000   £000    £000    £000    £000

Realised gains on sales       -  29,289  29,289      -  13,414  13,414 
Unrealised gains              - (37,698)(37,698)     - (46,915)(46,915) 
Losses on investments         -  (8,409) (8,409)     - (33,501)(33,501)

Income                    7,335       -   7,335  8,847       -   8,847
Management fees            (688)   (688) (1,376)  (638)   (638) (1,276)
Currency gains                -       8       8      -       -       - 
Other expenses             (474)    (63)   (537)  (312)    (97)   (409)

Net return before finance------------------------------------------------
costs and taxation        6,173  (9,152) (2,979) 7,897 (34,236)(26,339)

Finance costs of borrowing (210)   (210)   (420)  (476)   (476)   (952)
Return on ordinary activities
before tax                5,963  (9,362) (3,399) 7,421 (34,712)(27,291)

Tax on ordinary 
activities                 (698)      -    (698)(1,441)    337  (1,104)
Return on ordinary
activities after tax
for the period            5,265  (9,362) (4,097) 5,980 (34,375)(28,395) 

Preference dividends         (8)      -     (8)    (22)      -     (22)

Revenue attributable to ------------------------------------------------
equity shareholders       5,257  (9,362) (4,105) 5,958 (34,375)(28,417)

Ordinary dividends
on equity shares         (7,787)      -  (7,787)(8,747)      -  (8,747)
Transfer from reserves   (2,530) (9,362)(11,892)(2,789)(34,375)(37,164)

Return per ordinary share 6.2p  (11.0p)  (4.8p)  7.0p   (40.1p) (33.1p)

Return per ordinary share 
assuming conversion of 
the B ordinary shares     6.1p  (10.9p)  (4.8p)  6.9p   (39.8p) (32.9p)

                                 Year to             
                              30 June 1999        
                        Revenue Capital  Total 
                           £000    £000   £000    

Realised gains on sales       -  42,733  42,733     
Unrealised losses             - (49,362)(49,362)    
Losses on investments         -  (6,629) (6,629)     

Income                   18,841       -  18,841   
Management fees          (1,307) (1,307) (2,614)   
Currency gains                -       -       -       
Other expenses             (753)    (84)   (837)  

Net return before finance-----------------------
costs and taxation       16,781  (8,020)  8,761   

Finance costs of borrowing (829)   (829) (1,658)     
Return on ordinary activities
before tax               15,952  (8,849)  7,103  

Tax on ordinary 
activities               (2,451)    337  (2,114)
Return on ordinary
activities after tax
for the period           13,501  (8,512)  4,989  

Preference dividends        (44)      -    (44)   

Revenue attributable to ------------------------
equity shareholders      13,457  (8,512)  4,945 

Ordinary dividends
on equity shares        (13,803)      - (13,803)
Transfer from reserves     (346) (8,512) (8,858)

Return per ordinary share 15.7p  (9.9p)    5.8p

Return per ordinary share 
assuming conversion of 
the B ordinary shares     15.6p  (9.9p)    5.7p 


Note 1

The revenue column of the above statement is the profit and loss account of
the company.

Note 2

The results for the year to 30 June 1999 are abridged from the full accounts
for that year, which received an unqualified report from the auditors and have
been filed with the Registrar of Companies.

Note 3

The fully diluted returns per share and net asset value per ordinary and 'B'
ordinary share at 31 December 1998 and 30 June 1999 have been restated to
include the capitalisation of 16,632 'B' ordinary shares on 29 October 1999.

                                       As at          As at         As at 
                                     31/12/99        31/12/98      30/6/99

Equity shareholders' interest      £441,757,000   £440,116,000  £468,421,000   
Net asset value per ordinary
 and B ordinary share of 25p          531.5p         509.5p        542.3p

By order of the Board



21 February 2000

A full copy of this announcement will be printed and issued to shareholders.

Copies of this report will be available to the public at the registered office
of the Company, 7 West Nile Street, Glasgow.

BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)

                                 31.12.99    31.12.98    30.6.99       
                                     £000        £000       £000           

Fixed assets
Investments                       458,965     453,410    482,975
                                  -------     -------    -------

Current assets
Debtors                             1,668       3,001     29,217     
Cash and short term deposits       10,178         805      5,052
                                  -------     -------    -------
                                   11,847       3,806     34,269

Amounts falling due within 
 one year                           9,054       9,979     23,529
                                  -------     -------    -------
Net current assets (liabilities)    2,792      (6,173)    10,740
                                  -------     -------    -------
Total assets less current 
 liabilities                      461,757     447,237    493,715

Amounts falling due after more
than one year                      20,000       6,081     24,254
                                  -------     -------    -------
                                  441,757     441,156    469,461
                                  =======     =======    =======

Capital and reserves 
Non-equity shareholders' 
 preference called up 
 share capital                          -       1,040      1,040
                                  -------     -------    -------
Equity shareholders'
 ordinary called up share capital  20,780      21,590     21,590
 share premium account              7,955       7,955      7,955
 capital redemption reserve         1,855           -          -
 realised capital gains           289,522     248,692    277,001
 unrealised capital gains         115,305     155,450    153,003
 revenue reserve                    6,341       6,429      8,872
                                  -------     -------    -------
                                  441,757     440,116    468,421
                                  -------     -------    -------
                                  441,757     441,156    469,461
                                  =======     =======    =======


                      Valuation     Trans- (Depreci-    Valuation
                       30/6/99      actions   ation)     31/12/99 
                     £000      %     £000     £000     £000     %
United Kingdom     471,439 100.6   (15,568)   (7,849) 448,022 101.4 

Fixed Income
United Kingdom      11,536   2.5       (34)     (559)  10,943   2.5 
                   ------- ------  --------   ------  ------- ------
Total investments  482,975 103.1   (15,602)   (8,408) 458,965 103.9 

Other net 
 assets             10,740   2.3    (7,956)        8    2,792   0.6  
Prior capital &
 borrowings        (25,294) (5.4)    5,294         -  (20,000) (4.5)
Equity shareholders'------ ------  --------   ------  ------- ------
interest           468,421 100.0   (18,264)   (8,400) 441,757 100.0 
                   ======= ======  ========   ======  ======= ======


In the above summary convertible securities are classified as equities and
preference shares issued by the company are included at nominal value as prior


                                               Valuation        % of         
Security                      Sector             £000           Fund      

BP Amoco                      Oil, integrated    68,965         15.6        
HSBC Holdings                 Banks              46,120         10.4       
Shell Transport & Trading Co  Oil, integrated    33,443          7.6   
*Robert Fleming Holdings      Banks              23,842          5.4
Barclays                      Banks              22,726          5.1  
National Westminster Bank     Banks              13,300          3.0   
Rio Tinto                     Mining             10,465          2.4  
Abbey National                Banks               9,161          2.1   
CGU                           Insurance           8,526          1.9 
Diageo                        Beverages           7,470          1.7  

                                  Total         244,018         55.2 

* Unlisted investment included at the latest directors' valuation