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Murray Intnl.Tst. (MYI)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 15 February, 2002

Murray Intnl.Tst.

Final Results

Murray International Trust PLC
15 February 2002


Results for the Year to 31 December 2001

The Directors announce the results, subject to final audit, of Murray
International Trust PLC for the year ended 31 December 2001.

Key Facts

  • NAV total return of -15.5% compared with benchmark return of -13.6%.

  • Final dividend of 5.95p per share proposed for the year ended 31 December

  • Three interim dividends, each of 3.45 pence per share, proposed for the
    year ended 31 December 2002.

  • Dividend cover strong at 2.15 times

  • Substantial revenue reserves


Investors enter 2002 following the worst bear market in global stock markets for
thirty years and one that has run, albeit with considerable volatility, for more
than two years. From its high point at the end of December 1999 the US equity
market lost around 22% of its value over the two-year period to the end of 2001.
Of the major market areas the US, rather surprisingly perhaps given the extent
to which consensus forecasts of economic and profits growth were wide of the
mark, fared best with the FTSE World North American Index returning -10.5%,
ahead of the UK at -13.7% which has relatively defensive characteristics by
virtue of the heavy weightings in that index of energy, utilities and
financials. Europe, at -20.0%, did rather worse than might reasonably have been
expected given the relative economic performance of the zone, compounded by some
further (limited) weakness in the Euro. Financial markets remain distrustful of
the single currency initiative and essentially suspicious of the socio-political
European economic model. Much literary effort has been expended on these topics
but one thing is certain which is that there is very little economic cost from a
weaker currency at a time of global pricing pressures and generalised
disinflation. Sadly, the domestic euphoria which greeted Mr Koizumi's election
as prime minister in Japan has dissipated along with the realisation that
structural change remains as difficult to implement in Japan as ever. That said,
without a much more vigorous external economic environment than seems likely,
time is running out and it may be that we shall see some surprises from Japan in
the coming year.


The Net Asset Value showed a total return for the year to 31 December 2001, with
net dividends reinvested, of -15.5% compared with a return on the benchmark
index of -13.6%. The main negatives from an asset allocation standpoint were an
underweight position in the United States and an overweight position in Japan.
These were substantially cancelled out by overweight positions in Latin America
and Pacific ex Japan, together with a positive return from the fixed interest
portfolio net of related borrowings costs. Under performance, relative to
benchmark, therefore stemmed from stock selection largely related to the US
equity portfolio, and cost of hedging the company's yen liabilities in the wake
of the terrorist attacks in September.

Share buybacks

The Company continued to buy back its shares in the market during the year.

At the last Annual General Meeting on 30 April 2001, Shareholders renewed the
authorisation of the Company to buyback up to 14.99% of its own shares in the
market. During the year ended 31 December 2001, share repurchases totalling
15,270,000 Ordinary shares (14.73% of the issued Ordinary share capital at 31
December 2000) took place at an average share price of 499.53p and this
benefited the net asset value by 1.8%. From the date of renewal of the authority
at the Annual General Meeting on 30 April 2001 to 11 February 2002, 2,330,000
Ordinary shares (2.57% of the issued Ordinary share capital at 30 April 2001 and
2.25% of the issued Ordinary share capital at 31 December 2000) were bought back
at an average share price of 422.35p.

In addition, during the year ended 31 December 2001, 54,899 B Ordinary shares
(4.27% of the issued B Ordinary share capital at 31 December 2000) were bought
back at an average share price of 468.80p and 4.32% of the issued B Ordinary
share capital at 30 April 2001, (the date of the renewal of the authority).

At the Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2002 Shareholders will be asked to
approve additional powers for the following twelve months.


The Directors are proposing, as forecast, a final dividend of 5.95p per share
for the year ended 31 December 2001, payable on 24 May 2002 to Shareholders on
the register on 26 April 2002. With three interims each of 3.45p already paid,
this makes a total for the year of 16.3p compared with 15.9p for the previous
year. The equity earnings of the Company do not wholly cover this payment but
the revenue reserve built up from earlier undistributed earnings is substantial,
being 2.15 times the current annual dividend cost and at the present level of
shortfall there would be cover for more than twelve years.

Your Board now proposes three interim dividends of 3.45p per share will be paid
for the year to 31 December 2002, payable on 16 August 2002, 15 November 2002
and 18 February 2003.

B ordinary shareholders will receive a capitalisation in B ordinary shares on 24
May 2002 amounting to 3.47805 B Ordinary shares for every hundred held at the
close of business on 26 April 2002, which is equivalent in Net Asset Value to
the recommended final dividend and three interim dividends for the current year.

As noted in the interim report there has been a tendency recently for companies
to engage in share buybacks rather than to increase dividends and the Board will
continue to monitor this trend closely. It is therefore the Board's current
intention to maintain dividends at their present level.

The Board

Adam Fergusson, who has been a Director since 1995, retired from the Board on 27
July 2001. The Board has greatly valued his contributions to the deliberations.

On 1 December 2000 the merger between Murray Johnstone and Aberdeen Asset
Management PLC was completed. The investment teams have now been integrated and
are benefiting from the greater resources available from the combination of two
leading Scottish investment managers. As part of this process, Aberdeen Asset
Managers Limited have been appointed as Manager to the Trust and Aberdeen Asset
Management has been appointed Company Secretary both in place of Murray
Johnstone Limited.


The monetary easing undertaken by the US Federal Reserve in 2001 has been
unprecedented both in terms of scale and the rapidity of execution with eleven
rate cuts during the year from 6.5% to 1.75%. This in itself perhaps tells a
story but aided to varying degrees by the other major central banks it would be
surprising, indeed very concerning, if some sort of economic recovery did not
ensue. Currently a variety of indicators are suggesting that the worst of the
slowdown is behind us giving rise to a presumption by some observers that the
growth rates both of the global economy and in corporate profits will rapidly
return to the very high levels of the 1990s. There are however structural issues
which make this unlikely and it will be important not to confuse the rate of
growth associated with the end of an inventory de-stocking cycle with that
sustainable by the outlook for real final demand. We should not forget that the
US economy had in fact entered recession even before the appalling events of
September 11th and that the root causes thereof, to the extent at any rate that
they relate to an extraordinary capital spending phase and massive dissaving by
the private sector, will take time to work off.

Market returns for the year are likely to correlate closely to the outcome for
corporate profits and may 'only' thus lie in single figures. Provided there is
no relapse into recession in the United States, it seems on balance that markets
are more likely to rise than to fall over 2002.

for the year ended 31 December 2001
                                                            Year ended                               Year ended
                                                      31 December 2001                         31 December 2000
                                     Revenue      Capital        Total     Revenue      Capital           Total
                                                                                   (restated)   (restated) **
                                       £'000        £'000        £'000       £'000        £'000           £'000
Losses on investments                      -    (103,398)  (103,398)             -      (3,738)         (3,738)
Income from investments               18,027            -       18,027      20,357            -          20,357
Other income                             274            -          274         818            -             818
Investment management fees           (1,376)      (3,211)      (4,587)     (1,455)      (3,397)         (4,852)
Currency gains (losses)                    -        6,426        6,426           -      (4,950)         (4,950)
Other expenses                       (1,344)            -      (1,344)     (1,587)          (9)         (1,596)
Net return before finance
costs and taxation                    15,581    (100,183)   (84,602)        18,133     (12,094)           6,039
Finance costs of borrowing           (1,404)      (3,276)      (4,680)     (2,118)      (4,941)         (7,059)
Return on ordinary activities         14,177    (103,459)     (89,282)    16,015       (17,035)         (1,020)
before tax
Tax on ordinary activities           (1,914)        1,372        (542)     (1,710)        1,157           (553)
Return attributable to equity         12,263    (102,087)     (89,824)      14,305     (15,878)         (1,573)
Ordinary dividends on equity        (14,839)            -     (14,839)    (15,228)            -        (15,228)
Transfer from reserves               (2,576)    (102,087)    (104,663)       (923)     (15,878)        (16,801)
Return per ordinary share               13.6      (113.6)      (100.0)        13.5       (15.0)           (1.5)
Return per ordinary share
assuming full conversion of the
B ordinary shares (pence)               13.5      (112.1)       (98.6)        13.3       (14.8)           (1.5)
* The revenue column of this statement is the profit and loss account of the company.

** The comparatives have been restated and details are included in the attached notes.

as at 31 December 2001
                                                                 31 December 2001          31 December 2000
                                                               £'000        £'000        £'000        £'000
Fixed assets
Investments                                                               533,708                   720,777

Current assets
Debtors                                                        4,823                     8,343
Cash and short term deposits                                   1,374                    10,075
                                                               6,197                    18,418
Amounts falling due within one year                           14,565                    29,983

Net current liabilities                                                   (8,368)                  (11,565)

Total assets less current liabilities                                     525,340                   709,212

Amounts falling due after more than one year                              105,861                   108,049
                                                                          419,479                   601,163
Capital and reserves
Equity shareholders' interest:
Ordinary called up share capital                                           22,402                    26,225
Share premium                                                                  23                        23
Capital redemption reserve                                                  7,694                     3,863
Capital reserve - realised                                                378,404                   499,555
Capital reserve - unrealised                                             (20,141)                    37,824
Revenue reserve                                                            31,097                    33,673
                                                                          419,479                   601,163
Net asset value per ordinary
and B ordinary share (pence)                                                468.1                     573.1

for the year ended 31 December 2001
                                                                31 December 2001             31 December 2000
                                                                                 (restated)     (restated) **
                                                              £'000      £'000        £'000             £'000
Operating activities
Investment income received                                   18,438                  20,099
Deposit interest received                                       227                     824
Underwriting commission received                                  -                       8
Investment management fees paid                             (4,365)                 (4,403)
Secretarial fees paid                                          (92)                   (100)
Cash paid to and on behalf of directors                        (62)                    (54)
Other cash payments                                           (885)                 (1,961)
Net cash inflow from operating activities                               13,261                         14,413
Returns on investments and servicing
of finance
Interest paid                                                          (4,713)                        (7,138)
Financial investment
Purchase of investments                                   (331,680)               (450,464)
Sale of investments                                         415,371                 507,624
Net cash inflow from financial investment                               83,691                         57,160
Equity dividends paid                                                 (14,750)                       (16,506)
Net cash inflow before use of financing                                 77,489                         47,929
Loans repaid                                              (146,110)               (126,026)
Loans drawn down                                            144,110                  89,157
Repurchase of ordinary shares                              (77,021)                (35,806)
Net cash outflow from financing                                       (79,021)                       (72,675)
Decrease in cash                                                       (1,532)                       (24,746)

** The comparisons have been restated to omit forward currency contract gains
which are a non-cash item.

The results stated above for the year ended 31 December 2000 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.

The comparatives have been restated to reflect currency losses of £1,368,000
which, although reflected in balance sheet reserves, have been omitted from the
Statement of Total Return. The effect is to decrease prior year capital return
by £1,368,000 and reduce capital return per ordinary share in the prior year
from (13.7p) to (15.0p). The Net Asset Value is not affected by this item.

A summary of the investment changes during the year and the twenty largest
investments at 31 December 2001 are attached.

The issued share capital at 31 December 2001 was 88,412,877 ordinary shares of
25p each and 1,195,152 B ordinary shares of 25p each.

Returns per share have been based on the weighted average number of ordinary
shares in issue during each year.

Net asset value per ordinary and B ordinary share have been calculated after
deducting prior charges at nominal values. The number of B ordinary shares at 31
December 2000 has been restated to include the capitalisation issue of 31,128 B
ordinary shares on 25 May 2001.

The next date for conversion of the B ordinary shares to ordinary shares is 30
June 2002. The last date for receipt of certificates with the conversion notice
signed on the reverse is 23 June 2002.

If approved: (1) the proposed final dividend of 5.95p per share will be paid on
24 May 2002 to holders of ordinary shares on the register at the close of
business on 26 April 2002; (2) in respect of the year ending 31 December 2002,
three interim dividends of 3.45p per share on the ordinary shares of the company
in issue on 29 June 2002 will be paid on 16 August 2002, 15 November 2002, and
17 February 2003 to the persons who, at the close of business on 19 July 2002,
18 October 2002, and 17 January 2003 respectively, are the holders of such
shares; and (3) definitive certificates in respect of the B ordinary
capitalisation issue will be posted on 24 May 2002 to B ordinary shareholders on
the register at the close of business on 26 April 2002.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 13 May 2002.

Copies of this announcement will be available to the public at the registered
office of the Company, 123 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5EA.



15 February 2002

                                                                               Appreciation                    Valuation

                                                   Valuation                   (depreciation)           31 December 2001
                                            31 December 2000
                                        £'000              %             £'000            £'000         £'000          %
United Kingdom                        254,091           35.4          (40,693)         (41,670)       171,728       32.7
Americas                              132,226           18.4           (6,148)         (22,438)       103,640       19.7
Europe & Africa                       111,692           15.5          (18,671)         (18,608)        74,413       14.2
Japan                                  71,256            9.9           (7,255)         (17,569)        46,432        8.8
Middle East, Far East &                28,777            4.0               (2)          (2,809)        25,966        4.9
                                      598,042           83.2          (72,769)        (103,094)       422,179       80.3
Fixed income
United Kingdom                         82,951           11.5          (12,773)          (2,087)        68,091       13.0
Europe & Africa                        39,085            5.4             2,538            1,815        43,438        8.3
Americas                                  699            0.1             (669)             (30)             -          -
                                      122,735           17.0          (10,904)            (302)       111,529       21.3
Other net current liabilities        (11,565)          (0.2)           (3,023)          (3,780)       (8,368)      (1.6)
Total Assets*                         709,212          100.0          (86,696)        (107,176)       525,340      100.0

* represents total assets less current liabilities
Summary of Net Assets                                                                                   31 December 2001
                                                                                                         £000          %
Equities                                                                                              422,179      100.6
Fixed Income                                                                                          111,529       26.6
Other net current liabilities                                                                         (8,368)      (2.0)
Borrowings and prior capital                                                                        (105,861)     (25.2)
Equity shareholders' interest                                                                         419,479      100.0

        as at 31 December 2001
                                                             Investment                   Valuation
                                                                                                                  % of
        Investment                                           Area                             £'000       Total Assets
      * BP Amoco                                             UK                              21,039                4.0
        John Menzies 8.58% Cum Red Pref                      UK                              20,795                4.0
        Vodafone Group                                       UK                              17,975                3.4
        GlaxoSmithKline                                      UK                              13,784                2.6
        HSBC Holdings                                        UK                              10,478                2.0
      * Lloyds TSB                                           UK                               8,907                1.7
        Shell Transport & Trading                            UK                               7,585                1.4
        Atrium Underwriting                                  UK                               7,354                1.4
      * Abbey National                                       UK                               6,624                1.3
      * Royal Bank of Scotland Group                         UK                               6,341                1.2
        AstraZeneca                                          UK                               6,196                1.2
        Petrobras ADR                                        Brazil                           6,100                1.2
        Germany 6% 4/7/2007                                  Germany                          4,459                0.8
        Microsoft                                            USA                              4,220                0.8
      * BT Group                                             UK                               4,120                0.8
        Barclays                                             UK                               3,754                0.7
        Diageo                                               UK                               3,539                0.7
        General Accident 7.875% Cum Irrd Pref                UK                               3,496                0.7
        Sunamerica Inst Funding 5.375% 07/12/2009            UK                               3,394                0.6
        IBM                                                  USA                              3,216                0.6
                                                                                            163,376               31.1
* Holding comprises equity and fixed income securities.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange


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