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Henderson Int Income (HINT)

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Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Henderson Int Income

Annual Financial Report

RNS Number : 5257D
Henderson Intl. Income Trust PLC
28 October 2020
 

HENDERSON INVESTMENT FUNDS LIMITED

 

HENDERSON INTERNATIONAL INCOME TRUST PLC

 

LEGAL ENTITY IDENTIFIER: 2138006N35XWGK2YUK38

 

28 October 2020

 

HENDERSON INTERNATIONAL INCOME TRUST PLC

 

Annual Financial Report for the year ended 31 August 2020

 

 

This announcement contains regulated information

 

PERFORMANCE AT 31 AUGUST

 

Total return performance for year to 31 August 2020

NAV1 (debt at fair value)

(3.0)

NAV1 (debt at par)

(3.3)

Share price2

(5.2)

Benchmark3

8.1 

AIC Global Equity Income sector

(0.8)

 

 

2020 

2019 

Net asset value (debt at par) per share at year end

153.5p

164.8p

Discount (debt at par)

(5.2)%

(3.2)%

Net asset value (debt at fair value) per share at year end

150.5p

161.3p

Discount (debt at fair value)

(3.3)%

(1.1)%

Share price at year end

145.5p

159.5p

Net assets

£300.9m 

£309.2m 

Dividend in respect of year4

6.00p

5.70p

Dividend yield at the year end5

4.1%

3.6%

Ongoing charge for year6

0.85%

0.84%

Gearing at year end

11.41%

3.25%

 

1 Net asset value total return per share (including dividends per share reinvested)

2 The Company's share price total return (assuming the reinvestment of all dividends excluding dealing expenses)

3 MSCI World (ex UK) Index (sterling adjusted)

4 Includes the fourth interim dividend in respect of the year ended 31 August 2020 declared on 28 October 2020 to be paid to shareholders on 30 November 2020

5 Calculated based on the share price at 31 August 2020

6 Calculated using the methodology prescribed by the Association of Investment Companies ("AIC")

 

Source: Morningstar, Funddata, Janus Henderson, Refinitiv Datastream

 

 

INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE

The Company's investment objective is to provide shareholders with a growing total annual dividend, as well as capital appreciation.

 

INVESTMENT POLICY

The Company will invest in a focused and internationally diversified portfolio of 50-80 companies that are either listed in, registered in, or whose principal business is in countries that are outside the UK and will be made up of shares (equity securities) and fixed interest asset classes that are diversified by factors such as geography, industry and investment size. A maximum of 25% of gross assets may be invested in fixed interest securities. The Company does not hold investments in unlisted companies unless it is through subsequent delisting of a listed security.

 

Investment in any single company (including any derivative instruments) will not, in gross terms, exceed 5% of net assets at the time of investment and no more than 15% of gross assets may be invested in other listed investment companies (including investment trusts) or collective investment schemes. No more than 10% of gross assets may be invested in companies that themselves invest more than 15% of their gross assets in UK listed investment companies or collective investment schemes.

 

The Company may use financial instruments known as derivatives for the purpose of efficient portfolio management, for investment purposes or to generate additional income while maintaining a level of risk consistent with the risk profile of the Company. The Company may hedge exposure to foreign currencies up to a maximum of 20% of gross assets and may generate up to a maximum of 20% of gross income through investment in traded options.

 

The Company can borrow to make additional investments with the aim of achieving a return that is greater than the cost of borrowing. The Company's articles of association allow borrowings up to 100% of net asset value. In normal circumstances, the manager may only utilise gearing up to 25% of net assets at the time of drawdown or investment (as appropriate) in accordance with the board's policy and for these purposes 'gearing' includes implied gearing through the use of derivatives.

 

 

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

 

Performance and markets

The net asset value ("NAV") total return per ordinary share has fallen by 3.3% (debt at par) and by 3.0% (debt at fair value). The total return on the ordinary share price was -5.2%, this figure includes total dividends of 6.0p per ordinary share, an increase of 5.3% on the previous year. These returns compare to a total return of 8.1% for the MSCI World (ex UK) Index (sterling adjusted) ("MSCI World Index" or "benchmark").

 

The 2020 financial year started with a feeling of cautious optimism, driven by signs that the worst of the trade war might be over and encouraging economic data. In January, the Company's NAV reached its highest level since launch. That optimism has been replaced by tremendous uncertainty caused by the spread of the Covid-19 ("Covid") virus and the human and economic devastation that have resulted. There has been a considerable fall in economic activity in all economies around the world, although it has been cushioned by massive fiscal and monetary support from governments and central banks. Equity markets sold off when Covid hit, but have been recovering from their lows in response to this stimulus. Investor sentiment has also been helped by positive medical developments regarding the treatment of patients suffering from the virus and the emergence from government imposed lockdowns in several countries.

 

The sudden and extreme impact of Covid has caused an enormous divergence between the returns from different stocks, sectors and regions. The US equity market has been the best performer, but it has seen a dramatic contrast between the best and worst performers, and its recovery has been driven by lower yielding sectors and a few very large companies. Whilst some companies have benefited from the changes in society Covid has forced, others have been severely disrupted. There has been an unprecedented number of dividend cuts in some regions. At one point this year, for example, almost half of FSTE 100 companies passed or cut their dividends. Other regions have seen significantly less impact on dividends. Equity income strategies have underperformed the broader market this year. Whilst the benchmark has returned 8.1%, the MSCI World High Dividend Yield Index (ex-UK), a subset of the index that consists of higher yielding companies, has returned -7%. As a result of the Company's income objective, portfolio composition can differ significantly from the MSCI World Index, which can lead to significant variations in performance between the two, as is the case this year. Information about the drivers of this period's variation can be found in the fund manager's report.

 

Overall, the board is pleased with the Company's performance since inception across the key performance indicators ("KPIs").

 

Strategy, growth and corporate activity

Since your Company's original listing, the board's strategy has been to provide a high and rising level of dividends as well as long-term capital appreciation from a focused and internationally diversified portfolio of securities outside the UK. We remain willing to issue further shares at appropriate times. This is to provide greater liquidity in our shares, to widen demand for them from wealth managers, and to lower our fixed costs per share. We have made good progress on this during the year, having issued 8,395,000 new shares in response to continuing investor demand. At 31 August 2020, there were 195,978,716 shares in issue. No shares have been issued since the year end. Since inception, management fee reductions and changes combined with the increase in the size of the Company have been the two principal factors that have led to a fall in the ongoing charge from 1.38% (as at 31 August 2012) to 0.85% this year.

 

Earnings and dividends

We are pleased to announce a total dividend increase from 5.70p to 6.00p per ordinary share for the year to 31 August 2020. The year consisted of a first, second and third interim dividend of 1.50p per ordinary share, and the fourth interim dividend of 1.50p will be paid on 30 November 2020.

 

In the half year report, we noted the fact that some of the companies held in the portfolio had been asked by their respective governments or regulators to delay or moderate their dividends until the impact of the current pandemic was clearer. We also indicated that the board intended to utilise the Company's revenue reserves to smooth any temporary shortfall between the Company's distributions and portfolio income. Whilst the majority of the portfolio's holdings have paid dividends, a number have reduced or withheld dividends and it has been necessary to use a relatively moderate amount of the reserves to support dividend payments this year (£917,000 of the £8,081,000 at the start of the year). Earnings have been retained every year since launch for a rainy day, so it is appropriate that they are used now in these unprecedented times.

 

We continue to recognise the importance of dividend income to our shareholders and will continue to use reserves to complement the income generated by the portfolio. The current revenue reserves would provide several years of dividend support based on 2020 results.

 

Gearing

Well-judged gearing enhances returns to shareholders. The board's current policy is to permit the fund manager to gear up to 25% of net assets at the time of drawdown or investment, as appropriate. Borrowing limits for this purpose include implied gearing through the use of derivatives. The gearing at the period end was 11.41% (31 August 2019: 3.25%). 

 

Liquidity and discount management

The board continues to monitor the premium/discount to NAV and will consider appropriate action if the relationship between the NAV and share price moves and remains out of line with the Company's peer group. Nonetheless, there is a distinct limit to the board's ability to influence the premium or discount to NAV. We consider that it is not in shareholders' interests to have a specific issuance or buy-back policy. However, to retain flexibility, we reserve the ability to implement share issues or buy-backs within a narrow band relative to NAV, where appropriate, and subject to market conditions.

 

Ongoing charge

The ongoing charge for the year to 31 August 2020, as calculated in accordance with the Association of Investment Companies ("AIC") methodology was 0.85% (2019: 0.84%).

 

Continuation vote

The Company's articles of association give shareholders the opportunity every three years to vote on whether they wish to continue the life of the Company, or to wind it up. Such a resolution will be put to shareholders at this year's annual general meeting.

 

The Company is well positioned to take advantage of increased demand for its shares and to build on the strong portfolio of investments our fund manager has built since the Company was incorporated. Contact that has been had with shareholders suggests to the board that shareholders will support continuation. The board recommends that all shareholders vote in favour of continuing the Company. All directors intend to do so in respect of their own beneficial holdings.

 

Annual general meeting

The tenth annual general meeting of the Company will be held on 8 December 2020. Due to the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings, it will unfortunately not be possible for shareholders to attend the meeting in person. Voting on the resolutions to be proposed will be conducted on a poll, and shareholders are encouraged to submit their forms of proxy. If you have any questions in relation to the annual report or the Company's performance over the year, please email [email protected] in advance of the meeting. All questions received will be considered and responses will be available on the Company's website. A presentation from Ben Lofthouse, our fund manager, will be available to watch on the Company's website from the day of the meeting.

 

Board composition

As I indicated in my report last year, the board has agreed to deliberately phase the introduction of new directors, and the retirement of current directors, over the next three years to allow sufficient time for new directors to familiarise themselves with the Company whilst retaining the right balance of knowledge, skills, experience and corporate knowledge on the board.

 

In accordance with the succession plan, Bill Eason will retire at the conclusion of the 2020 annual general meeting, having been a director since the Company's launch in 2011. Kasia Robinski has also indicated that she will be retiring from the board at the forthcoming annual general meeting. I would like to thank both Bill and Kasia for their valuable contributions as directors.

 

Bill also acted as the Company's senior independent director. On his retirement, Richard Hills will be appointed as the new senior independent director.

 

I am delighted to welcome Lucy Walker to the board. Lucy was appointed on 1 September 2020. She was, until 7 August 2020, a fund manager and Head of Third Party Funds at Sarasin & Partners LLP, having joined as an analyst in January 2011, and previously worked in the multi-manager team at HSBC Global Asset Management.

 

The board is in the process of recruiting a new director, who would also act as the audit committee chair, to replace Kasia.

 

As I reported last year, I will be standing down as chairman of the board and a director of the Company at the conclusion of the annual general meeting in 2022. This will conclude five years' service as chairman of the board, following six years' service as audit committee chairman.

 

Outlook

These are challenging times for the world. There is no modern precedent for a pandemic such as this one and, in the short term, all focus will be on vaccines, infection rates and how economies and societies are dealing with Covid. Behind the headlines, many companies have adapted to this sudden economic and physical disruption better than expected, and some have even thrived during it. In the longer term, it seems reasonable to hope that things continue to improve and the world can move on from this crisis. It has been encouraging to see the adoption of so many innovative technologies to tackle the challenges that have emerged over the last nine months and many of them will permanently change companies and organisations for the better.

 

The Company is well equipped to weather periods of economic uncertainty. Since launch, annual revenues have exceeded dividend distributions, and a revenue reserve has been created to cover any temporary income disruptions. The global remit of the Company allows it to diversify its investments and income sources by sector and region. For example, the portfolio currently holds over 70 investments across 20 countries and has used the ability to purchase bonds when credit markets were dislocated earlier this year and dividend uncertainty was at its highest.

 

These are difficult times, but the board and investment team remain focused on delivering the Company's objectives and, where possible, taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. Interest rates remain at record lows, and against this backdrop the Company's objective of delivering an appealing income from a diversified portfolio of holdings remains highly relevant. The Company will continue with its existing strategy of identifying companies that are attractively valued, pay a sustainable dividend and have the capacity to grow their dividends over the medium to long term.

 

 

Simon Jeffreys

Chairman

28 October 2020

 

PORTFOLIO INFORMATION

Ten largest investments at 31 August 2020

Ranking 2020

Ranking 2019

Company

Country

Sector

Market value

£'000

 

 

% of portfolio

Market value at time of investment

£'000

1

2

Microsoft

US

Technology

16,884

5.0

2,916

2

1

Nestlé

Switzerland

Consumer goods 

13,563

4.0

9,140

3

11

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

Taiwan

Technology 

10,998

3.3

2,790

4

8

Verizon Communications

US

Telecommunications

8,945

2.7

8,034

5

4

Novartis

Switzerland

Health care

8,808

2.6

7,507

6

14

ABB

Switzerland

Industrials

8,425

2.6

7,310

7

5

Sanofi

France

Health care

8,321

2.5

7,159

8

28

Allianz

Germany

Financials 

7,774

2.3

7,619

9

13

Pfizer

US

Health care

7,639

2.3

6,176

10

3

Coca-Cola

US

Consumer goods 

7,464

2.2

6,578

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10

 

98,821

29.5

65,229

 

 

Geographic exposure at 31 August

As a percentage of the investment portfolio

excluding cash

 

 

Sector exposure at 31 August

As a percentage of the investment portfolio

excluding cash

 

 

2020
%

2019
%

 

 

2020
%

2019
%

US

34.0

31.0

 

Financials

16.9

19.1

Switzerland

14.2

10.4

 

Technology

16.0

11.3

Hong Kong

9.1

1.4

 

Health care

15.4

11.8

France

5.6

11.7

 

Consumer goods

14.9

15.4

Germany

4.6

5.8

 

Telecommunications

12.0

9.9

Australia

4.0

3.0

 

Industrials

9.6

6.5

Netherlands

3.7

5.3

 

Property

7.4

6.1

Italy

3.4

4.1

 

Utilities

3.5

3.2

Taiwan

3.3

3.5

 

Basic materials

2.8

5.2

China

3.1

5.9

 

Consumer services

1.5

3.4

Korea

3.0

2.5

 

Oil & gas

0.0

8.1

Canada

2.9

3.7

 

 

 

 

Spain

1.3

0.6

 

 

 

 

Norway

1.3

0.0

 

 

 

 

Sweden

1.2

3.5

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

1.2

1.2

 

 

 

 

Singapore

1.1

2.3

 

 

 

 

Japan

0.9

0.0

 

 

 

 

Finland

0.9

1.0

 

 

 

 

Indonesia

0.6

1.0

 

 

 

 

Ireland

0.6

0.0

 

 

 

 

Austria

0.0

1.3

 

 

 

 

Thailand

0.0

0.8

 

 

 

 

               

 

Source: Janus Henderson

 

Investment portfolio as at 31 August 2020

 

Company

 

Country

Market value

£'000

% of

portfolio

Basic Materials

 

 

 

OZ Minerals

Australia

  6,451

1.9

UPM-Kymmene

Finland

  3,036

0.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

9,487

2.8

 

 

 

 

Consumer goods

 

 

 

Nestlé

Switzerland

13,563

4.0

Coca-Cola

US

 7,464

2.2

Samsung

Korea

  6,686

2.0

Mondelez

US

5,146

1.5

Michelin

France

4,295

1.3

Hengan International

Hong Kong

4,236

1.3

Treasury Wine Estates

Australia

3,125

0.9

Panasonic

Japan

  2,978

0.9

Anta Sports

China

2,833

0.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

50,326

14.9

 

 

 

 

Consumer services

 

 

 

Vivendi

France

 3,014

0.9

McDonald's

US

2,073

0.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,087

1.5

 

 

 

 

Financials

 

 

 

Allianz

Germany

7,774

2.3

Zurich Insurance

Switzerland

5,371

1.6

Munich Re

Germany

5,207

1.6

AIA

Hong Kong

4,437

1.3

Citic Securities

Hong Kong

4,213

1.3

Macquarie

Australia

4,131

1.2

Travelers Companies

US

3,733

1.1

Manulife Financial

Canada

3,659

1.1

Van Lanschot

Netherlands

3,520

1.1

ING

Netherlands

3,193

1.0

Banca Farmafactoring

Italy

3,048

0.9

CME Group

US

3,011

0.9

AXA

France

3,006

0.9

DH Europe Finance1

US

  2,104

0.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

56,407

16.9

 

 

 

 

Health care

 

 

 

Novartis

Switzerland

8,808

2.6

Sanofi

France

8,321

2.5

Pfizer

US

7,639

2.3

Bristol-Myers Squibb

US

6,165

1.8

Roche

Switzerland

6,076

1.8

Medtronic

US

4,551

1.4

Johnson & Johnson

US

3,870

1.2

Merck & Co

US

3,745

1.1

HCA1

US

 2,321

0.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

51,496

15.4

 

 

 

 

Industrials

 

 

 

ABB

Switzerland

8,425

2.6

SGS

Switzerland

5,210

1.6

Anhui Conch

China

4,227

1.3

China Railway Construction

Hong Kong

3,698

1.1

Honeywell International

US

3,181

0.9

Sig Combibloc

Canada

2,842

0.8

Siemens

Germany

2,419

0.7

Ardagh1

Ireland

1,981

0.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

31,983

9.6

 

 

 

 

Property

 

 

 

Crown Castle

US

4,868

1.5

Vici Properties

US

4,409

1.3

Cyrusone

US

  4,357

1.3

Sun Hung Kai Properties

Hong Kong

3,897

1.2

Ascendas

Singapore

  3,855

1.1

China Vanke

China

3,188

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

24,574

7.4

 

 

 

 

Technology

 

 

 

Microsoft

US

16,884

5.0

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

Taiwan

10,998

3.3

Cisco Systems

US

6,496

1.9

Tencent Holdings

Hong Kong

6,012

1.8

BE Semiconductor

Netherlands

5,483

1.6

Texas Instruments

US

  3,028

0.9

Corning

US

2,686

0.8

Vmware1

US

2,181

0.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

53,768

16.0

 

 

 

 

Telecommunications

 

 

 

Verizon Communications

US

  8,945

2.7

Telenor

Norway

4,350

1.3

Spark New Zealand

New Zealand

  4,137

1.2

Tele2

Sweden

  4,032

1.2

HKT Trust and HKT Ltd

Hong Kong

3,806

1.1

SK Telecom

Korea

3,478

1.0

Telus

Canada

3,339

1.0

T-Mobile1

US

3,280

1.0

Ziggo1

US

1,980

0.6

Telekomunikasi

Indonesia

1,885

0.6

Infrastructure Wireless Italia

Italy

1,082

0.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

40,314

12.0

 

 

 

 

Utilities

 

 

 

Enel

Italy

7,360

2.2

Iberdola

Spain

4,441

1.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

11,801

3.5

 

 

 

 

Total investments

 

335,243

100.0

 

 

 

 

1 Fixed interest

 

 

 

 

 

FUND MANAGER'S REPORT

 

For the last few years one of the dominant themes in the world of business (and therefore investing) has been that of disruption, examples of which include new technology innovation, trade wars, climate change and its impact, and Brexit. This year the Covid-19 pandemic ("Covid") has resulted in probably the biggest global, societal disruption many of us will have seen in our lifetimes. We have been very cognisant of the opportunities and threats posed by technological changes, and over the last few years have proactively exited and reduced investments in impacted sectors, such as property, retail and oil. Investments have been made in companies and sectors that are beneficiaries of these trends. Examples of these include semiconductor and cloud computing businesses. One of the impacts of Covid has been to turbocharge technological adoption across all areas of business and society, and at the same time accelerate the demise of structurally challenged businesses. It has also been incredibly disruptive for any business relying on the free movement of people and out-of-home consumption, including most of the travel and leisure industry. It is not clear which of these changes will be permanent, but many businesses are likely to emerge from Covid significantly changed.

 

In purely financial terms, Covid has caused enormous economic disruption. The table below shows the Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") trends for the major regions and illustrates the forecasted impact of Covid on economic output.

 

Real GDP growth by region (%)

Region

2019

2020F

2021F

World

3.0

(3.9)

5.1

Developed

1.7

(6.1)

4.2

Emerging

4.3

(1.0)

5.0

US

2.3

(5.0)

3.7

Eurozone

1.2

(8.1)

5.7

UK

1.3

(9.9)

6.4

Japan

1.0

(5.3)

2.5

China

6.1

2.0

8.0

 

Source: Janus Henderson, Bloomberg, as at 3 September 2020

 

Performance review

The portfolio produced a total return of -3.0% in NAV per ordinary share over the period (debt at fair value). This return includes dividends totalling 6.0p per share, an increase of 5.3% as compared to the same period in 2019.

 

The Company's investment process focuses on companies with attractive dividend yields, strong cash flow generation and the potential to grow both earnings and distributions in the future. There has been no change in the fundamental investment process, but it has needed to be adapted to account for the dynamics of a Covid-impacted world. There have been two unique challenges for companies:

 

1.  In some cases, a sudden, unanticipated slowdown in business triggered by lockdown rules; and

 

2.  Non-financial considerations impacting dividend decisions. In some parts of the world, there has been political pressure to withhold dividends until the pandemic has been resolved (French companies and European financials are two groups that were particularly affected).

 

Dividend cuts were a headline topic in 2020, but the trends varied significantly across regions and sectors and we were able to proactively adjust the portfolio to ensure that the majority of companies in the portfolio increased or maintained their dividends this year. Of the top ten holdings, nine increased dividends and one company (ABB) paid the same as last year. The most significant increases came from technology companies Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Microsoft, which announced 25% and 10% quarterly increases respectively. Increases were not limited to technology companies: Nestlé announced a 10% increase and Novartis 3.5%. These examples highlight the fact that not all companies have been impacted in the same way by the pandemic. Some divisions of companies are benefiting from new trends, such as the move towards remote working and higher levels of food consumption at home. The utility companies and telecommunication companies owned in the portfolio will see much less of a direct impact than industrial and oil and gas sectors.

 

The biggest negative impact on portfolio income has come from the financial sector. Several holdings had announced dividends but were forced by their regulators to cancel them before they were due to be paid. Where dividend cuts have occurred, we are in communication with the companies to determine the drivers and the potential duration of the cuts. Insurance company AXA did pay a dividend, although at a lower rate than first announced. It was one of the few French financial companies to be allowed to pay. The portfolio owns three financial companies which have not been allowed to pay, but continue to accrue their 2019 dividends and are hopeful that they will be allowed to pay them in 2021.

 

This regulatory intervention was limited to a few regions and sectors. The investment portfolio is very diversified by region and sector, and the majority of companies' dividend payments were unaffected.

 

The flexibility of the Company's investment mandate been used to generate additional income this year via the purchase of some corporate bonds when the credit market sold off in March and April. At a time when the dividend outlook was more uncertain, this gave increased income visibility. Higher equity market volatility also offered the opportunity to generate additional call option income.

 

The Company's portfolio is relatively concentrated consisting typically of 50-80 positions, so performance can be impacted by stock specific news and events as well as regional equity market performance and sector news.

 

The table below highlights the most significant stock contributors to performance over the year. It shows relative return versus the benchmark, so registers the impact of both stocks held in the portfolio and those not held but which have been significant drivers of the benchmark. The top performers all returned over 10% over the year. They are all industry leaders in their respective fields and are generally growing and/or exposed to structurally growing areas.

 

Top 10 contributors to relative return vs benchmark

Ranking

Company

 

1.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing

1.26%

2.

Roche

0.64%

3.

OZ Minerals

0.49%

4.

BE Semiconductor

0.49%

5.

Microsoft

0.46%

6.

ABB

0.38%

7.

Lam Research

0.33%

8.

Exxon Mobil*

0.33%

9.

Boeing*

0.31%

10.

Wells Fargo & Company*

0.26%

 

Top 10 detractors from relative return vs benchmark

Ranking

Company

 

1.

PT Bank Negara Indonesia

-0.59%

2.

BNP Paribas

-0.60%

3.

Coca-Cola

-0.63%

4.

Vermilion Energy

-0.67%

5.

Tesla*

-0.71%

6.

Occidental Petroleum

-0.74%

7.

Sabre

-0.90%

8.

Treasury Wine Estates

-1.00%

9.

Amazon.com*

-1.34%

10.

Apple*

-2.74%

 

* stock not held

 

Source: Janus Henderson, as at 31 August 2020

 

In such an uncertain environment, our investment bias toward income stocks, and value as a factor in stock selection, has detracted from performance relative to the benchmark. The most positive contributors to performance have all benefited from the technological adoption trends discussed above. There is growing understanding in equity markets that there is a structurally increased demand for semiconductor chips, and that the intellectual property barriers to entry in the design, manufacturing equipment and manufacturing process are high. This has resulted in a significant appreciation of the portfolio's holdings in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, BE Semiconductor, Lam Research and the takeover of Maxim Integrated Products. Covid has forced many workers to work remotely, which has resulted in an emergency upgrade of all companies' communications technology and infrastructure. This has benefited the portfolio's largest holding, Microsoft, which has leadership positions in cloud data storage, software and gaming and has performed strongly as a result.

 

Another area of focus during the pandemic has been the need for accelerated medical testing, treatment and vaccine development. This has shone a light on the skills and expertise possessed by the pharmaceutical industry in areas such as vaccines and diagnostics, which have often been under-recognised compared to large blockbuster drugs. Roche is one of the world leaders in diagnostics machines and tests, and Sanofi one of the leaders in vaccine manufacturing. Outside of the technology and pharmaceutical industries, there are stocks that have performed well due to some of the emerging longer-term thematic changes that innovation is driving. ABB, the Swiss engineering firm, has been gradually focusing itself on the area of process automation and selling non-core activities. Whilst an economically sensitive company, the share price has reacted well to signs that orders are returning more quickly than expected. There is a physical side to technological innovation, particularly in the arena of electrification and carbon reduction, which will be a demand driver for a number of different industries. The investment in copper miner OZ Minerals was made on the basis that copper demand is anticipated to be strong despite economic weakness. This is proving to be the case and OZ Minerals was one of the top performers this year. In the utilities sector, energy utility ENEL performed strongly, driven by the increasing investor awareness of the growth in renewable energy. Exxon, Boeing and Wells Fargo are shown as positive contributors because they were not held, but represent material stocks in the benchmark that fell considerably during the year.

 

The most significant relative detractors from performance generally fall into two camps: Covid-impacted companies and technology companies not owned. A number of companies that were perceived to be exposed to the potential impact of the pandemic were sold as it first emerged, but with the benefit of hindsight we did not anticipate the seriousness of this virus compared to previous ones. Sabre, Vermilion Energy and Occidental are examples of companies whose share prices fell before we had a chance to take action. They were subsequently sold as they are unlikely to pay dividends for some time. Sabre is a technology company focused on delivering services to the travel industry. It is well positioned in the industry but is impacted by lower travel bookings, which have impacted earnings. The energy sector was already under pressure from OPEC+ action to squeeze out new supply, but it has been acutely impacted by travel restrictions that have impacted both demand for oil and refined products. The portfolio's exposure to the sector had been reduced significantly before Covid struck, but remaining positions in Occidental and Vermilion Energy were impacted prior to being sold. Coca-Cola is not an obviously economically-sensitive company but it has been impacted by the pandemic as a significant proportion of its sales are made in restaurants, bars, sports events and travel concessions. The growth in at-home consumption has not been enough to offset the slowdown in its other operations, but we do not think the business is structurally impacted. Treasury Wine Estates has struggled to digest an acquisition made last year. Both Coca-Cola and Treasury Wines are still held.

 

Whilst a number of companies in the portfolio have benefited from technology shifts, it has been less exposed to these positive themes than the benchmark. Not owning Apple, Amazon, Tesla and some of the other technology giants has resulted in approximately 5% relative underperformance versus the benchmark. Amazon and Tesla do not pay dividends and are at the heavy investment state of their life cycles, and whilst we can appreciate their excellence, they are not natural fits for an income portfolio. Apple is a more obvious candidate for the portfolio as it is very cash generative, but we do feel the earnings growth is better in some of the other technology companies owned. What is true of all these companies is that they have captured investors' attention and imagination to such an extent that they are responsible for a significant percentage of stock market's performance this year.

 

One of the impacts of Covid has been an enormous divergence in returns across sectors and regions. Whilst we view the price to earnings paid for a company as an important influence on the long-term total returns an investor will receive, this view seems out of favour at this time. Stock selection has been the most significant driver of relative underperformance versus the benchmark.

 

The US stock market has recovered most strongly from the Covid sell-off, driven mainly by the large technology and internet stocks. The portfolio is underweight the US and overweight the European and Asian regions relative to the benchmark, with a significant exposure to Chinese companies. In terms of asset allocation, the geographical positioning accounts for approximately 5% of the relative underperformance versus the benchmark. Whilst it was the first country to be affected by the virus, China reacted very quickly to control its spread and has been the first major economy to stabilise its economic activity. Numerous companies we meet here talk about levels of activity near or above the prior year. This has not yet resulted in any significant outperformance of many of the Asian stocks held, but we continue to see considerable value there.

 

Portfolio positioning

Stock selection for the portfolio is driven by a combination of the attractiveness of the company in question (competitive positioning, cash flow generation, sustainability of business model) combined with its valuation. Over the last 12-18 months, there has been a considerable change in the operating environment for companies and we have made some significant changes to the portfolio in response. There have been several periods of market volatility since the Company was launched, and they have generally provided good long-term investment opportunities. Hopefully this will be the case this year as well.

 

The largest individual stock changes are shown below.

 

Purchases

 

OZ Minerals

+1.9%

Tencent

+1.8%

Zurich Insurance

+1.6%

SGS

+1.6%

Munich Re

+1.6%

 

 

Sales

 

Chevron

-2.4%

BASF

-2.0%

BNP Paribas

-1.6%

E.Sun Financial Holdings

-1.5%

Royal Caribbean

-1.4%

 

Source: Janus Henderson, as at 31 August 2020

 

There have been two specific sectors where we have reduced exposure significantly due to concerns about a deterioration of the balance between demand and supply. The first sector is energy, where we were increasingly concerned about the ongoing supply growth against lacklustre demand, even pre-Covid. Energy exposure at the period end was 0% versus 8.1% this time last year. The other sector was the travel and leisure sector within consumer goods. Positions in Chinese toll road operator Jiangsu Expressway, cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises and casino operator Las Vegas Sands were sold as soon as it became apparent that Covid represented a serious health risk that would curtail travel and tourism. These changes reduced exposure to the companies with the most direct exposure to the impact of Covid.

 

In response to the lower interest rate environment expected as a result of Covid and the dividend restrictions imposed in some countries, exposure to financial services was reduced with a particular focus on exposure to the banking sector. The fall in markets and provisions for insurance losses resulted in a considerable de-rating of the insurance sector. There are signs of improved discipline in some parts of the insurance market, and positions including Zurich and Munich Re have been added on the basis of the attractive valuations, strong balance sheets and dividend potential of the sector.

 

The largest sector increase was the technology sector, which increased from 11.3% to 16.0% of the portfolio. This increase was partly driven by the strong performance of the holdings as discussed above, but a position was added in Chinese technology company Tencent during the market correction. The company has many businesses that are exposure to Chinese consumer activity, including gaming, ecommerce, and music, and the sell-off was unwarranted.

 

Exposure to the health care sector was also increased, from 11.8% this time last year to 15.4% now. Positions in Merck and Johnson & Johnson were added on weakness on the basis that their defensive, growing revenue streams are undervalued.

 

The impact and duration of this pandemic is very hard to gauge, but we will continue to assess opportunities as they arise. The long-term gearing entered into last year means that we can be confident about the availability of funding regardless of conditions in the banking sector. Since the Covid pandemic started, the Company's borrowing facilities have been used to purchase a modest position in corporate bonds, the majority of which are investment grade rated.

 

It has been a very difficult period for company profits and dividends because of the Covid virus and associated lockdowns of economies. There are clear signs that the worst point has been experienced and an improvement should be seen going forward. In our view, the portfolio is predominantly invested in profitable, cash generative, relatively stable companies but also has some exposure to areas with significant recovery potential.

 

Ben Lofthouse

Fund Manager

28 October 2020

 

PRINCIPAL RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

The board, with the assistance of Janus Henderson, has carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks and uncertainties, including emerging risks, facing the Company, including those that would threaten its business model, future performance, solvency or liquidity and reputation.

 

The board regularly considers the principal risks facing the Company and has drawn up a matrix of risks. The board has put in place a schedule of investment limits and restrictions, appropriate to the Company's investment objective and policy, in order to mitigate these risks as far as practicable. The principal risks which have been identified and the steps taken by the board to mitigate these are set out in the table below. The principal financial risks are detailed in note 16 to the financial statements in the annual report.

 

The board has considered the impact of the Covid pandemic on the Company. Originally identified as an emerging risk, the pandemic developed significantly and quickly, triggering sharp falls in global stock markets and resulting in uncertainty about the ongoing impact on markets and companies, and around future dividend income. The risks associated with the pandemic were therefore moved from emerging into one of the principal risks facing the Company.

 

Other than the risks associated with the Covid pandemic, the board does not consider the principal risks to have changed during the course of the reporting period and up to the date of this report.

 

Risk

Mitigation

Global pandemic

The consequences of Covid and the political and economic volatility could be far-reaching and increase all of the risks faced by the Company in both the investment and operational side of the business.

 

The fund manager maintains close oversight of the Company's portfolio and monitors the dividend flows from investee companies. Investment in fixed income stocks was made to provide additional income in light of the reductions/cancellations of dividends that were being suffered.

 

The board monitors the effects of Covid on the operations of the Company and its service providers to ensure that they continue to be appropriate, effective and properly resourced.

Investment activity and performance risks

An inappropriate investment strategy (for example, in terms of asset allocation or the level of gearing) may result in underperformance against the Company's benchmark index and the companies in its peer group.

 

The board monitors investment performance at each board meeting and regularly reviews the extent of its borrowings, when in use.

Portfolio and market price risks

Although the Company invests almost entirely in securities that are listed on recognised markets, share prices may move rapidly. The companies in which investments are made may operate unsuccessfully, or fail entirely. A fall in the market value of the Company's portfolio would have an adverse effect on shareholders' funds.

 

Most of the Company's assets, liabilities, income and expenses are denominated in currencies other than sterling (the Company's functional currency and presentational currency). As a result, movements in exchange rates may affect the sterling value of those items.

 

The manager seeks to maintain a diversified portfolio to mitigate against this risk. The board regularly reviews the portfolio, activities and performance.

 

The fund manager monitors the Company's exposure to foreign currencies daily and reports to the board at each meeting. The fund manager measures the risk to the Company of the foreign currency exposure by considering the effect on the Company's net asset value and total return of a movement in the exchange rates to which the Company's assets, liabilities, income and expenses are exposed.

 

The board has set an investment limit on currency hedging to a maximum of 25% of gross assets to mitigate against this risk.

Brexit/political risks

The UK's negotiations to leave the European Union ("Brexit") could lead to the portfolio being subject to greater market price risk volatility and specific stock risk. It could also impact the operations of the Company's third-party service providers.

 

The manager actively monitors political issues and this includes consideration of the market uncertainty arising from Brexit. The board is comfortable that the manager has detailed plans in place to continue in operation regardless of the final position. Importantly, the portfolio is well-diversified and will be relatively unaffected by Brexit in the short term given the nature of the investment objective.

Tax and regulatory risks

A breach of s.1158/9 could lead to a loss of investment trust status, resulting in capital gains realised within the portfolio being subject to corporation tax. A breach of the Listing Rules could result in suspension of the Company's shares, while a breach of the Companies Act could lead to criminal proceedings, or financial or reputational damage.

 

The manager has contracted investment, company secretarial, administration and accounting services to qualified professionals. The board receives internal control reports produced by Janus Henderson on a quarterly basis, which confirm regulatory compliance.

Operational and cyber risks

Disruption to, or failure of, Janus Henderson's accounting, dealing or payment systems or the custodian's records could prevent the accurate reporting and monitoring of the Company's financial position. The Company is also exposed to the operational and/or cyber risk that one or more of its service providers may not provide the required level of service in the event of a cyber attack.

 

The board monitors the services provided by the manager and its other third-party suppliers and receives reports on the key elements in place to provide effective internal controls, including the impact of Covid on their day-to-day operations. The board also receives assurances from the manager's chief information security officer that the manager maintains robust cyber and information security policies, processes and procedures.

 

The board also monitors the principal business risks faced by the Company which are recorded in a risk map which is reviewed regularly. Systems are in operation to safeguard the Company's assets and shareholders' investments, to maintain proper accounting records and to ensure that financial information used within the business, or published, is reliable.

Risks associated with the senior unsecured notes

A breach of the covenants of the senior unsecured notes would trigger an "event of default" clause in the note purchase agreement, at which point the outstanding amount may become automatically and immediately repayable.

 

The manager monitors the Company's compliance with the covenants of the senior unsecured notes through the Charles River compliance tool. The senior unsecured notes are conservatively coded into this tool so that the manager would be alerted well in advance of a potential breach of covenant conditions.

 

The board monitors compliance with the covenants of the senior unsecured notes through a monthly investment limits and restrictions schedule that is provided at each board meeting.

 

Other "events of default" not relating to covenant conditions are also monitored.

 

Emerging risks

 

In addition to the principal risks facing the Company, the board also regularly considers potential emerging risks, which are defined as potential trends, sudden events or changing risks which are characterised by a high degree of uncertainty in terms of the probability of them happening and the possible effects on the Company. Should an emerging risk become sufficiently clear, it may be moved to a significant risk, as described above in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The board has identified the following as potential emerging risks:

 

Emerging risk

Mitigation

Continued consolidation of the wealth management industry resulting in a narrower customer base and the increasing importance of being on the "buy list".

 

The board, through the manager and corporate broker, maintains ongoing close contact with all wealth managers. A key focus is on performance and to ensure that the Company meets buy list requirements. The manager makes use of PR and marketing in order to reach individual buyers.

Consolidation of the investment trust sector leading to a greater average size of investment trusts becoming the norm.

 

The board regularly reviews the market to identify and grasp consolidation opportunities and looks to the manager to provide performance to improve the Company's chances for growth.

Unfavourable regulatory changes, including tax changes and the possible imposition of a wealth tax.

The board and the manager monitor potential changes on an ongoing basis.

 

 

VIABILITY STATEMENT

The AIC Code of Corporate Governance includes a requirement for the board to assess the future prospects for the Company, and to report on the assessment within the annual report. The board considered that certain characteristics of the Company's business model and strategy were relevant to this assessment:

 

• the board looks to ensure that the Company seeks to deliver long-term performance;

 

• the Company's investment objective, strategy and policy, which are subject to regular board monitoring, mean that the Company is invested mainly in readily realisable listed securities and that the level of borrowings is restricted;

 

• the Company is a closed-end investment company and therefore does not suffer from the liquidity issues arising from unexpected redemptions; and

 

• the Company has an ongoing charge of 0.85%.

 

Also relevant were a number of aspects of the Company's operational agreements:

 

• the Company retains title to all assets held by the custodian under the terms of the formal agreement with the depositary;

 

• long-term borrowing is in place, being the 2.43% senior unsecured notes 2044, which are also subject to a formal agreement, including financial covenants with which the Company complied in full during the period since issuance. The value of long-term borrowing is relatively small in comparison to the value of net assets, being 8.8%;

 

• revenue and expenditure forecasts are reviewed by the directors at each board meeting; and

 

• cash is held with an approved bank.

 

In addition, the directors carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks and uncertainties which could threaten the Company's business model, including future performance, liquidity or solvency and reputation.

 

The principal risks identified as relevant to the viability assessment were those relating to investment activity and performance, portfolio and market price risks. The board took into account the liquidity of the Company's portfolio, the existence of the long-term fixed rate borrowings, the effects of any significant future falls in investment values and income receipts on the ability to repay and re-negotiate borrowings, grow dividend payments and retain investors and the potential need for share buy-backs to maintain a narrow share price discount. The directors assess viability over three-year rolling periods, taking account of foreseeable severe but plausible scenarios. In coming to this conclusion, the directors have considered the impact of the Covid pandemic, in particular the impact on income and the Company's ability to meet its investment objective, and the impact on loan covenants.

 

The directors believe that a rolling three-year period best balances the Company's long-term objective, its financial flexibility and scope with the difficulty in forecasting economic conditions affecting the Company and its shareholders.

 

The directors recognise that there is a continuation vote that is due to take place at the annual general meeting on 8 December 2020. The directors currently support the continuation of the Company and expect that the Company will continue to exist for the foreseeable future, and at least for the period of assessment. Contact that has been had with shareholders suggests to the board that shareholders will support continuation. In the unlikely event that the vote were not passed, the directors would follow the provisions in the articles of association to the effect that the Company be wound up, liquidated, reorganised or unitised.

 

Based on their assessment, and in the context of the Company's business model, strategy and operational arrangements set out above, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company will be able to continue in operation and meet its liabilities as they fall due over the three-year period to 31 August 2023.

 

 

BORROWINGS

Where the fund manager believes that gearing will enhance returns to shareholders, the Company may borrow up to 25% of its gross assets at the time of drawdown or investment (as appropriate). Borrowings for these purposes would include implied gearing through the use of derivatives. The Company's short-term gearing facility allows borrowing of up to £30m in sterling and other currencies by way of an overdraft facility with HSBC Bank plc. Under this facility the Company borrowed in both sterling and euros in the year under review.

 

On 30 April 2019 the Company issued €30m fixed rate 25-year senior unsecured notes at an annualised coupon of 2.43%. This long-term fixed rate euro denominated financing was obtained at a price that the board considered attractive. The senior unsecured notes are expected to enhance long-term investment performance.

 

Within the terms of the senior unsecured notes are clauses that would be enacted in certain scenarios should the notes be prepaid by the Company before maturity. These clauses could impact the total amount repayable. The directors have assessed these and have concluded that these events are highly unlikely to occur.

 

 

RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

The Company's transactions with related parties in the year were with the directors and the manager. There have been no material transactions between the Company and its directors during the year. The only amounts paid to them were in respect of expenses and remuneration for which there were no outstanding amounts payable at the year end. Directors' shareholdings are disclosed in the annual report.

 

In relation to the provision of services by the manager (other than fees payable by the Company in the ordinary course of business and the provision of marketing services) there have been no material transactions with the manager affecting the financial position or performance of the Company during the year under review. More details on transactions with the manager, including amounts outstanding at the year end, are given in the annual report.

 

 

DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT

Each of the directors, who are listed in the annual report, confirms that, to the best of their knowledge:

 

• the Company's financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with UK Accounting Standards on a going concern basis, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and loss of the Company; and

 

• the strategic report, directors' report and financial statements include a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that it faces.

 

On behalf of the board

 

 

Simon Jeffreys

Chairman

28 October 2020

 

 

INCOME STATEMENT

 

 

 

Year ended 31 August 2020

Year ended 31 August 2019

 

 

 

Notes

 

 

 

Revenue 

return 

£'000 

Capital 

return 

£'000 

 

Total 

£'000 

Revenue 

return 

£'000 

Capital 

return 

£'000 

 

Total 

£'000 

 

Losses from investments held at fair value through profit or loss

-

(19,672)

(19,672)

 

(2,432)

(2,432)

3

Income from investments held at fair value through profit or loss

12,482 

188 

12,670 

 

13,415 

 

 

13,415 

 

Profit/(loss) on foreign exchange

417 

417 

 

 

(1,301)

 

(1,301)

 

Other income

879 

26 

905 

327 

327 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross revenue and capital losses

13,361 

(19,041)

(5,680)

 

13,742 

 

(3,733)

 

10,009 

 

Management fee

(481)

(1,444)

(1,925)

(462)

(1,385)

(1,847)

 

Other administrative expenses

(611)

(611)

  (557)

-

(557)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net return before finance costs and taxation

12,269 

(20,485)

(8,216)

 

12,723 

 

(5,118)

 

7,605 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finance costs

(192)

(539)

(731)

(76)

(185)

(261)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net return before taxation

12,077 

(21,024)

(8,947)

12,647 

(5,303)

7,344 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taxation on net return

(1,459)

53 

(1,406)

(1,357)

(36)

(1,393)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net return after taxation

10,618 

(20,971)

(10,353)

11,290 

(5,399)

5,951 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

Return per ordinary share

5.53p

(10.91p)

(5.38p)

6.29p

(2.98p)

3.31p

         

 

The total column of this statement represents the Income Statement of the Company. The revenue return and capital return columns are supplementary to this and are prepared under guidance published by the Association of Investment Companies.

 

All revenue and capital items derive from continuing operations. The Company had no recognised gains or losses other than those disclosed in the Income Statement and therefore no Statement of Comprehensive Income has been presented as the net return after taxation is also the total comprehensive income for the year.

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY

 

 

 

 

Notes

 

 

Year ended

31 August 2020

Called up

share capital £'000

Share premium

account £'000

 

Special

reserve

£'000

Other capital

reserves £'000

 

Revenue

 reserve  £'000 

 

 

Total  £'000 

 

At 31 August 2019

1,876

181,007

45,732

72,480 

8,081 

309,176 

7, 8

New shares allotted

84

13,543

-

13,627 

 

Net return for the year

-

-

-

(20,971)

10,618 

(10,353)

5

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(11,535)

(11,535)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 31 August 2020

1,960

194,550

45,732

51,509 

7,164 

300,915 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

 

 

Year ended

31 August 2019

Called up

share capital £'000

Share premium

account £'000

Other  capital 

reserves 

£'000 

 

Revenue  reserve 

£'000 

 

 

Total  £'000 

 

At 31 August 2018

1,776

164,631

45,732

77,819 

6,790 

296,748 

7, 8

New shares allotted

100

16,376

-

16,476 

 

Net return for the year

-

-

-

(5,339)

11,290 

5,951 

5

Dividends paid

-

-

-

(9,999)

(9,999)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 31 August 2019

1,876

181,007

45,732

72,480 

8,081 

309,176 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

 

 

 

Notes

 

 

 

 

At 

31 August 

2020 

£'000 

At 

31 August 

2019 

£'000 

 

Fixed asset investments held at fair value through profit or loss

335,243 

319,210 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

Debtors

10,621 

1,621 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

23,189 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10,621 

24,810 

 

 

 

 

 

Bank overdraft

(4,900)

 

Creditors: amounts falling due within one year

(13,423)

(7,892)

 

 

 

 

 

Net current (liabilities)/assets

(7,702)

16,918 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets less current liabilities

327,541 

336,128 

 

Creditors: amounts falling due after more than one year

(26,626)

(26,952)

 

 

 

 

 

Total net assets

300,915 

309,176 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital and reserves

 

 

7

Called up share capital

1,960 

1,876 

8

Share premium account

194,550 

181,007 

 

Special reserve

45,732 

45,732 

 

Other capital reserves

51,509 

72,480 

 

Revenue reserve

7,164 

8,081 

 

 

 

 

 

Total shareholders' funds

300,915 

309,176 

 

 

 

 

6

Net asset value per ordinary share

153.5p

164.8p

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

 

 

Year ended 

31 August 

2020 

£'000 

Year ended 

31 August 

2019 

£'000 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

Net return before taxation

(8,947)

7,344 

Add back: finance costs

731 

261 

Less: losses on investments held at fair value through profit or loss

19,672 

2,432 

Add: (gains)/losses on foreign exchange

(417)

1,301 

Withholding tax on dividends deducted at source

(2,128)

(1,965)

Taxation recovered

39 

110 

Decrease/(increase) in debtors

88 

(60)

Increase in creditors

30 

512 

 

 

 

Net cash inflow from operating activities

9,068 

9,935 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

Purchase of investments

(173,890)

 (114,653)

Sale of investments

135,281 

114,175 

 

 

 

Net cash outflow from investing activities

(38,609)

(478)

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

Equity dividends paid (net of refund of unclaimed distributions and reclaimed distributions)

(11,535)

(9,999)

Proceeds from issue of ordinary shares

13,627 

3,482 

Cash proceeds of Establishment Investment Trust transfer

866 

Proceeds from issue of senior unsecured notes

25,921 

Senior unsecured notes issue costs

(177)

Interest paid

(728)

(38)

 

 

 

Net cash inflow from financing activities

1,364 

20,055 

 

 

 

Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash equivalents

(28,177)

29,512 

Cash and cash equivalents at start of year

23,189 

(6,227)

Effect of foreign exchange rates

88 

(96)

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

(4,900)

23,189 

 

 

 

Comprising:

 

 

Cash at bank

-

23,189 

Bank overdraft

(4,900)

 

 

 

 

(4,900)

23,189 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

1.  Accounting policies

Basis of accounting

The Company is a registered investment company as defined in section 833 of the Companies Act 2006 and is incorporated in the United Kingdom. It operates in the United Kingdom and is registered at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE.

 

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 2006, FRS 102, the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (which is effective for periods commencing on or after January 2018), and with the Statement of Recommended Practice: Financial Statements of Investment Trust Companies and Venture Capital Trusts ("the SORP") issued in October 2019.

 

The principal accounting policies applied in the presentation of these financial statements are set out in the annual report.

 

Following the issue of the senior unsecured notes on 30 April 2019 it was determined that the Company would adopt the recognition and measurement provisions of IFRS 9 (Financial Instruments), as permitted by sections 11 and 12 of FRS 102. This was determined to better reflect the directors' assessment of the carrying value of the senior unsecured notes and has no impact on the carrying value of the Company's financial assets.

 

The financial statements are prepared under the historical cost basis except for the measurement at fair value of investments.

 

The preparation of the Company's financial statements on occasion requires the directors to make judgements, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts in the primary financial statements and the accompanying disclosures. These assumptions and estimates could result in outcomes that require a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets or liabilities affected in current and future periods, depending on circumstances. The directors have considered the accounting treatment of the senior unsecured notes as set out in accounting policy 1i) in the annual report to be an area of judgement, in particular with reference to clauses that would be enacted should the notes be prepaid before maturity and concluded the adoption of IFRS 9 described above is the most appropriate and complies with accounting standards.

 

The directors do not believe there are any other accounting judgements or estimates that have been applied to this set of financial statements that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amount of assets and liabilities within the next financial year.

 

 

2.  Going concern

The assets of the Company consist of securities that are readily realisable and, accordingly, the directors believe that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for at least twelve months from the date of approval of the financial statements. Having assessed these factors, the principal risks, as well as considering the additional risks related to Covid-19 and other matters discussed in connection with the viability statement, the board has determined that it is appropriate for the financial statements to be prepared on a going concern basis.

 

 

3.  Income from investments held at fair value through profit or loss

 

2020

£'000

2019

£'000

Dividend income

12,206

13,415

Bond and loan interest

276

-

 

 

 

Income credited to income

12,482

13,415

Income credited to capital1

188

-

 

 

 

 

12,670

13,415

 

 

 

1 The income credited to capital relates to capital distributions from US real estate investment trusts

 

 

4.  Return per ordinary share

 

2020

2019

 

£'000 

pence 

£'000 

pence 

Revenue return

10,618 

5.53 

11,290 

6.29 

Capital return

(20,971)

(10.91)

(5,339)

(2.98)

 

 

 

 

 

Total return

(10,353)

(5.38)

5,951 

3.31 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted number of ordinary shares

192,134,317 

179,379,411 

 

 

5.  Dividends paid on ordinary shares for the year to 31 August

 

 

Record

date

Payment

date

Ex-dividend

date

2020

£'000

2019

£'000

4th interim dividend

1.50p

8 November 2019

29 November 2019

7 November 2019

2,814

-

1st interim dividend

1.50p

14 February 2020

28 February 2020

13 February 2020

2,891

-

2nd interim dividend

1.50p

11 May 2020

29 May 2020

7 May 2020

2,891

-

3rd interim dividend

1.50p

31 July 2020

28 August 2020

30 July 2020

2,939

-

4th interim dividend

1.40p

9 November 2018

30 November 2018

8 November 2018

-

2,486

1st interim dividend

1.40p

8 February 2019

28 February 2019

7 February 2019

-

2,492

2nd interim dividend

1.40p

10 May 2019

31 May 2019

9 May 2019

-

2,508

3rd interim dividend

1.40p

12 July 2019

30 August 2019

11 July 2019

-

2,513

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11,535

9,999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fourth interim dividend in respect of the year ended 31 August 2020 of 1.50p per ordinary share was announced on 28 October 2020 and will be paid to shareholders on 30 November 2020 with record date 6 November 2020. The Company's shares will go ex-dividend on 5 November 2020.

 

All dividends have been or will be paid out of revenue profits.

 

The total dividends payable in respect of the financial year which form the basis of section 1158 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 are set out below:

 

 

2020 

£'000 

2019 

£'000 

Revenue available for distribution by way of dividend for the year

10,618 

11,290 

Interim dividends of 4.50p paid (2019: 4.20p)

(8,721)

(7,513)

Fourth interim dividend for the year to 31 August 2020 of 1.50p (based on 195,978,716 ordinary shares in issue as at 27 October 2020) (2019: 1.50p)

(2,939)

(2,814)

 

 

 

Undistributed revenue for section 1158 purposes1

 (1,042)

963 

 

1 The deficit of (£1,042,000) (2019: surplus of £963,000) has been taken (from)/to the revenue reserve

 

 

6.  Net asset value per ordinary share

The net asset value per ordinary share and the net assets attributable to ordinary shares at the end of the year were as follows:

 

 

2020 

2019 

Net assets attributable (£'000)

300,915 

309,176 

Number of ordinary shares in issue

195,978,716 

187,583,716 

Net assets per ordinary share

153.5p

164.8p

 

 

The movements during the year of the assets attributable to the ordinary shares were as follows:

 

 

 

2020 

£'000 

2019 

£'000 

Net assets at start of the year

309,176 

296,748 

Total net return after taxation

(10,353)

5,951 

Dividends paid on ordinary shares in the period

(11,535)

(9,999)

Issue of ordinary shares less issue costs

13,627 

16,476 

 

 

 

Total net assets attributable to the ordinary shares at 31 August

300,915 

309,176 

 

 

7.  Called up share capital

 

2020

Number of shares

Number of shares entitled to dividend

 

£'000

Ordinary shares 1p each

 

 

 

At 31 August 2019

187,583,716

187,583,716

1,876

New shares allotted in year

8,395,000

8,395,000

84

 

 

 

 

At 31 August 2020

195,978,716

195,978,716

1,960

 

 

 

 

During the year, the Company issued 8,395,000 ordinary shares for a total consideration of £13,627,000 after deduction of issue costs of £83,000. Since the year end, no shares have been issued.

 

 

2019

Number of shares

Number of shares entitled to dividend

 

£'000

Ordinary shares 1p each

 

 

 

At 31 August 2018

177,581,306

177,581,306

1,776

New shares allotted in year

10,002,410

10,002,410

100

 

 

 

 

At 31 August 2019

187,583,716

187,583,716

1,876

 

During 2019, the Company issued 10,002,410 ordinary shares for a total consideration of £16,480,000 after deduction of issue costs of £20,000. Included in the issue of 10,002,410 ordinary shares during the year was 7,827,410 ordinary shares issued following the scheme of reconstruction and voluntary winding-up of The Establishment Investment Trust plc ("EIT") whereby investors in EIT were given the option of receiving shares in the Company. The net proceeds received from this transaction comprised £12,128,000 investments and £866,000 cash.

 

 

8.  Share premium account

 

2020 

£'000 

2019 

£'000 

At the start of the year

181,007 

164,631 

Ordinary shares allotted in year

13,626 

16,396 

Issue costs

(83)

(20)

 

 

 

At 31 August

194,550 

181,007 

 

 

 

 

9.  2020 Financial information

The figures and financial information for the year ended 31 August 2020 are extracted from the Company's annual financial statements for that year and do not constitute statutory financial statements for that year. The Company's annual financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2020 have been audited but have not yet been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditors' report on the 2020 financial statements was unqualified and did not contain any statements under sections 498(2) and 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

 

10.  2019 Financial information

The figures and financial information for the year ended 31 August 2019 are extracted from financial statements for that year and do not constitute statutory financial statements for that year. Those financial statements have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and included the report of the auditors which was unqualified and did not contain any statements under sections 498(2) or 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

 

11.  Annual report and financial statements

The annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 August 2020 will be posted to shareholders in early November 2020 and copies will be available on the Company's website www.hendersoninternationalincometrust.com or in hard copy format from the Company's registered office, 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE.

 

The annual general meeting will be held on Tuesday, 8 December 2020 at 2.30pm. The notice of the annual general meeting will be posted to shareholders in early November with the annual report and financial statements.

 

 

For more information please contact:

 

Ben Lofthouse

Fund Manager

Henderson International Income Trust plc

Telephone: 020 7818 5187

 

 

James de Sausmarez

Director and Head of Investment Trusts

Henderson Investment Funds Limited

Telephone: 020 7818 3349

 

Laura Thomas

Investment Trust PR Manager

Janus Henderson Investors

Telephone: 020 7818 2636  

 

 

 

 

Neither the contents of the Company's website nor the contents of any website accessible from hyperlinks on the Company's website (or any other website) is incorporated into, or forms part of, this announcement.

 

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