BlackRock Income & Growth Outperforms Benchmark In First Half

(Alliance News) - BlackRock Income & Growth Investment Trust PLC said Tuesday it saw a rise in ...

Alliance News 25 June, 2019 | 3:09PM
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(Alliance News) - BlackRock Income & Growth Investment Trust PLC said Tuesday it saw a rise in net assets in the first half and was able to outperform its benchmark.

At April 30, the trust's NAV per share stood at 203.70 pence each compared to 194.26p at October 31, an increase of 4.9%.

BlackRock Income & Growth's net assets increased 1.3% in the first half, rising to GBP47.3 million from GBP46.7 million at the end of October. The trust bought back 820,147 shares in the period.

The trust declared a 2.60p interim dividend, 4.0% ahead of the 2.50p distributed the year before.

In the period, BlackRock Income & Growth's NAV total return was 7.3%, ahead of its benchmark - the FSTE All-Share index - which added 6.4%.

The trust's investment managers, Adam Avigdori and David Goldman, said: "In assembling the company's portfolio we adopt a concentrated approach to investment to ensure that our best ideas contribute significantly to returns. We believe that it is the role of the portfolio overall to achieve a premium level of yield alongside capital growth rather than every individual company within the portfolio."

Describing the portfolio's performance, they continued: "John Laing Group PLC has reiterated continued investment in Australia and North America, where they have a large, varied and exciting pipeline of opportunities, and also new investment opportunities in Latin America. We continue to have conviction in this business which is well exposed to global infrastructure investment trends."

"Rentokil Initial PLC experienced a strong share price rise over the period, boosted more recently by an announcement from the company that they are preparing for a buy-out of their pension fund, which is currently in surplus, and which will result in a cash payment to the company," they added.

"Phoenix Group Holdings reported strong growth in profits with the business beating expectations for both cash flow and capital generation," Avigdori and Goldman explained. "This life assurance company is delivering on its strategic priorities, having completed the acquisition of the Standard Life Assurance business."

Avigdori and Goldman said Superdry PLC was a big detractor from the performance of the trust's portfolio. Also, not having any holdings in Diageo PLC and Rio Tinto PLC detracted from relative performance.

Chair Jonathan Cartwright added: "Market volatility is expected to continue throughout 2019 and there remain a number of downside risks; not least a further deterioration in the economic outlook, but also various geopolitical risks, including the outcome of the Brexit process, political instability in the UK and a further escalation of US-China trade tensions. The UK has recently seen some robust employment figures and positive wage growth. However, the economic climate remains volatile."

In London, shares in BlackRock Income & Growth were untraded Tuesday but last closed at 199.00 pence each.

By Paul McGowan; paulmcgowan@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
BlackRock Income and Growth Ord 194.00 GBX 0.00
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