Standard Life’s smaller companies investment trust outperformed a sector index by more than 10 per cent, the company has announced.
The fund saw the net asset value of shares rise by 38.5 per cent, compared to the benchmark Hoare Govett Smaller Companies Index which increased by 24.4 per cent in the year ending 30 June 2010. Total dividends increased by 56.3 per cent.
Commenting on the results, chairman of the trust, Donald MacDonald, said: “The board is delighted with the sustained strong performance of the Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust...The manager, Harry Nimmo, continued to focus on investing in companies with proven business models and exposure to international markets.”
MacDonald said the fund had shown a preference towards companies displaying resilience, low risk and positive growth, with the focus on ‘sustainable business models’ the right approach when underlying economic growth was hard to come by.
The trust manager, Harry Nimmo, said exposure to online business models had paid off with strong performances by the online fashion retailer ASOS and property company Rightmove. The smaller companies trust is an actively managed investment fund with a portfolio of small and mid-sized companies in the UK market.
“As usual, our focus is on high-quality growth stocks with surplus of earnings visibility and the potential to become large companies. It is also notable that founders are often still running the companies that we hold. Indeed, 15 out of the top 30 holdings have a founder as a chief executive,” Nimmo added.
Last week, the trust’s parent company Standard Life Group, which provides pensions, insurance and investments, announced that it would cut up to 500 jobs over the next 15 months. The majority of posts will go from the company’s base in Edinburgh.
The reduction in posts is part of a transformation programme announced earlier this year and will contribute to a target of £100million efficiency savings by the end of 2011.
The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, said he was meeting with Standard Life chief executive David Nish to discuss the plans.
“Financial services will continue to play a key role in Scotland’s economy and I will continue to do all I can at UK government level to support and grow the number of jobs the sector brings to Scotland,” Moore said.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd