Interactive Investor

Results round-up: Syncona and Utilico Emerging Markets

25th June 2021 10:10

Kyle Caldwell from interactive investor

We examine the latest results for Super 60 and ACE 40 investment trusts.

Syncona (a member of ii’s ACE 40 list)

Syncona (LSE: SYNC) investment trust, which aims to achieve superior long-term capital appreciation from investing in life science companies, produced a net asset value (NAV) return of 4.4% over its financial year, which runs to the end of March. This was an improvement on its NAV return the previous year, which was a fall of 13.3%.   

The trust’s strategy is to establish, build and fund companies to turn exceptional science into a dynamic portfolio that captures the strong risk-adjusted returns available from commercialising life science. The aim is for the companies to deliver their product to market.

Martin Murphy, chief executive officer at Syncona Investment Management Limited, notes “against the unprecedented backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, Syncona has made good progress in the year and the value of innovative new medicines has never been clearer”.

He adds: “Encouragingly, where previously delayed, clinical trials are resuming across the portfolio and our companies are well funded, having raised £770 million over the year, to deliver on significant clinical milestones.” 

Three new companies were added to the portfolio during the year, bringing the total to 11. The trust has a long-term target of owning between 15 and 20 companies.

The trust typically trades on a large premium, which has recently fluctuated around 20% to 35%. The premium currently stands at just below 10%

Utilico Emerging Markets (a member of ii’s Super 60 list)

Utilico Emerging Markets (LSE: UEM), which invests in utilities and infrastructure firms, reported a turnaround in performance for its latest financial year, which runs until the end of March. The trust delivered an NAV return of 30.2% for the 12-month period, while its share price total return stood at 27.3%. The trust outperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets Utilities Index, which was up 17.2%.

In addition, income investors will be pleased to see that the quarterly dividend across the year was increased by 2.6% compared to the prior year.

Utilico Emerging Markets, which is managed by fund manager ICM, fell notably in the first quarter of 2020, due to its equity exposure to Brazil, which was negatively impacted by the fall in the Brazilian real. Over its financial year, the trust subsequently reduced its exposure to holdings listed in Brazil, from 29% to 18%.

Charles Jillings, investment manager of UEM, commented: Covid-19 has caused unprecedented challenges for investors. ICM is strongly of the view that due to Covid-19, the shift to working from home and e-commerce has accelerated the digitalisation of governments, businesses and individuals, and this shift will offer new investment opportunities.”

Its current discount is 9.4% against a 12-month average discount figure of 12.2%.

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.