Final Results for the year ended 30 November 2021
Highlights of the year:
- The global equity Company announces 50 years of successive dividend increases
- Net Asset Value (NAV) per ordinary share rose by 21.5%, marking the Company’s third year of outperformance against the benchmark
- Outperformance was driven by strong stock selection in the healthcare sector and companies benefiting from the digital economy
The Brunner Investment Trust has reported another year of strong performance, with the Net Asset Value (NAV) per ordinary share rising by 21.5%, marginally outperforming the benchmark index which rose by 21.1% on a total return basis over the period.
Reaching a landmark 50 years of successive dividend increases
Earnings per share for the year rose by 27.5%, from 16.0p to 20.4p, putting the Company in a strong position this year to continue its dividend payment to shareholders.
In line with board’s dividend policy, the total dividend for 2021, including the proposed final dividend of 6.05p, will be 20.15p. This represents an increase over the 2020 dividend which was 20.06p and means Brunner has now reached a landmark 50 years of consecutive dividend increases, maintaining its place as one of the longest track records in the Association of Investment Companies’ (AIC) “Dividend Heroes”.
Revenue reserves will remain strong at 24.7p after the payment of the proposed final dividend.
Many of the global equity portfolio’s core holdings continued to benefit from longer term structural drivers. Healthcare, the portfolio’s largest sector weighting, with many high-quality companies with attractive long term growth potential, underperformed the broader market. Nevertheless, this was offset in the Company’s portfolio by strong stock selection, with Novo Nordisk as the largest single stock contributor over the year.
Digitalisation continues to be a powerful theme driving change across almost all industries. The portfolio has a number of positions in the technology sector, but also holds companies in other industries which are similarly benefiting from the digital economy.
Carolan Dobson, Chairman, comments: “This marks a third year of outperformance against the benchmark. It is particularly pleasing to see this outperformance in the radically different market conditions of these years. We expect to continue to follow the same balanced strategy and approach, investing in well-run companies with high-quality business models but only at a fair price. Brunner remains a long-term balanced equity investment, aiming to provide investors with steady growth in capital as well as a rising income stream.
“It is difficult to know whether stock markets will be higher or lower this time next year, but the board have confidence that many of the companies in our portfolio will continue to make good business progress.”
Matthew Tillett, Portfolio Manager, shares his outlook for 2022: “We expect stock markets to remain volatile into 2022 and beyond, but that this will create opportunities for us, as it has done in 2021.
“The portfolio is broadly diversified geographically, with exposures across many industries, both cyclical and defensive. This balanced approach means we avoid taking huge macro or sector bets, preferring instead to let our stock picking drive the portfolio’s returns. Furthermore, we expect that the higher quality business models that we favour will weather the challenges to come better than the average company, whilst our valuation discipline affords us some protection against the extremities of valuation excess.”
PORTFOLIO BREAKDOWN as at 30 November 2021
|Region||% of Invested Funds|
TOP 20 HOLDINGS as at 30 November 2021
|% of Invested Funds||Sector|
|Microsoft||28,485,355||5.34||Software & Computer Services|
|United Health||22,974,510||4.30||Health Care Providers|
|Roche Holdings||15,968,854||2.99||Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology|
|Taiwan Semiconductor||15,046,865||2.82||Technology Hardware & Equipment|
|Visa||15,013,192||2.81||Industrial Support Services|
|Accenture||14,049,435||2.63||Industrial Support Services|
|The Cooper Companies||13,654,061||2.56||Medical Equipment & Services|
|Munich Re||13,225,377||2.47||Non-Life Insurance|
|Schneider Electric||13,088,382||2.45||Electronic & Electrical Equipment|
|Estée Lauder||13,055,028||2.45||Personal Goods|
|Novo Nordisk||12,909,812||2.42||Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology|
|Microchip Technology||12,755,522||2.39||Technology Hardware & Equipment|
|AbbVie||12,687,566||2.38||Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology|
|AMETEK||10,219,343||1.91||Electronic & Electrical Equipment|
|Intuit||9,799,786||1.84||Software & Computer Services|
|Partners Group||9,737,165||1.82||Investment Banking & Brokerage|
|National Grid||9,309,200||1.74||Gas, Water & Multi-Utilities|
|St. James’s Place||9,291,000||1.74||Investment Banking & Brokerage|
|273,445,742||51.20||% of Total Invested Funds|