News Column

Aberdeen Smaller Companies High Income Swings To First-Half Loss

August 29, 2014

Anthony Tshibangu

LONDON (Alliance News) - Aberdeen Smaller Companies High Income Trust PLC Friday said it swung to a loss during a "quiet" first-half, though said it believes its equity portfolio remains in "good shape."

The trust posted a pretax loss of GBP1.2 million for the six months ended June 30 compared with a pretax profit of GBP5.4 million a year earlier. The company made a GBP1.9 million loss on investments held at fair value compared with a GBP4.7 million gain a year earlier.

At June 30, the trust said its net asset value per share stood at 229.17 pence compared with 237.99 pence at the end of December.

It said after a very strong 2013, the first-half of 2014 was "quiet for small companies."

The net asset value fell by 2.4% in total return terms over the period, having risen by 45% in 2013. In comparison, the FTSE Smaller Companies index rose by 0.4% in the six months to June 30, 2014.

Over the same period the share price fell by 4.5%, reflecting a widening of the discount which had been extremely tight for the majority of the last year, the company said.

The board has already announced first and second interim dividends of 1.6 pence per share, an increase from 1.55 pence last year.

"The manager believes that the equity portfolio is in good shape and the fixed income portfolio has been resized and positioned," Chairman Carolan Dobson said in a statement. "We have also refinanced the debt to attractive levels whilst retaining flexibility through the combination of a fixed and variable stance, with overall debt of around 20% of gross assets. This is a level that as a board we are comfortable with given where we are in the cycle."

The stock was quoted down 1.0% at 195.12 pence Friday morning.

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Source: Alliance News

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