The Merchants Trust announced its half-year report for the six months ended 31 July 2019. NAV total return was 7.4% compared to 10.6% on the FTSE All-Share Index. This was mainly due to the underperformance of the value oriented UK equity portfolio compared to the wider market.
The company organised debt refinancing to lower the average interest cost to 3.5%. Dividends rose 4.7% to 13.5p per share and earnings were strong at 16.1p per ordinary share. Gearing amounted to £111m, or 19.5% of net assets as of 31 July 2019.