For the half year ended 30 June 2018, WTAN’s NAV total return was +1.11%, in line with the benchmark return of +1.06%. The share price total return was +2.0%, as the discount narrowed to 0.7%.
Over the longer term, performance is more significantly ahead, with a five-year NAV total return performance of 86.3%, compared with 69.4% for the benchmark. WTAN’s combined investment portfolio’s total return was 1.5%, with NAV performance also assisted by the use of gearing. The modest investment outperformance was mostly counterbalanced by costs during the period. The gearing was reported to be at 10.2% at the end of June.
The first interim dividend of 5.25p per ordinary share was paid on 18 June 2018. Following which, a second interim dividend of 5.25p per ordinary share will be paid on 18 September 2018. The total dividends paid in respect of the period are 10.5p per ordinary share (2017: 9.5p/sh). Earnings per share for the period were 15.7p, a rise of 8% from 14.5p for the first half of 2017.
2018 appears to mark a general turning point in global monetary policy, however tightening remains gradual. WTAN remains focussed on active stock-selection with a prudent but opportunistic attitude to risk to add value to its shareholders.