Witan Investment Trust announced half-year results for the period ended 30 June 2019. The NAV total return was 13.5%, 1.4% below the benchmark return of 14.9%. The share price total return was 11.7%, as the discount widened from 1.3% at the end of 2018 to 2.9% at the end of June.
During the period, the company’s shares were sub-divided on 28 May to improve liquidity for regular savers, with shareholders receiving five new shares in place of each old share. The company also announced that a second interim dividend of 1.175p per ordinary share will be paid on 18 September 2019. Total dividend paid in respect of the period was 2.35p per ordinary share (2018: 2.1p), with 10.8m shares (1.2%) bought into treasury at an average discount of 2.8%.
Wittan also joined the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and invested £20m in a specialist fund that says it seeks strong returns from efforts to combat or mitigate the effects of climate change.
According to the company, prospects for the rest of 2019 and next year depend to some degree on whether the interest rate cuts and other forms of easier policy are viewed as a form of policy insurance to prolong the economic upswing or as emergency treatment for a moribund global economy.