Over the year to 30 September 2020, the Company’s net asset value per share (NAV) total return was 37.5% compared to a negative total return of 0.3% for the FTSE Europe ex UK Index (in sterling terms). The share price total return for the same period was 54.2%.
Over the ten months to 30 September 2020, being the period under the management of Baillie Gifford, the Company’s NAV total return was 36.4% compared to a negative total return of 0.2% for the FTSE Europe ex UK Index (in sterling terms). The share price total return for the same period was 44.2%.
Online fashion market place Zalando, IT provider Bechtle, digital payment processor Adyen and the food delivery company Delivery Hero were amongst the portfolio’s strongest contributors to absolute returns.
The portfolio now contains an unlisted company, Northvolt, the Swedish battery developer and manufacturer which specialises in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles.
The net revenue return for the year was 4.17p per share (2019: 31.00p). A final dividend of 3.50p per share is being recommended to give a total for the year of 3.50p (2019: 31.00p). As highlighted previously, it is the intention of the Board that dividends be paid by way of a single final payment and be the minimum permissible to maintain investment trust status.
At this year’s Annual General Meeting the Directors will be seeking shareholder approval to undertake a 10 for 1 share split.
The portfolio managers remain focused on finding the companies that will progress through current events and emerge with an even more dominant position and strong prospects. They remain vigilant to investment opportunities at attractive valuations in sustainable businesses with special cultures that provide the best chance of producing significant absolute returns over the coming years.