Annual report summaries

The Scottish method yields outstanding dividends

The Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN) invests in international equities for above-average long-term returns and dividend growth ahead of UK inflation. SCIN’s report and accounts for the year to 31 October 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £715 million, after deducting long-term borrowings of £83.8 million.

Alasdair McKinnon has been the trust’s lead manager since July 2014 and has introduced a high-conviction, global contrarian approach. The portfolio has been concentrated down to 50 holdings, focused on unfashionable and unpopular companies ripe for improvement.

Out-of favour opportunities increase for Temple Bar

Temple Bar Investment Trust (TMPL) targets long-term total returns in excess of the FTSE All-Share index. It invests mostly in constituents of the FTSE 350 index. TMPL’s annual report for the year to 31 December 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £802 million. Its dividend has been raised every year since 1983.

Alastair Mundy, who heads Investec Asset Management’s UK Value team, has been manager since 2002. Peter Lowery, who has worked closely with him since 2003, is deputy manager.

British Empire a benchmark beater once again

British Empire Trust (BTEM) targets capital growth through a portfolio of mainly listed investments, particularly in ­firms whose shares stand at a discount to estimated net asset value (NAV). Its annual report for the year to 30 September 2018 shows assets of £942 million.

High-yielding Merchants’ emphasis on value proves profitable

The Merchants Trust (MRCH) is managed by Allianz Global Investors. It invests mainly in large UK-quoted companies for an above-average and consistently rising dividend and long-term capital growth. Its annual report for the year to 31 January 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £593 million.

Manager Simon Gergel has a long-term value focus and invests in ‑ firms with strong franchises and sound finances he expects to deliver high income and good returns.

Jupiter's Darwall finding European opportunities aplenty

Jupiter European Opportunities Trust (JEO) invests in European equities for long-term capital growth. Although its benchmark is the FTSE World Europe ex UK Total Return index, it generally has a significant UK exposure. Its report for the year to 31 May 2018 shows shareholders’ assets of £873 million.

Cheaper gearing supports Brunner’s share price returns

The Brunner Investment Trust (BUT) is managed by Allianz Global Investors. It o­ffers a one-stop shop for investors looking for a global portfolio of equities and a quarterly dividend. Its annual report for the year to 30 November 2017 shows shareholders’ assets of £318 million.

BlackRock Smaller Companies’ stunning 15 years

BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust (BRSC) targets long-term capital growth through investment in smaller UK-quoted ­ firms, with up to 50 per cent in Aim-quoted holdings. Its report and accounts for the year to 28 February 2018 show shareholders’ funds of £721 million.