The trust returned 0.9% to investors in the year to 30 April 2022, underperforming its benchmark return of 15%, according to the company’s final results. It delivered a share price total return of 1.4%.
MVAT declared a fourth interim dividend of 2.16p per share, bringing the total annual dividend to 7.2p per share, up 7.1% on a year ago.
Chair Richard Ramsay described the performance of the trust as “somewhat mediocre”, especially when compared to its benchmark which he said has been “turbocharged by the rise of inflation”.
Over the last five years, the trust has generated a NAV total return per share of +32% (equivalent to 5.7% per annum) compared with +41.8% (equivalent to 7.2% per annum) from the benchmark, which was adopted in July 2017.
“It certainly feels as though the benchmark will be a challenging hurdle for some time, though the last two or three years have amply demonstrated how quickly and significantly things can and do change,” said Ramsay.
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Detractors from performance were the trust’s UK equity holdings of Accrol and Purplebricks, whose share prices declined by 65% and 81% respectively over the period. Property holdings gave returns a lift, with the share price of AEW REIT rising by 39%.
Looking forward, the company said it is the board’s intention to at least to maintain the aggregate dividends for the year to 30 April 2023 at 7.20p per share, meaning a quarterly rate of 1.80p per share.
“Given the outlook for inflation, it is very likely the fourth interim dividend next year will be higher than 1.8 pence per share consistent with the board’s intention to increase dividends by at least inflation over the longer run,” the chair said.
Ramsay, who has been a non-executive director of MAVT for just over nine years and served as chair for virtually all of that time, will retire at the AGM in July 2022, when James McCulloch will succeed him.