Woodford Patient Capital has reported a 2.6 per cent slip in its net asset value to 97.38p per share on a cumulative income basis from the £1 per share issue price.
In its first annual results since the trust’s launch last January, manager Neil Woodford attempted to alleviate concerns in his management review and said it was early days for the trust.
The trust also postoned fund raising first announced in January. The £805m trust had planned to consult with shareholders after deploying all of its capital but said market uncertainty meant it shelved plans.
Mr Woodford said: “Clearly, we would prefer to be reporting on a period of positive progress for the portfolio in net asset value terms, but it is still very early days for this long-term strategy and performance should be viewed in the context of the overall market environment since launch.”
He added that the performance should not closely correlate the broader UK stockmarket in the long term, but acknowledged “the quoted element of the portfolio and, in particular, our large cap positions are exposed to the slings and arrows of market sentiment which, in the period under review, turned increasingly negative”.
However, the manager noted the team had been pleased by the fundamental performance of the vast majority of the trust’s holdings, with many exceeding initial expectations.
Susan Searle, chairman of the trust added: “As the Woodford team has constructed the portfolio, the opportunity set has emerged as deeper and richer than originally anticipated, further strengthening already high levels of confidence in the investment rationale”.
On the fund raising, Ms Searle said: “With the continuing uncertainty prevailing in markets, now is not an appropriate time to raise capital. The Board will, however, monitor the situation and advise shareholders of any developments.”