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Standard Life Equity Income NAV up 11 per cent

Standard Life Equity Income Trusts’ diluted net asset value (NAV) total return for the six months ended 31 March 2014 was 11.1 per cent compared with a 4.8 per cent total return on the FTSE All-Share Index.

Over the reporting period, the share price rose from 383.0p to 418.3p, an increase of 9.2 per cent.
The company also saw strong dividend growth from its underlying portfolio during the period which resulted in a 23.4 per cent increase in investment income.
“I am pleased to report that the investment performance of the company for the period ended 31 March 2014 has been very strong producing a net asset value total return of 11.1 per cent compared with the benchmark total return of 4.8 per cent,” says Charles Wood OBE, chairman, Standard Life Equity Income Trust Plc. ““The company’s share price total return for the reporting period was 11.1 per cent and the share price was in line with the net asset value at the end of the reporting period. The average peer group discount was 0.5 per cent. At 16 May 2014 the share price was 415p, with the company’s shares offering a dividend yield of 3.2 per cent.
“The revenue return per ordinary share for the six months ended 31 March 2014 was 7.10p per share, representing a 20.5 per cent increase over the return for the same period last year.  The company continues to see strong dividend growth coming through from the underlying portfolio, including special dividends from Beazley, easyJet, Hiscox and Lancashire.
“Since the board agreed a change in strategy in November 2011 to include a larger proportion of medium sized stocks where the manager has a high conviction, the net asset value total return has been 65.3 per cent compared with the benchmark total return of 35.3 per cent.
“The proportion of mid cap holdings has again been increased. These changes, which are now substantially complete, have helped investment performance as well as reducing the concentration risk of the top ten income contributors.  This has led to the company ranking third out of 21 peers in the UK Equity Income sector based on net asset value total return for the six months ended 31 March 2014.
“The manager has maintained the company’s relative performance against a background of more uneven markets in recent months. The company remains priced at around asset value. While the UK equity market has made strong progress in recent years, our manager continues to identify attractive stock opportunities that offer the prospect of both strengthening balance sheets and earnings growth.”

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