Woodford asks for patience over trust

Added 4th August 2016

High profile fund manager Neil Woodford has sought to reassure investors in Woodford Patient Capital Trust that it will deliver for them if they stick with it.

Woodford asks for patience over trust

The trust has seen net asset value fall 10.8% to 86.81p over the six months, with the shares currently trading at 89.8p and a one-year return of -22.3%.

Alongside its first half results Woodford acknowledged that performance so far has been disappointing but pointed to some bright spots in the portfolio as reasons for optimism and reiterated his confidence in the long-term prospects for the strategy.

"I understand that some investors will be disappointed with the performance so far, but it is early days for a strategy that is looking to exploit very long-term opportunities,” he said.

“It's been a tough start to the year for financial markets and for Woodford Patient Capital Trust but considerable progress has been made across much of the portfolio. Since the period end, there has been some meaningfully positive and noteworthy news from several companies in the portfolio - six of which make up 30% of the portfolio.”

He said his investments in companies including Prothena, 4D Pharma and Immunocore are indicative of ‘exciting progress’ and ‘high long-term growth potential’, while acknowledging the share price volatility early stage companies often exhibit.

WPCT chair Susan Searle added: "The company experienced a challenging half-year period that reflected both a turbulent market for small-to-medium-sized quoted companies and the uncertainty that surrounded the EU referendum.

"However, Neil and his team have constructed an impressive portfolio of companies about which they have deep knowledge and insight," she continued.

"Many of these companies have delivered extremely encouraging operational progress and the board remains excited about the investment opportunities that the company was formed to exploit with its diverse portfolio of disruptive businesses with high-growth potential."

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Alex Sebastian

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Alex joined Portfolio Adviser in April 2014 and has been a financial journalist since 2008. He has previously held editorial positions at the Financial Times Group and Euromoney Institutional Investor. Alex is NCTJ qualified and has a degree in economics from the University of Sussex.

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