For individual investors in the UK

Henderson High Income Trust Fund Manager Commentary – July 2022

Man at Laptop Wealth Management
David Smith, CFA

David Smith, CFA

Portfolio Manager


17 Aug 2022
5 minute read

David Smith, Portfolio Manager of Henderson High Income Trust, provides an update on the Trust highlighting the key drivers of performance over the month of July and outlines recent portfolio activity.

Macro backdrop

The FTSE All Share Index was up by 4.4% during the month due to hopes of a slowdown in monetary policy tightening by major central banks, including the Bank of England (BoE).¹ Good corporate results provided further support. Commodity prices started to come under pressure in the month with the oil price falling below $100 per barrel for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Cyclical sectors performed best with financial services, retailers and industrials all outperforming, while more defensive sectors such as pharmaceuticals, tobacco and telecoms lagged.

Trust performance and activity

The Trust's net asset value (with debt at fair value) rose 6.2% during July, outperforming the FTSE All share (80%) & ML Sterling NG (20%) benchmark's return of 4.1%.¹ Outperformance of the equity portfolio and the positive impact of gearing were the main drivers of performance.

Within the equity portfolio, the overweight positions in financials NatWest, 3i and Intermediate Capital all aided performance. NatWest announced strong results, benefiting from the recent interest rate hikes from the BoE, and a £1.75 billion special dividend.² 3i reassured with its results as its largest asset, discount retailer Action, performed robustly over the period.³ Intermediate Capital released a good trading statement with continued strong fund raisings despite increased market volatility.

Elsewhere, the fund's holdings in non-life insurers Direct Line and Sabre detracted from returns. Both company's warned that claims inflation in their car insurance divisions was running ahead of expectations, which would likely impact profitability for the year. Despite the disappointing share price reactions, we maintain a holding in both given our view that the market pricing environment will now likely to turn more positive and inflationary pressures should start to subside.

During the month we sold the position in Haleon, the consumer health business that demerged from GlaxoSmithKline. The company's balance sheet seemed stretched to us and with the dividend yield low as the company prioritises debt reduction, we felt this did not fairly compensate shareholders for the elevated risks.

HHI July 2022

These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.

 

Past performance does not predict future returns. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

 

The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation.

 

Marketing Communication.

 

Glossary

 

 

 

Important information

Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.

Before investing in an investment trust referred to in this document, you should satisfy yourself as to its suitability and the risks involved, you may wish to consult a financial adviser. This is a marketing communication. Please refer to the AIFMD Disclosure document and Annual Report of the AIF before making any final investment decisions.
    Specific risks
  • If a trust's portfolio is concentrated towards a particular country or geographical region, the investment carries greater risk than a portfolio diversified across more countries.
  • Some of the investments in this portfolio are in smaller companies shares. They may be more difficult to buy and sell and their share price may fluctuate more than that of larger companies.
  • This trust is suitable to be used as one component in several in a diversified investment portfolio. Investors should consider carefully the proportion of their portfolio invested into this trust.
  • Active management techniques that have worked well in normal market conditions could prove ineffective or detrimental at other times.
  • The trust could lose money if a counterparty with which it trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations to the trust.
  • Shares can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
  • The return on your investment is directly related to the prevailing market price of the trust’s shares, which will trade at a varying discount (or premium) relative to the value of the underlying assets of the trust. As a result losses (or gains) may be higher or lower than those of the trust’s assets.
  • The trust may use gearing as part of its investment strategy. If the trust utilises its ability to gear, the profits and losses incured by the trust can be greater than those of a trust that does not use gearing.
  • All or part of the trust's management fee is taken from its capital. While this allows more income to be paid, it may also restrict capital growth or even result in capital erosion over time.