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Liontrust GF UK Growth Fund

June 2022 review

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income generated from it can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. You may get back less than you originally invested.

The Liontrust GF UK Growth Fund returned -6.0%* in June. The Fund’s comparator benchmark, the FTSE All-Share, returned -6.0%.

 

The UK market suffered its worst monthly fall of 2022 so far as investors increasingly viewed aggressive central bank action on inflation as likely to tip the economy into recession.

 

While the FTSE All-Share Index’s total return is -4.6% year-to-date (and -6.4% in price terms), several other global equity indices – including the S&P500 – are close to, or below, the 20% drop which is often used to arbitrarily define a bear market.

 

In this risk-off environment, the more defensive areas of the UK market such as healthcare (+2.0%), telecoms (+0.1%) and consumer staples (-2.0%) were the most resilient. This year’s trend of large-cap outperformance was also extended: the FTSE 100’s -5.5% return takes its year-to-date performance to -1.0%, but the FTSE 250 returned -8.3%, taking it to -19.4% for 2022, with its price drop of 20.5% sitting the wrong side of that bear market line.

 

The energy sector has been the UK market’s strongest area by some margin this year as the Ukraine war has disrupted supply, but this support turned to a headwind in June. Having almost doubled over the prior 12 months, the Brent crude oil price slipped 6.5% to $115 a barrel during June. The Fund’s sector holdings weakened; Shell (-10%) and BP (-11%) registered double-digit percentage losses and John Wood Group (-35%) fell heavily despite announcing the disposal of its built-environment consulting business for $1.9bn, having put the unit up for sale earlier this year. Petrofac (-21%) also dropped as the oil price trend compounded negative sentiment created by a late-May AGM statement which flagged the impact of cost pressures on the outlook for 2022 performance.

 

EMIS Group (+43%) was the latest portfolio beneficiary of takeover interest as its Board recommended a £1.24bn offer from US-based healthcare and insurance provider UnitedHealth Group. The cash offer of 1925p a share is 29% above the level prior to its announcement and 32% higher than EMIS’s prior all-time high of 1460p. The deal is expected to complete by the end of the year; shares in EMIS jumped to trade at a small discount to the offer price.

 

Ultra Electronics Holdings (+6.9%) recommended a takeover offer from defence sector peer Cobham last year, but the deal is subject to government approval. There was positive news on this front in June as the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced that he is minded to accept the national security undertakings offered by Cobham. Formal approval is now expected to follow a public consultation which ends in July. Having traded below £31 prior to the announcement, shares in Ultra Electronics jumped to within 50p of the £35 offer price. 

 

Things have so far gone less well for Next Fifteen Communications (-17%) in its pursuit of M&C Saatchi. A share price slide since it made a cash-and-shares offer for M&C Saatchi mean that its bid is now worth less than the prior offer made by AdvancedAdvT Limited, an acquisition vehicle chaired by Vin Murria, also a director of M&C Saatchi. In response to the falling implied value of Next Fifteen Communication’s bid, the Board of M&C Saatchi has withdrawn its prior recommendation of the offer. Next Fifteen Communications has maintained its offer despite the share price fall and loss of Board support. It also issued a statement commenting that trading is strong and that adjusted profit before tax is ahead of management expectations.

 

BAE Systems (+10%) trading update maintained the 2022 financial guidance issued back in February, but also highlighted the strength of order intake, especially for long-term programmes, as many key countries announced increased spending on defence.

 

Positive contributors included:

EMIS Group (+43%), BAE Systems (+10%), Ultra Electronics Holdings (+6.9%), AstraZeneca (+3.3%) and GSK (+1.9%).

 

Negative contributors included:

John Wood Group (-35%), Synthomer (-27%), Petrofac (-21%), Next Fifteen Communications (-17%) and TI Fluid Systems (-17%).

 

Discrete years' performance** (%), to previous quarter-end:

Past performance does not predict future returns

 

Mar-22

Mar-21

Mar-20

Mar-19

Mar-18

Liontrust GF UK Growth C3 Inst Acc GBP

13.1%

23.5%

-13.5%

6.4%

2.0%

FTSE All Share

13.0%

26.7%

-18.5%

6.4%

1.2%

 

 

Mar-17

Mar-16

Liontrust GF UK Growth C3 Inst Acc GBP

21.9%

1.9%

FTSE All Share

22.0%

-3.9%

 

*Source: Financial Express, as at 31.05.2022, total return (net of fees and income reinvested), sterling terms, C3 institutional class. Non fund-related return data sourced from Bloomberg.


**Source: Financial Express, as at 31.03.2021, total return (net of fees and income reinvested), primary class. Discrete data is not available for ten full 12-month periods due to the launch date of the portfolio (03.09.14). Investment decisions should not be based on short-term performance.

 

Key Features of the Liontrust GF UK Growth Fund

The investment objective of the Fund is to provide long term capital growth by investing predominantly in UK equities. The Fund invests at least 80% in securities of companies traded on the UK and Irish stock exchanges. The Fund invests predominantly in UK large and mid-cap stocks.
5 years or more.
5 (Please refer to the Fund KIID for further detail on how this is calculated)
Active
The Fund is considered to be actively managed in reference to the FTSE All Share Index (the “Benchmark”) by virtue of the fact that it uses the Benchmark for performance comparison purposes. The Benchmark is not used to define the portfolio composition of the Fund and the Fund may be wholly invested in securities which are not constituents of the Benchmark.
Understand common financial words and terms See our glossary
KEY RISKS

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income generated from it can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. You may get back less than you originally invested. The issue of units/shares in Liontrust Funds may be subject to an initial charge, which will have an impact on the realisable value of the investment, particularly in the short term. Investments should always be considered as long term.

Some of the Funds managed by the Economic Advantage team invest primarily in smaller companies and companies traded on the Alternative Investment Market.  These stocks may be less liquid and the price swings greater than those in, for example, larger companies.

DISCLAIMER

This is a marketing communication. Before making an investment, you should read the relevant Prospectus and the Key Investor Information Document (KIID), which provide full product details including investment charges and risks. These documents can be obtained, free of charge, from www.liontrust.co.uk or direct from Liontrust. Always research your own investments. If you are not a professional investor please consult a regulated financial adviser regarding the suitability of such an investment for you and your personal circumstances. 

This should not be construed as advice for investment in any product or security mentioned, an offer to buy or sell units/shares of Funds mentioned, or a solicitation to purchase securities in any company or investment product. Examples of stocks are provided for general information only to demonstrate our investment philosophy. The investment being promoted is for units in a fund, not directly in the underlying assets. It contains information and analysis that is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change without notice. Whilst care has been taken in compiling the content of this document, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by Liontrust as to its accuracy or completeness, including for external sources (which may have been used) which have not been verified. It should not be copied, forwarded, reproduced, divulged or otherwise distributed in any form whether by way of fax, email, oral or otherwise, in whole or in part without the express and prior written consent of Liontrust. 

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