Liontrust GF UK Growth Fund

September 2021 review

The Liontrust GF UK Growth Fund returned 0.4%* in September. The Fund’s comparator benchmark, the FTSE All-Share, returned -1.0%.

 

While petrol panic-buying added an unwelcome element to the UK’s energy landscape in September, supply-side shortages are a global phenomenon at the moment, with the post-lockdown demand recovery placing significant stress on logistics networks. 

 

The resultant inflationary pressures in many sectors of the economy – labelled transitory by some of the world’s leading central bankers – were particularly notable within energy markets in September. The Brent crude oil price climbed 8% to finish the month at $78.5 a barrel.

 

Against this backdrop, the FTSE All-Share’s Energy sector was its strongest area, up 15%, and BP (+15%), Royal Dutch Shell (+15%) and Petrofac (+60%) were the Fund’s three largest individual contributors to performance.

 

Having rallied in August after a trading statement included upgraded full-year guidance, Next Fifteen Communications (+7.6%) edged higher again on the release of full interim results. Revenue growth of 32% fed through to a 69% increase in profit before tax due to operational gearing and some favourable mix effects. The company’s roots are in digital marketing but following a number of acquisitions recently it is now styling itself more broadly as a tech and data-driven consultancy.

 

WH Smith (+5.0%) also made gains. It now expects results for the year to 31 August to be slightly ahead of the guidance it gave in July. Trading levels have continued to steadily rebuild towards pre-Covid levels. Total revenues were 60% of the 2019 level in the first half of 2021, 65% in the second half and 71% in the final eight weeks of the period. The improvement is being driven by a recovery in its Travel division. Revenues for its High Street divisions have been fairly steady at 80% to 85% of 2019’s level but Travel revenues have improved from 41% (first six months) to 64% (last eight weeks).

 

TP ICAP’s (-20%) shares moved lower after it blamed subdued secondary markets and Covid-19 disruption for a 7% year-on-year fall in revenues in the first half of the year (constant currency, excluding its Liquidnet acquisition). Despite the quiet market conditions in the first six months, the interdealer broker noted that trading activity in July and August were broadly in line with last year’s level. It still expects full-year revenue to be broadly in line with 2020 but warned that currency headwinds and increased investment costs will push operating margins lower.

 

Having risen by over 40% since the start of the year, shares in Gamma Communications (-20%) suffered a sharp correction on the release of half-year results. The ‘Unified Communications as a Service’ provider generated 23% revenue growth and a 32% increase in profit before tax. While its outlook comments painted a relative benign picture of demand for its services, it was not accompanied by the usual earnings upgrade that the stockmarket has come to expect.

 

Positive contributors included:

Petrofac (+60%), Royal Dutch Shell (+15%), BP (+15%), Indivior (+11%) and WH Smith (+5.0%).

 

Negative contributors included:

Gamma Communications (-20%), TP ICAP (-20%), TI Fluid Systems (-17%), Renishaw (-12%) and Coats Group (-12%).

 

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

 

Sep-21

Sep-20

Sep-19

Sep-18

Sep-17

Liontrust GF UK Growth C3 Inst Acc GBP

25.7%

-10.2%

2.5%

8.8%

10.6%

FTSE All Share

27.9%

-16.6%

2.7%

5.9%

11.9%

 

*Source: Financial Express, as at 30.09.2021, 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 30.09.2021, total return (net of fees and income reinvested), primary class. Discrete data is not available for five full 12-month periods due to the launch date of the portfolio. Investment decisions should not be based on short-term performance.

 

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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. 

Disclaimer

 

This blog 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.  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. Always research your own investments and 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.
Friday, October 8, 2021, 1:22 PM