Liontrust UK Growth Fund

December 2021 review

The Liontrust UK Growth Fund returned 5.4%* in December. The FTSE All-Share Index comparator benchmark returned 4.7% and the average return in the IA UK All Companies sector, also a comparator benchmark, was 4.5%.


Equity markets bounced back from the sharp fall at the end of November, despite the Omicron variant driving what the World Health Organisation described as a “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases. With initial indications that the variant is milder but far more transmissible, investors seemed confident that the economic recovery process will not be derailed. The inflationary nature of this recovery remains in focus after the UK and US reported respective inflation rates of 5.1% and 6.8% for November. As expected, this is prompting policy action, with the Bank of England raising rates for the first time in three years (from 0.1% to 0.25%) and the US Federal Reserve targeting a tapering of QE by March 2022, with three rate rises expected later this year.


With the UK market experiencing broad-based gains, the Fund’s portfolio included a number of large risers, not all of which were responding to stock-specific developments. Of those to release significant corporate updates, Domino’s Pizza Group (+28%) was the largest riser, the shares responding to a resolution to its long-running dispute with franchisees which has restricted growth in its store network. As part of the agreement, Domino’s has made a number of commitments to its franchisees, including a three-year capital investment of £20m in the digital platform and in-store experience, as well improved new store incentive terms. In return, it expects cooperation in a schedule of at least 45 store openings per year. In its next financial year, Domino’s expects higher revenues to offset the increased investment costs, such that earnings expectations are unchanged. Looking further out, it expects to hit at least the upper end of its previous medium-term target of £1.6bn - £1.9bn of system sales and to exceed the medium-term target of 200 new stores.


Digital marketing specialist Next Fifteen Communications (+20%) made headway after issuing its fourth guidance upgrade of 2021. A Q3 trading update revealed 38% year-on-year growth in the period to 31 October, two-thirds of which was organic. With this strong performance carrying over into the fourth quarter, the company expects results to be ahead of market expectations.

Amid the market’s buoyant finish to 2021, there were only four monthly detractors to be found in the Fund. The worst of these was Synthomer (-15%), which saw a fairly large reaction to a rating downgrade on the stock from a research analyst.


Positive contributors included:

Domino’s Pizza Group (+28%), Next Fifteen Communications (+20%), TI Fluid Systems (+16%), Compass Group (+13%) and Indivior (+12%).


Negative contributors included:

Synthomer (-15%), John Wood Group (-5.2%), Gamma Communications (-2.9%) and Brooks Macdonald (-1.1%).


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






Liontrust UK Growth I Inc






FTSE All Share






IA UK All Companies













*Source: Financial Express, as at 31.12.21, total return (net of fees and income reinvested), bid-to-bid, institutional class.

**Source: Financial Express, as at 31.12.21, total return (net of fees and income reinvested), bid-to-bid, primary class.


For a comprehensive list of common financial words and terms, see our glossary here


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.



This information 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.



Thursday, January 13, 2022, 11:11 AM