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Alliance Trust increases dividend by 12.5%

Alliance Trust made a £462m pre-tax profit in 2013, up from £253m in 2012.

The investment trust saw its NAV per share increase by 16.1 per cent to 516.5p at 31 December 2013 and its share price increase by almost 20 per cent to 450.1p compared to the previous year.

The full year dividend increased by 12.5 per cent to 10.83p per share – including a special dividend of 1.3p.

Alliance Trust Savings returned to profitability for the first time in eight years and grew assets under administration by 33 per cent to £5.4bn.

Alliance Trust Investments increased its assets under administration by 16 per cent, although it posted a pre-tax loss of £4m.

Alliance Trust chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox says: “After five years of hard work and significant change at Alliance Trust, this year we have started to reap the rewards of that change. The equity portfolio generated a gross return of over 21 per cent and Alliance Trust Savings is now profitable on an ongoing basis and will continue to benefit from changes brought about by the Retail Distribution Review.

Moreover, Alliance Trust Investments has established itself as a leader in the sustainable investment sector. As a whole, the business has delivered capital growth and a significantly increased level of income and I am confident that all parts of the business are now better placed to be able to compete effectively in their respective markets and add long-term value to the Group.

“The equity portfolio is structured to be able to deliver a combination of capital growth and a consistently rising dividend. The 12.5% increase to the dividend this year has been driven by rising income from all parts of the investment portfolio, including increased exposure to equities, income from our holding in the Monthly Income Bond Fund and a doubling of the royalty income from our legacy mineral rights in North America.”

As Money Marketing reported yesterday, Garrett-Cox says the company is taking steps to prepare the company to move some of its operations away from its Dundee base if Scotland votes for independence in this September’s referendum.

Garrett-Cox says: “The referendum in September is creating uncertainty for our customers and our business, which we have a responsibility to address. Regardless of the outcome it is critical that we are able to provide continuity of service and protection for their investments and savings. To give them full confidence, we have started work to establish additional companies registered in England, in order to provide operational flexibility and to complement our existing business in Scotland.”

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