(Alliance News) - Finsbury Growth & Income Trust PLC on Thursday said net asset value increased during its latest financial year, and swung to a positive total return.

The London-based firm, which invests in shares of predominantly UK-listed companies, said its NAV was 891.2 pence per share at September 30, up 5.0% from 848.4p per share at the same time a year prior.

Shares in the company were down 0.3% at 831.42p each on Thursday morning in London.

FInsbury Growth's NAV total return for the year that ended on September 30 was positive 7.2%, following its negative 5.8% return for the previous year.

However the company underperformed its benchmark, the FTSE All-Share Index, which delivered a positive 13.8% return for the year compared with the prior year's negative 4.0%.

Finsbury Growth said its total dividend payout was 19.0p per share, up 5.0% from 18.1p the year before. This comprised a first interim dividend of 8.5p and a second interim dividend of 10.5p.

"It is disappointing to report that while the company's net asset value per share has showed a positive return, this is the third consecutive year of underperformance relative to its benchmark," said Chair Simon Hayes.

This, he said, "means that while shareholders have benefited from a strong long-term performance record, this is not the case for more recent investors, who will have experienced weak relative returns."

Hayes said this recent track record was "concerning" and that it will "continue to monitor performance closely" and "hold the portfolio manager to account". However, he added that it remains "supportive" of the investment approach of portfolio manager Lindsell Train Ltd, in which Lindsell Train Investment Trust PLC owns a large minority stake.

"Your board continues to support fully the portfolio manager's disciplined strategy of investing in high quality companies that own both durable and cash generative franchises," Hayes continued. "It has delivered attractive returns over the longer term and we firmly believe that this will continue to deliver strong investment returns to shareholders in the future."

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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