(Alliance News) - Monks Investment Trust PLC on Friday lamented a "disappointing" performance in its latest half year, but insisted that "good times are ahead" for its investees.

The Edinburgh-based company, which invests principally in global quoted equities, said its net asset value was 1,017.2 pence per share at October 31, down from 1,058p at April 30.

Shares in Monks Investment Trust were up 0.4% at 1,010.00p on Friday morning in London.

During the six months that ended on October 31, Monks said it delivered an NAV total return of negative 3.3%, compared with negative 5.2% the prior year. However its benchmark, the FTSE World Index, delivered a positive 2.1% total return up from negative 0.3%.

Monks declared no interim dividend for the period, unchanged from the year before.

Monks repeatedly described the earnings as "disappointing", adding: "The investment trust sector is trading at discounts last seen during the financial crisis."

The trust continued: "Rapidly rising inflation and the increases in interest rates that began in the first half of 2022 suppressed investors' appetite for growth assets and precipitated sharp share price falls of companies held in the Monks portfolio.

"The portfolio was too concentrated in rapidly growing, earlier-stage companies that bore the brunt of share price declines."

Monks said it responded by selling "poorly positioned" holdings and strengthening "the analytical inputs to our investment process".

"We believe that good times are ahead for the portfolio," Monks added. "The inflation and interest rate environment is stabilising and we expect the portfolio to deliver substantially higher levels of earnings growth than the market."

The trust also said that its diversified approach exposes its investors to a wide range of growth opportunities, and that these are likely to drive returns in the future.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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