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Fund focus: Edinburgh Investment Trust

The Neil Woodford-run vehicle regularly beats its benchmark but has lagged many of its sector peers over the past year.

By Lora Coventry, Senior Reporter, Financial Express Follow
Tuesday April 12, 2011

Trustnet can reveal that the £890.5m Edinburgh Investment Trust is the most viewed investment trust factsheet on its website over one month, six months and one year.

The closed-ended vehicle, the top-10 holdings of which are made up of FTSE 100 giants including Vodafone, Imperial Tobacco and Astrazeneca, has beaten its FTSE All Share benchmark over one, three and five years. Neil Woodford has headed the vehicle since September 2008.

Performance of trust vs index and sector over 1-yr


Source: Financial Express Analytics

The trust is trading at a premium to its net asset value (NAV) of 0.3 per cent.

In spite of beating its benchmark, Edinburgh Investment Trust has lagged many of its sector peers over the past year. Lowland Investment Company, the vehicle run by Henderson’s James Henderson, has returned 38 per cent to investors over 12 months, compared with 16 per cent from Woodford’s vehicle. ALT_TAG

The £225.6m investment trust also bulks up its portfolio with FTSE 100 companies, but has its largest holding in industrials while Woodford (pictured right) favours consumer products. Henderson, whose trust is trading at a discount of 6.5 per cent, also favours financials, while Woodford keeps just 5.8 per cent of his portfolio in that sector.

Lowland Investment Company also took on more volatility than the Edinburgh Investment Trust: 20 per cent compared with 15 per cent.

Dunedin Income Growth Trust, Merchants Trust, and Finsbury Growth and Income Trust are all sector peers that have fared better in the past year than the Edinburgh Investment Trust. They are trading at discounts of 2.17 per cent, 1 per cent and a premium of 0.79 per cent respectively. All three have lower volatility scores than Woodford’s trust over the year.

The £173.7m Finsbury Growth and Income Trust, which has been headed by Nick Train for a decade, is the only vehicle to also outperform Woodford’s investment trust over a three-year period. Woodford’s trust was 5 per cent less volatile in this time.

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