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QuotedData’s morning briefing 29 November 2023 – FCSS, CORD, SDV

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In QuotedData’s morning briefing 29 November 2023:

  • Cordiant Digital Infrastructure (CORD) announced its interim results for the six months to 30 September 2023. The NAV total return was 1.1% while shares fell 12.4% with the company’s discount widening to 38%. Despite the returns, portfolio performance was robust. EBITDA for the six-month period increased 5.5% to £55.5 million, while the company also completed the acquisition of Speed Fibre. Commenting on the results, chairman Jemmett Page noted; “I am pleased to report a solid performance by the company for the first six months of the year, despite the challenging economic conditions during the period. The company’s performance reflects the strength of its portfolio companies, which offer strong cashflows and growth opportunities in line with our buy, build & grow model. The strength of the portfolio has been achieved with a conservative level of debt and through a disciplined acquisition strategy. The recently announced acquisition of Speed Fibre is additive to the portfolio as it offers additional cashflows, growth potential and further diversity in geography and asset class. With continued liquidity of £207 million, the company remains well positioned, and as such the Board looks forward to the second half of the year with confidence”.
  • Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) reported a NAV total return of -10.9% compared to the -10.3% return of the benchmark index in the six months ended 30 September 2023. Shares fell 12.9% with the discount widening slightly to 9%. Commenting on the results, the portfolio manager noted that despite negative market sentiment, robust stock picking in the consumer discretionary and health care sectors proved rewarding while valuations remain compelling in historic and absolute terms. The company also announced on 28 November that it had agreed terms for a merger with abrdn China Investment Company.
  • Chelverton UK Dividend Trust (SDV) has released its interim report for the six months ended 31 October 2023. NAV fell 23% over the period while shares fell 25%. The shares remain on a premium of 1.6%. Commenting on the results, the manager noted; “The stock market for the last six months, and in fact the last two years, has been very difficult for small and mid cap companies. It is well-documented that UK shares have been lowly rated over several years and this is particularly so in the area of the market in which the company invests. However, it is reassuring that the underlying performance of the companies in the portfolio continues to be positive as managements are reacting rapidly to changing circumstances and the challenges of the current marketplace. We continue to see compelling evidence that our companies are, in the main, managing the current tricky environment. As we said one year ago, “It is likely that our companies will only receive the ratings they deserve once the world political and economic situation is stable and then improving”. Nothing has occurred to change our view.”

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