Woodford’s reports £33.7m profit despite assets fall

The group reported gross profits for the year to 31 March 2018 were £76.4m, while operating profit was £41.7m over the period. This meant a total profit, after tax, for the year stood at £33.7m, while revenue hit £78m.

However, total assets were down from £16.5m on 31 March 2017 to £12.7m on 31 March 2018, amid a period of tough performance for manager Neil Woodford’s funds.

A spokesperson at Woodford said: “Profits are transferred into Woodford Capital to enable Woodford Investment to invest excess balance sheet cash of the limited company.

“The money is reinvested into the Woodford funds, such as Woodford Patient Capital Trust, used to make charitable donations, as well as providing an income for the directors.”

A number of holdings in the £4.9bn Woodford Equity Income fund ran into trouble, including Provident Financial and AstraZeneca.

During the period, the fund was down 13.5%, while the IA UK All Companies sector returned an average of 2.7% and its FTSE All-Share benchmark was also up 1.3%, according to FE.

Meanwhile, the £712m Woodford Patient Capital trust was also behind, down 11.6% while the AIC UK All Companies sector averaged 5.3%.

However, more recently, the trust has been faring better, up by 3.9% in the last six months versus a loss from both the FTSE All-Share and the AIC UK All Companies sector of 8.6% and 10.8% respectively. This was reportedly down to a number of smaller companies in the portfolio making strong profits.

The trust was also promoted to the FTSE 250 at the end of 2018. It is currently trading on a discount of 13%.

In the accounts, Woodford IM also said costs allocated towards wages and salaries for the year stood at £10.4m, while the average number of employees increased from 39 to 45. All new hires for the period were made within the distribution team.

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Jayna is senior reporter and investment trust correspondent at Investment Week. She joined the publication in August 2015 after graduating with an MA in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Kent.

Jayna holds the NCTJ diploma and has experience in print, online and broadcast journalism. She is responsible for the Investment Week monthly podcast.

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