BlackRock Energy and Resources Income Trust NAV increased by 3.9% during March

BlackRock

BlackRock Energy and Resources Income Trust plc (LON:BERI) has announced its latest portfolio update.

All information is at 31 March 2021 and unaudited.

For more information on BlackRock Energy and Resources Income Trust and how to access the opportunities presented by the energy and resources markets, please visit www.blackrock.com/uk/beri 

Performance at month end with net income reinvested

One
Month
Three
Months
One
Year
Three
Years
Five
Years
Since
1 April
2012
Sterling
Share price1.8%2.3%21.7%1.2%15.0%78.8%
Net asset value3.9%3.0%25.2%9.0%26.5%82.0%
FTSE All-Share Total Return4.0%5.2%26.7%9.9%35.7%76.5%
Source: BlackRock

BlackRock took over the investment management of the Company with effect from 1 April 2012.

At month end

Sterling:

Net asset value – capital only:189.45p
Net asset value – cum income*:191.51p
Share price:171.00p
Total assets (including income):£46.2m
Discount to cum-income NAV:10.7%
Gearing:8.3%
Net yield**:4.2%
Ordinary shares in issue***:22,017,990
Gearing range (as a % of net assets):0-20%
Ongoing charges****:1.2%

* Includes net revenue of 2.06 pence per share

** The Company’s yield based on dividends announced in the last 12 months as at the date of the release of this announcement is 4.2% and includes the 2020 final dividend of 4.60p per share declared on 01 February 2021 and paid to shareholders on 12 March 2021 and the 2020 interim dividend of 2.60p per share declared on 24 June 2020 and paid to shareholders on 1 September 2020.

*** excludes 10,081,532 shares held in treasury

**** Calculated as a percentage of average net assets and using expenses, excluding performance fees and interest costs for the year ended 31 October 2020.

Sector AnalysisTotal assets (%)
Financial Services10.7
Support Services9.9
Household Goods & Home Construction8.5
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology7.3
Mining7.1
Oil & Gas Producers6.3
Personal Goods5.8
General Retailers5.0
Banks5.0
Life Insurance4.9
Travel & Leisure4.1
Media4.0
Tobacco4.0
Nonlife Insurance3.0
Health Care Equipment & Services2.8
General Industrials2.3
Food & Drug Retailers2.0
Industrial Metals & Mining1.6
Electronic & Electrical Equipment1.4
Electricity1.1
Technology Hardware & Equipment0.9
Real Estate Investment Trusts0.6
Industrial Engineering0.6
Net Current Assets1.1
—–
Total100.0
=====
Country AnalysisPercentage
United Kingdom93.2
United States3.2
France1.4
Italy1.1
Net Current Assets1.1
—–
100.0
=====
Top 10 holdingsFund %
AstraZeneca6.0
Rio Tinto5.0
Reckitt Benckiser4.8
Unilever4.1
RELX4.0
British American Tobacco4.0
Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’3.8
Standard Chartered2.9
Smith & Nephew2.8
Phoenix Group2.8

Commenting on the markets, representing the Investment Manager noted:

Performance Overview:

The Company returned 3.9% during the month, underperforming the FTSE All-Share which returned 4.0%. 

Market Summary:

Global equity markets rose in March on the approval of further fiscal support and the restart to come. The UK and US continued the rollout of successful vaccine programmes while many European countries tightened lockdown restrictions again due to struggles with rising infection rates and a sluggish vaccination campaign.

Fiscal stimulus continued in the US with the approval of a COVID relief bill of $1.9 trillion. US Treasury yields climbed close to one-year highs with the 10-year yield near 1.5% early in the month. The FOMC meeting indicated the Fed’s higher tolerance for inflation and that tapering bond purchases remains a distant prospect.

On Budget Day in the UK, the Chancellor revealed several initiatives; one key positive included the 130% ‘super deduction’ tax incentive to promote near-term investment, and one key negative included a proposed increase in corporation tax to 25% pre-announced for April 2023, lifting the overall UK tax burden to its highest in 50 years. Progression of the roadmap out of lockdown continued late in the month with the permittance of 6 people or two households meeting outside. The FTSE All Share rose 4.0% during the month with Telecommunications, Consumer Goods and Utilities outperforming while Basic Materials and Oil & Gas underperformed.

Stocks:

Hiscox was a top detractor during the period; the company issued a poor trading statement that highlighted further investments needed within its retail business.  Following recent floats and strong performance from Moonpig and The Hut Group earlier in the quarter, the share prices fell back during March; both companies were top detractors during the month.

Taylor Wimpey was a top positive contributor; the company had significant upgrades at the FY results owing to higher expected margins. Reckitt Benckiser benefitted as market optimism increased around the improved sales execution and Standard Chartered benefitted from the value rotation and rising interest rates; both companies were top positive contributors.

Portfolio Activity:

We remain constructive on economic growth and the tailwind to cyclical areas of the stock market while remaining cognisant of more defensive companies’ increasingly attractive free cash flow generation.

During the month we added to Ferguson where the strength in the macro and their ability to take share gave us confidence to further increase the position. We reduced Hiscox after the release of a disappointing trade statement where our investment thesis has been challenged in the short term. We sold our position in Rightmove as we see better opportunities in other parts of the Company.

Outlook:

Despite the continuation of COVID-19 lockdowns globally, economic activity has been less impacted as consumers and corporates have adapted their behaviours since the development of effective vaccines. Looking ahead, the focus is firmly on the cyclical recovery buoyed by ongoing monetary and fiscal support overwhelming concerns around virus variants.

As economic activity rebounds this has caused some strains on supply chains with specific industry shortages as well as building inflationary pressures including significant increases in commodity prices versus 12 months ago. The prospect of higher inflation has driven bond yields higher with central bankers indicating their willingness, for now, to stay on the side-lines. We are also cognisant of the evolution of relationships between China and the West and the potential impact on industries and shares.

Turning to the UK specifically, we have, finally, got a Brexit deal that provides increased clarity on the UK’s trading relationship with the EU. This is against a backdrop of UK valuations that have been extreme, trading at multi-decade lows versus other international markets with a recent flurry of M&A deals highlighting the dispersion and value on offer in the FTSE. We continue to believe that this dispersion should narrow given the increased certainty and reduced risk regarding Brexit in addition to the UK’s strong vaccination effort. 

We view the dividend outlook for the UK market with renewed optimism as we expect dividends, in aggregate, to be more resilient and to grow faster in the future as those companies that had been overdistributing for a number of years reset their dividends during the pandemic. Resilience was a crucial feature of the Company and its underlying holdings in 2020 and while this will still be important in 2021, we are excited by the approaching economic recovery and the opportunity to deliver strong capital and dividend growth for our clients over the long-term.

For more information on BlackRock Energy and Resources Income Trust and how to access the opportunities presented by the energy and resources markets, please visit www.blackrock.com/uk/beri 

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BlackRock Energy and Resources Income Trust plc

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