(Alliance News) - RIT Capital Partners PLC on Tuesday reported a positive total return in 2023 and increased its annual payout, saying it is well-placed to deliver long-term capital growth.

The London-based trust, which invests across various asset classes, industries and currencies, said its net asset value at December 31 was 2,426 pence per share. This was up 3.2% from 2,388p at the end of 2022.

Shares in the company were up 0.1% at 1,772.00 pence near midday on Tuesday in London.

RIT Capital declared a total dividend of 38.0p for 2023, up 2.7% from 37.0p in 2022. It intends to pay 39p per share for 2024, up 2.6%, split between two equal instalments.

RIT Capital also conducted GBP163 million share buybacks in 2023, up from just GBP11 million in 2022.

RIT Capital delivered a positive 3.2% NAV total return for the year, an improvement from negative 13% in 2022.

"This brings our ten-year performance to 109%, a more than doubling of shareholders' capital over the period," commented Chair James Leigh-Pemberton.

The MSCI All Country World Index or ACWI delivered positive 18%, following the prior year's negative 13% return.

However in quoted equities, which made up 38% of its NAV, RIT Capital reported a "strong performance" with a positive 18% return. This outperformed the MSCI ACWI Equal Weighted Index, which delivered positive 9.4%.

RIT Capital's balance sheet "remained robust" with GBP204.3 million in cash at bank on December 31, down from GBP218.0 million a year prior.

This year, RIT Capital said it is "navigating conflicting macro signs" but that "numerous individual assets trade at appealing prices".

"RIT's competitive edge, which combines in-house expertise, a flexible capital structure, and access to unique, compelling investment opportunities globally, leaves us well positioned to deliver healthy capital appreciation with attractive risk-reward characteristics," the trust added.

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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