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UK Sparks: Woodford Patient Capital Trust Makes £232m Interim Loss


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Woodford Patient Capital Trust has revealed a £232m loss for the first six months of this year, when its net assets fell from £807m to £654m. The loss at the trust, which invests in UK companies with potential for long-term growth, compares to a £5.05m pre-tax profit in the same period of last year. Net asset value per share fell by 26% from 97.6p to 72p. Between June 28 and September 26, there was a further 20.9% decline in the daily net asset value, representing a drop in the portfolio net asset value from £748m to £591m. Chairman Susan Searle says this year has been the company’s “most challenging period” since it floated in 2015. She says Woodford Patient Capital is still evaluating the position of portfolio manager Neil Woodford and is in talks with alternatives who could replace him.

Mr Woodford, who gated his main Equity Income Fund in early June, says: “Shareholders have endured an extremely disappointing six-month period, for which I am very sorry… “The journey to positive outcomes has been longer and more painful than investors would have liked, or anticipated.”

Royal Dutch Shell has warned that it expects third quarter earnings to be hit by a charge of between $700m-$850m. Integrated gas production is expected to be between 930,000-960,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Upstream production is anticipated to be between 2.6 million-2.65 million barrels per day, while downstream refinery availability is expected to be between 90%-92%. Well write-offs are expected to amount to between $250m-350m more than in the same period of 2018. However, no cash impact is expected.

Goals Soccer Centres has issued an update on its accounting scandal, reiterating that it expects shares in the company to be cancelled today because it cannot publish financial results. Goals has warned that the cost of a potential misdeclaration of VAT that it previously said was £12m could be “materially higher,” depending on HMRC’s approach. The company remains in talks about a potential sale, with bidders including Sports Direct International.

Finally, iron ore pellets miner and processor Ferrexpo has issued a statement saying it is aware of allegations on social media that its chief executive and majority shareholder Kostyantin Zhevago has been served with a notice of suspicion regarding an investigation in Ukraine relating to a business he owned until 2015. It says Mr Zhevago strongly denies any allegations of wrongdoing and has informed the board that he has not received a notice of suspicion in accordance with Ukrainian law.

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