- The City of London Investment Trust reported first-half returns that lagged its benchmark as the company was underweight sectors that appreciated sharply.

For the half year ended 31 December, the company reported a pre-tax profit of £95.5 million, compared with a profit of £94.6 million year-on-year.

Net asset value per share stood at 357.4 pence at end of last year, up from 344.0 pence on 30 June.

The company's net asset value total return of 6.9% lagged the the FTSE All-Share Index, its benchmark, which produced a total return of 9.3% for the six months to 31 December 2020.

'The biggest detracting sector was not holding equity investment instruments, especially Scottish Mortgage, followed by being underweight in travel & leisure, including not holding Flutter Entertainment,' the company said. 'The third biggest detracting sector was our above average exposure to gas, water & multi-utilities.'

'A strong rally took place in the final two months of the period after newly developed vaccines were revealed to be effective against the virus,' the company said.

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