Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust returns 46%

Baillie Gifford

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust plc said on Thursday its share price and net asset value returned 46.5% and 44.2% respectively for the financial year to May 31, 2020, compared with a total return of 15% for the S&P 500 Index.

Over the period from March 23, 2018 — the fund’s launch date — its share price and net asset value returned 88.1% and 85.7% respectively compared to a total return of 40.6% for the S&P 500.

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust, run by portfolio managers Gary Robinson and Helen Xiong, has a current stock market value of around £680 million.

The closed-end fund’s biggest listed holdings include Shopify, Tesla, Amazon, Wayfair, Netflix, MarketAxess Holdings, Alphabet, The Trade Desk, Illumina and Mastercard.

The investment trust said lockdowns introduced to slow the spread of the coronavirus disrupted regular patterns of demand, with most of its holdings being beneficiaries.

New listed holdings of the fund include video-conferencing company Zoom, telemedicine company Teladoc, and three enterprise software companies — Workday, Twilio and Cloudflare.

Eight additional unlisted investments were made, and two existing unlisted holdings — Peloton Interactive and Slack Technologies — went public.

At May 31, 2020, the fund held 17 unlisted investments, comprising 12% of total assets.

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust chairman Tom Burnet said: “The last 12 months have been extraordinary ones for investors in the US stock market and it seems probable that the next 12 could be equally turbulent.

“At the time of writing, it seems probable that we are at the dawn of a significant global recession and ongoing market volatility is to be expected.

“In that context, it is comforting to note that as long-term investors in exceptional growth companies, many of the organisations in which we are invested have thrived during the period.

“As the digital transformation that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the portfolio should be well positioned to benefit in the long term.

“All that being the case, the board and the managers remain confident in our outlook.”

Baillie Gifford US Growth Trust is managed by Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh based fund management group with £280 billion under management and advice in active equity and bond portfolios for clients in the UK and throughout the world.