Woodford increases Stobart stake

Well-known fund manager Neil Woodford has taken his holding in distribution and industrial property group Stobart above 12%.

Woodford bought 550,000 shares on Monday when the shares were priced at around 128p. On Tuesday, shares in Stobart, formed in Carlisle and now registered in London, reached a 52-week high of 135p.

Woodford wrote in his blog immediately after the EU referendum result was known on Friday morning: “In the longer term, it is my view that the trajectory of the UK economy, and more importantly the world economy, will not be influenced significantly by today’s outcome. Consequently, the portfolio strategy will not change. It was designed for a challenging world, characterised by low growth, deflation, debt problems, weak productivity and troubling demographics. Despite these headwinds, I remain confident that the portfolio will deliver the returns we have targeted over the three-to-five year time horizon that we continue to focus on.”

At the end of May, Stobart completed the sale of land in Speke, Liverpool to Ford for a profit of £20m after holding it for three months.

Woodford’s other property investments include NewRiver Retail, which has an asset management team based in Manchester.

The £8.9bn Woodford Equity Income Fund has returned 15% over the past two years compared to 1% for the average fund in the same sector during that time.

Stobart’s annual general meeting is due to take place in Guernsey on Thursday.

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